George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 3 March 1785]

Thursday 3d. Mercury at 34 in the Morng., 40 at Noon and [ ] at Night.

Morning calm, warm, and very pleasant—wind afterwards from the Southward & pretty fresh. Sun set in a bank.

Planted the remainder of the Locusts—Sassafras—small berried thorn & yellow Willow in the Shrubberies, as also the red buds—a honey locust and service tree by the South Garden House. Likewise took up the clump of Lilacs that stood at the Corner of the South Grass plat & transplanted them to the clusters in the Shrubberies & standards at the south Garden gate. The Althea trees were also planted.

Employed myself the greatest part of the day in pruning and shaping the young plantation of Trees & Shrubs.

In the Evening Mr. Story formerly an assistant to Genel. Greene & afterwards Aide de Camp to Lord Stirling came in and spent the Evening.

His yellow willow is Salix pentandra, now called the bay-leaved willow, and his service tree is Amelanchier obovalis, serviceberry or juneberry. A specimen of the English service tree, Sorbus domestica, was still standing in 1917 near the northwest corner of the bowling green (SARGENT [2] description begins Charles Sprague Sargent. The Trees at Mount Vernon. Rev. ed. N.p., [1926]. description ends , 12–13), perhaps surviving from the cuttings of this species which GW acquired from William Bartram in 1792. The althea, Hibiscus syriacus, is also called rose of Sharon.

Maj. John Story (1754–1791), of Massachusetts, served as deputy quartermaster general of the Continental Army from 1777 to 1780, having earlier held several minor posts. He later acted for a short time as aide to Maj. Gen. Lord Stirling until the general’s death in 1783.

Index Entries