George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 19 May 1785]

Thursday 19th. Mercury at 66 in the Morning—63 at Noon and 66 at Night.

Mr. Pine left this (on his return to Philadelphia) in my Phaeton, which was to carry him to Annapolis.

Sent My Overseer & Barge to Popes Creek for the Baggage of Geo. Auge. Washington, and such Articles as he had brot. from the West Indies & South Carolina for my use—as also some Wild Geese which Mr. Wm. Washington had procured for me.

Wind at East all the day; until towards Sun down, when it turned quite calm.

The forenoon was a little dripping but not much rain fell.

my overseer: In the fall of 1784, GW hired John Fairfax (c.1764–1843) as his overseer for the Mansion House farm and grounds at a wage of £30 for the year, and when the contract was renegotiated in the fall of 1785 Fairfax obtained a raise to £40 (General Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 209). John was distantly related to the Fairfaxes of Belvoir through his great-grandfather, John Fairfax, a Roman Catholic who emigrated from Yorkshire to Charles County, Md., in the early eighteenth century. In 1785 the head of the Maryland Fairfaxes was William Fairfax, Sr. (d. 1793), who moved from Charles County in 1789 to settle near Occoquan, Prince William County. By his two wives he had six daughters and four sons, one of whom was John (CARTMELL description begins T. K. Cartmell. Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants: A History of Frederick County, Virginia, From its Formation in 1738 to 1908. Winchester, Va., 1909. description ends , 244, 247–48).

wild geese: GW must have written his nephew, William Augustine Washington, to be on the lookout for some wild geese for his Mount Vernon estate. Washington wrote GW shortly after this that he had “been industrious in inquiring for some Wild Geese & Swans for you, at length I have procured these Geese, which I now send you. . . . I shall indeavour to procure you some Swans this Winter” (William Augustine Washington to GW, 1 June 1785, CSmH).

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