George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 9 July 1785]

Saturday 9th. Mercury at 80 in the Morng.—82 at Noon and 82 at Night.

Morning very warm, with but little Wind, which coming from the Eastward in the Evening & blowing brisk cooled the Air and made it pleasant.

Burwell & John Bassett and G. A. Washington set out after Breakfast for the Sweet Springs in Bottetourt County.

I rid to my Harvest fields at the Ferry and at Dogue run and over my Cornfields at each of those places and at Muddy hole. Found the first not good—the 2d. very indifferent and the third—viz. that at Muddy hole as good as could be expected from the Land.

A Mr. Arnold Henry Dohrman, a Gentleman of Lisbon recommended by Govr. Henry to me as a Man of fortune & one who had been exceedingly attentive and kind to the American prisoners in captivity came here, dined, and continued his journey afterwards to New York with letters of Introduction from me to the Presidt. of Congress, and to Messrs. Wilson Grayson and Chase Members of it, from me.

Arnold Henry Dohrman (1749–1813), a Portuguese merchant, aided American seamen captured during the Revolution by the English and set down penniless on the Portuguese coast. He not only gave them money and weapons but also helped them to reach home. In 1780 Congress made him United States agent in Portugal, with no pay but with his expenses to be paid by Congress. In 1785 he came to the United States to try to collect for the disbursements he had made. Dohrman left Mount Vernon with letters from GW to Richard Henry Lee (president of Congress), James Wilson of Pennsylvania, William Grayson of Virginia, and Samuel Chase of Maryland. In 1787 Congress finally awarded Dohrman $5,806 72/90 with interest from the time of the expenditure and a salary of $1,600 per annum, computed from the period “at which his expenditures commenced to the present day.” Also he was granted one entire township in the Northwest Territory. He and his family settled in Steubenville, Ohio, in 1809 (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 33:587–88; Dohrman to James Madison, 4 Mar. 1809, DLC: Madison Papers).

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