George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 6 September 1785]

Tuesday 6th. Thermometer at 67 in the Morning—70 at Noon and 73 at Night.

Wind at No. West, and fresh all day, yet warm in the Sun.

Fanny Bassett went to Mr. Lund Washington’s and stayed all Night. I rid to my Plantations at the Ferry, Dogue run and Muddy hole and returned about 12 Oclock.

A Mr. Tayler, Clerk to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs came here whilst we were at Dinner, sent by Mr. Jay, by order of Congress, to take Copies of the report of the Commissioners who had been sent in by me to New York, to take an Acct. of the Slaves whch had been sent from that place (previous to the evacuation) by the British.

George Taylor, Jr., in 1785 was appointed clerk to the secretary for foreign affairs, John Jay. Commissioners for embarkation had been appointed by GW in 1783 to go to New York to superintend the embarkation of the British troops and to try to enforce article seven of the provisional treaty of peace of Nov. 1782, which forbade British troops to carry off any American property, notably runaway slaves. There was, however, little the commissioners could do to enforce the provision, and so they withdrew. The report GW refers to is probably that of 30 May 1783, written by Egbert Benson and William Stephens Smith, two of the commissioners (DLC:GW). On 23 June of that year GW sent a letter to Congress, enclosing copies of his entire correspondence with the commissioners (DLC:GW).

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