George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 5 November 1785]

Saturday 5th. Thermometer at 60 in the Morng. 64 at Noon and 65 at Night.

Morning a little lowering with the wind pretty brisk from the Southward until about Noon when it became Calm & clear.

Went over the Creek to see how my people went on in raising mud from the bed of the Creek—their progress but slow.

Mr. Robert Washington of Chotanck—Mr. Lund Washington & Mr. Lawrence Washington dined here, as did Colo. Gilpin and Mr. Noah Webster. The 4 first went away afterwards—the last stayed all Night. In the afternoon a Mr. Lee came here to sollicit Charity for his Mother who represented herself as having nine Children—a bad husband and no support. He also stayed the Evening.

Noah Webster, in his effort to get the state to enact a copyright law, had come to request letters of introduction from GW to the governor of Virginia and to the speakers of both the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates. Webster wrote GW, on 16 Dec. 1785, to inform him that the legislature had passed such an act. He also offered to come to Mount Vernon to act, without pay, as tutor for the Custis children, provided he would be given access to GW’s papers (PHi: Gratz Collection). GW refused this offer, as he needed someone who could also act as secretary (GW to Webster, 18 Dec. 1785, NN: Washington Collection).

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