George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 8 November 1785]

Tuesday 8th. Thermometer at 60 in the Morning—66 at Noon and 66 at Night.

A very heavy fog (with little or no wind) until near Noon—when it dispelled; became clear, warm & pleasant.

Rid to Dogue run & Muddy hole Plantations—the first preparing Ground, & sowing Timothy Seed.

Began to replace the dead trees in my shrubberies.

Doctr. Craik first, and a Captn. Lewis Littlepage afterwards, came here to Dinner; the first went away after it—the other stayed all Night. This Captn. Littlepage has been Aid de Camp to the Duke de Crillon—was at the Sieges of Fort St. Phillip (on the Island of Minorca) and Gibralter; and is an extraordinary character.

In the Evening Doctr. Griffith came, & stayed all Night.

Lewis Littlepage (1762–1802), of Hanover County, served briefly in John Jay’s legation in Spain in 1780 and as a volunteer with the Spanish army in the sieges of Port Mahón (Fort St. Philip) 1781–82 and Gibraltar 1782–83. He had received an invitation from the king of Poland to accept a position at his court, and had been given a year’s leave of absence to arrange his affairs in America. In Richmond, Littlepage received from Gov. Patrick Henry a letter of introduction to GW and also a draft for £300 on the state of Virginia, to be conveyed to the sculptor Houdon as a partial payment for his statue of GW. Littlepage stopped at Mount Vernon on his way to New York. After he arrived in New York a long-standing feud with John Jay almost sent him to jail, and he used the money belonging to the state of Virginia to extricate himself from his difficulties. This done, he sailed for France and by 1786 was serving as chamberlain and envoy in the service of Stanislas II Augustus, king of Poland.

Louis de Berton des Balbes de Quiers, duc de Crillon-Mahón (1717–1796), was a Frenchman in the service of Spain. In 1782 he had captured Fort St. Philip, the fortification for Port Mahón on Minorca, and then commanded an unsuccessful Franco-Spanish siege of Gibraltar.

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