George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 22 November 1785]

Tuesday 22d. Thermometer at 40 in the Morning—46 at Noon and 52 at Night.

Clear and cold Wind at No. West all day. The Snow, except on the No. side of Hills & Houses had dissolvd.

The Count Doradour and Mr. Magowan went away after Breakfast.

The Reverd. Mr. Keith of Alexandria and a Mr. Bowie of Philadelphia came to Dinner and returned to Alexandria in the Evening.

Gave my People their Cloathing pr. list taken.

Removing Earth to day, as yesterday, to cover my Ice Ho[use].

Isaac Stockton Keith (d. 1813) became minister of the Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria in 1780 and was one of the first trustees of the Alexandria academy. He left to go to Charleston, S.C., in 1788. Keith was probably the Isaac Keith, a Pennsylvanian, who received a degree from Princeton in 1778 (MCGROARTY description begins William Buckner McGroarty. The Old Presbyterian Meeting House at Alexandria, Virginia, 1774–1874. Richmond, 1940. description ends , 17–18; POWELL description begins Mary G. Powell. The History of Old Alexandria, Virginia: From July 13, 1749 to May 24, 1861. Richmond, 1928. description ends , 101; HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 12:393).

John Bowie asked permission in 1784 to write a biography of GW. Although GW initially agreed to the proposal, he had second thoughts and put so many restrictions on Bowie that it is doubtful that the book was ever completed. GW’s foremost worry seems to have been that he would be thought vain for allowing his biography to be written during his lifetime, and he insisted the book not be published until after his death (see GW to James Craik, 25 Mar. 1784, GW to John Witherspoon, 8 Mar. 1785, DLC:GW).

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