George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 22 December 1785]

[Thursday 22d.] Went a Fox hunting with the Gentlemen who came here yesterday—together with Ferdinando Washington and Mr. Shaw, after a very early breakfast. Found a Fox just back of Muddy hole Plantation and after a Chase of an hour and a quarter with my Dogs, & eight couple of Doctor Smiths (brought by Mr. Phil. Alexander) we put him into a hollow tree, in which we fastned him, and in the Pincushion put up another Fox which in an hour & 13 Minutes was killed. We then after allowing the Fox in the hole half an hour put the Dogs upon his Tracks & in half a Mile he took to another hollow tree and was again put out of it but he did not go 600 yards before he had recourse to the same shift. Finding therefore that he was a conquered Fox we took the Dogs off and all came home to Dinner except Mr. Danl. Dulany who left us in the Field after the first Fox was Treed. Lund Washington came home with us to dinner.

Doctr. Brown who had been sent for to Philip Bateman came to Dinner and returned afterwards as did all the Gentlemen except the two Mr. Hansons and Mr. Alexander.

The Morning of this day indeed all the forenoon was very lowering but the Evening was clear & very pleasant.

Lund Washington by this time was winding up his long tenure as manager at Mount Vernon. He had told GW in November that he wished to leave his employment as soon as convenient, and by 20 Dec., GW had made definite arrangements for the change. “Having come to a fixed determination . . . to attend to the business of my plantations; and having enquired of Geo: [Augustine] Washington how far it would be agreeable to him & his wife to make this place a permanent residence, (for before it was only considered as their temporary abode, until some plan could be settled for them) & finding it to comport with their inclinations, I now inform you that it will be in my power to comply with your wishes with less inconvenience than appeared when you first proposed to leave my employment” (DLC:GW). GW did request that Lund continue to help with the mill and some business matters until George Augustine Washington became familiar with these. “Nothing else occurs to me at this time in which it is essential to give you any trouble after the present year; for if I should not be able to visit the plantations as often as I could wish . . . I am resolved that an account of the stock & every occurence that happens in the course of the week shall be minutely detailed to me every saturday. Matters cannot go much out of sorts in that time without a seasonable remedy” (GW to Lund Washington, 20 Nov. and 20 Dec. 1785, DLC:GW).

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