George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 February 1786]

Wednesday first. Thermometer at [ ] in the Morng.—[ ] at Noon and [ ] at Night.

Ground very hard froze, Wind Eastwardly in the Morning, and So. Et. the remaining part of the day; but clear, & tolerably pleasant notwithstanding.

Not being able to leave here yesterday (as I intended) for the appointed meeting of the Directors of the Potomack Navigation at the Great Falls this day, I set out this Morning at the first dawning of day, for this purpose, and after as disagreeable a ride as I ever had for the distance, arrived, at the Falls at half after 11 Oclock where I found Colo. Gilpin (who had been there since Sunday Night) levelling &ca. and Colo. Fitzgerald who got there just before me.

Spent the remainder of this day in viewing the different grounds along which it was supposed the Canal might be carried and after dining at the Huts went in the evening accompanied by Colo. Fitzgerald & Mr. Potts to a Mr. Wheelers in the Neighbourhood (abt. 1½ Miles off) to lodge.

the huts: The Potowmack Company made its construction headquarters on the Virginia side of the Great Falls, where in 1790 the town of Matildaville was authorized. In 1786 this settlement, which was never more than a construction town, probably consisted of little more than “huts” for the workers (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 , 13:171; BACON-FOSTER description begins Corra Bacon-Foster. Early Chapters in the Development of the Patomac Route to the West. Washington, D.C., 1912. description ends , 87).

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