George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 13 May 1786]

Saturday 13th. Thermometer at 60 in the Morning—64 at Noon and 64 at Night.

Lowering all the forepart of the day with drops of rain (but no more) now and then. Evening clear—Wind variable, but mostly at So. Et.

I rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run & Ferry plantations; and to the fishery at the latter.

Ordered my People to quit hauling, and bring home my Seins.

Finished (yesterday evening) planting Corn with the barrel plow, in the Cut intended for experiments at Dogue run.

Also finished planting Corn in the Middle cut (this day abt. 3 Oclock) at Muddy hole, in the common way—putting a little dung in each hole, in the poor parts of the ground.

The Cotton Seeds, Pumpion Seeds, & Timothy Seeds (which were sowed on the Oats) at Dogue run, were coming up.

the cotton seeds: Gossypium. Cotton was never a part of GW’s farming plan. He raised a little on the York River plantation and bought some, apparently for the use of his family, not his slaves. From Philadelphia, GW sent a few Nankeen or Nanking cotton seeds to manager William Pearce 16–17 Mar. 1794. “Let them be planted the first day of May in light and rich ground, well prepared. Put four seeds in a hill” (NBLiHi). These seeds were a gift from John Jay. In thanking Jay 5 Mar. 1794, GW said he feared that Mount Vernon was too high and cold for successful cultivation, as shown by his experience of the effects of frosts on common cotton. He thought the lower parts of Virginia might provide a milder climate and more sandy soil, and said he would send some of the seeds to an acquaintance there (sold by Sotheby, London, 11–12 June 1973, Item 604).

Index Entries