George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 18 May 1786]

Thursday 18th. Thermometer at 58 in the Morning—65 at Noon and 60 at Night.

Wind at So. West with Showery Clouds around us all day; about 7 Oclock it began to rain, and continued to do so powerfully, for 20 or 30 Minits when it cleared again.

Rid to all the Plantations between breakfast & dinner. At the Ferry I found my people had finished planting corn in the common way yesterday & were preparing the small piece near the Fish House to plant with the drill (or Barrel); in which they were also beginning to plant Irish Potatoes. This piece contains a few rod over two Acres. At Dogue run, finding they would be late planting & replanting Corn (for that which was first planted with the drill plow had either come up very badly, or had been destroyed by Birds) I directed, after the Cut (round Barrys houses) in which they were planting, was finished, to run a single furrow in the remainder of the other each way, and to plant it in that manner, hoeing the ground well where the Corn was dropped. Perceived the Irish Potatoes to be coming up at this Plantation. At Muddy hole they finished planting corn about 10 Oclock. At this place I tried a 3 hoed harrow which I had just made, with a single horse. Upon the whole it answered very well. The draft seemed rather hard for one horse but the late rains had made the ground heavier than usual. Ordered my Overseer at this place to take into the Barn & thresh out, the only stack of Wheat remaining at the Plantation and to carry the grain to the Mill. In the Neck every other Pea Row had been planted with the barrel, dropping the Peas at 18 Inches a part in the rows; and five othr. rows (intermediate) on the South, were planted at 6 Inches asunder in the Rows but finding this would take more Seed than I cd. Spare I discontinued sowing more in this manner and return to the 18 Inch distance agn.

A Mr. Thos. Moody came here in the afternoon and paid me some money in discharge of his fathers Bond to Colo. Thos. Colvils Estate to which I am an Exr.

John Knowles came here to work at £5 pr. month and a pint of Rum pr. day.

Thomas Moody was making a payment for a parcel of land bought in 1768 by his father, Benjamin Moody, from the estate of Thomas Colvill. The elder Moody, who protested the executor’s survey, had never made payment and thus never received a title. In 1779 Moody sold the land and went to court to force a settlement in the current inflated currency and to gain his title. Under an agreement finally reached in Nov. 1781, the payment today was the first of five payments to be made over the next three years (Washington’s reply to bill of complaint executed against him by Benjamin Moody, 22 Aug. 1780, NjMoHP; General Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 135).

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