George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 October 1786]

Wednesday 4th. Mercury at 68 in the morning—78 at Noon and 72 at Night.

Morning clear, and it continued so till near 3 Oclock when it began to rain and continued with little or no intermission untill past 6 Oclock.

The Board having agreed to a Petition to be offered to the assemblies of Virga. and Maryland for prolonging the time allowed by Law for improving the Navigation of the river above the Great Falls—Directed the Manager respecting the Winter Work for the hands and having settled and regulated every other matter which came before them broke up about three oclock—when in company with Colos. Fitzgerald & Gilpin, & Mr. Potts I set off home. With much difficulty on acct. of the rising of the Water by the rain of last Night we crossed Difficult run and through a constant rain till I had reached Cameron. I got home a little before 8 oclock where I found my Brother Jno. Auge. Washington.

a petition . . . to the assemblies: Frequent rains and high water in the summer and fall of 1785 and the summer of 1786 had prevented much work from being done on the bed of the Potomac River. The Potowmack Company petition, signed by GW, requested an extension of the three years originally allowed until Nov. 1790 or “such other time as your Honors shall deem reasonable for making and improving the Navigation between Great Falls and Fort Cumberland.” Both the Maryland and Virginia legislatures promptly complied with the request (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 , 78–79, 80).

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