George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 11 December 1786]

Monday 11th. Mercury at 14 in the Morning—26 at Noon and 24 at Night.

Wind at No. West all day and Cold—very little, or no thawing though clear. The River was entirely closed this Morning and the Ice so hard as not to be opened or broke by the Wind or tide.

At home all day.

My Ditchers not being able to level & thereby to carry on the Ditch they were about I shifted them to the Wood on the hither side Muddy hole branch wch. had been levelled by my Farmer.

In the Afternoon a Mr. Anstey (Commissioner from England for ascertaining the claims of the refugees) with a Mr. Woodorf (supposed to be his Secretary) came in and stayed all Night.

John Anstey (d. 1819), the son of Christopher Anstey (1724–1805) and Ann Calvert Anstey of Bath, Eng., was a barrister of Lincoln’s Inn and a commissioner for auditing public accounts, as well as a poet who used the pseudonym John Surrebutter. In 1785 Anstey was made a member of the Commission for Enquiring into the Losses, Services, and Claims of the American Loyalists. After stopping at Mount Vernon, Anstey left for Charleston, eventually touring much of America before returning to England in Sept. 1788 to render a final report on the Loyalists’ claims (George William Fairfax to GW, 25 Jan. 1786, and GW to Edmund Randolph, 12 Dec. 1786, DLC:GW).

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