George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 20 March 1787]

Tuesday 20th. Mercury at 58 in the Morning—62 at Noon and 56 at Night.

A Very thick fog all the Morning—lowering afterwds. with but little Wind. A little rain last N.

Rid to the Plantations at the Ferry, Frenchs, and Dogue run. Had the hands from the latter and Muddy hole brot. to Frenchs to put up the fence along the Road, that that by Grays house might be removed out of the way of the plows.

Mr. Martin Cockburn, for the purpose of taking the list of taxable property; and Mr. Potts & Mr. Roger West for the purpose of taking the privy examination of Fanny Washington came here—dined and returned in the afternoon.

Roger West (c.1755–1801) was the only son of Col. John West of West Grove. He was a justice of the peace for Fairfax County c.1787–99, and represented Fairfax County in the House of Delegates from 1788 to 1789, 1791–92, and 1797–99.

privy examination: When real property in which a married woman had a right was to be sold, a privy (i.e., private) examination of the woman, made by at least two justices of the peace, was provided for by law in order to determine whether or not her agreement to the sale was by her own free will. This examination, made by John Potts, Jr., and Roger West of the Fairfax County court, may relate to a piece of land sold by Fanny and her husband George Augustine Washington, the sale of which was entered into the Spotsylvania County court on 3 April 1787 (CROZIER [2] description begins William Armstrong Crozier, ed. Spotsylvania County, 1721–1800: Being Transcriptions, from the Original Files at the County Court House, of Wills, Deeds, Administrators’ and Guardians’ Bonds, Marriage Licenses, and Lists of Revolutionary Pensioners. New York, 1905. description ends , 405).

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