George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 May 1787]

Friday 4th. Mercury at [ ] in the Morning—[ ] at Noon and [ ] at Night.

Morning clear and cool, tho the Wind was Southerly; and in the afternoon fresh with appearances of rain.

Rid into the Neck to explain to G.W. the business to be done there, and mode of conducting it.

At this place the Post and rail fence around field No. 9 would be closed, and entirely compleated (except the ditch) by Noon. Harrowing, drilling, and listing in field No. 3 going on as usual. The first planted Corn in this field appears to have been much destroyed by the birds and the first planting of all not to have come up. Finished planting in field No. 9, the So. Wt. cut and began the middle cut with the Corn from Nomeny.

At Muddy hole finished breaking up the Corn ground, ordered the two plows from French’s home; and the plows of the Plantation to cross plow the 9th. square allotted for experiments (to be previously dunged as the others had been) in order to receive the bunch homeny bean, the common homeny bean, and the common black eyed Pease.

At Dogue run, the Harrow, drill, and other plows were working as yesterday. Finished Hooing the Tobacco grd. which had been inclosed by French’s for Corn. And sowed 9 gallons of Clover Seed on the Barley in the Island in the Great Meadow and ordered it to be rolled in.

At French’s the Harrow at work as usual—the two Plows from Muddy hole would return home to their work after dinner And the Rest of the People were grubbing along the sides of the Meadow, and preparing them for grass.

A Person calling himself Hugh Patton dined here & returned to Alexandria afterwards.

homeny bean: Phaseolus vulgaris, kidney bean or common garden pole bean. The bush or “bunch” variety is P. vulgaris humilis. “The Hominy-Bean is a sort of kidney-bean, and very productive” (PARKINSON description begins Richard Parkinson. A Tour in America, in 1798, 1799, and 1800. Exhibiting Sketches of Society and Manners, and a Particular Account of the American System of Agriculture, with Its Recent Improvements. 2 vols. London, 1805. description ends , 2:341). GW raised both red and white varieties in the climbing and bush forms. Later he tried the lima bean, P. limensis, sending a packet to William Pearce 27 April 1794, with instructions that they were to be planted the first of May (NBLiHi). He also tried Vicia faba, broad or Windsor bean, which both he and Jefferson called the horse bean. Jefferson wrote John Taylor, 29 Dec. 1794, “The President has tried it without success” (BETTS [2] description begins Edwin Morris Betts, ed. Thomas Jefferson’s Garden Book, 1766–1824: With Relevant Extracts from His Other Writings. Philadelphia, 1944. description ends , 221). It failed for Jefferson, too, perhaps because it was not suited to the hot Virginia summers.

A Hugh Patton (d. 1790) was a merchant in Richmond after the Revolution (Va. Mag., 13 [1905–6], 427).

Index Entries