George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 18 October 1787]

Thursday 18th. Thermometer 38 in the morning—52 at Noon and 48 at Night. Clear all day with the Wind at No. West.

Rid into the Neck, to Muddy hole & Frenchs Plantations.

At the first doubled the small heaps of Buck Wheat in the Morning whilst the dew was on. Finished plowing Sowing & harrowing in 6 Bushels of red clover Seed between the branch which runs from the gate to the Spring and the road which leads from the gate also the Quarters and thence into the Creek field.

At Muddy hole finished late in the afternoon the ditch round the Barn and Dug the Irish Potatoes in the half acre of experimental ground (adjoining the ½ acre of Sweet or Country Potatoes) which being of the red and white in alternate rows through the piece yielded as follow

red white Bushls. In the ½ wch. had been dungd 11 & 8¼ ½ which had no dung 6 3½ 17 11¾ 11¾ Total of both sorts 28¾ 5 Difference betwn. the red & Wh[it]e is 4¾ 4¾ Of both together 9¾ Bush.

All the hands from the House, except the Carpenters, that were employed in the Neck yesterday went to French’s to day to assist in securing as many of the Pease there as they could—great loss by the frost—The ripe pease opening and sheddg. and the green ones with the vines on which they grew had turned quite black loking like a thing parboiled. Carried the Pease and the Vines which appeared to be cured into one end of the Tobo. House in field No. 1.

In the Evening Mr. Houston and lady & Miss Maria Livingston her Sister came in and stayed all Night.

mr. houston: probably William Houstoun of Georgia. Houstoun, the son of Sir Patrick Houstoun, Bart., and Lady Priscilla Dunbar Houstoun, went to England to study law at the Inner Temple during the Revolution, returning to America in time to obtain a commission and serve briefly in the army. He served in the Continental Congress from 1784 to 1787 and in 1785 was one of the commissioners to settle the boundary line between Georgia and South Carolina. Houstoun was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention; although he took an active part in the convention, urgent personal business called him away before the signing of the Constitution. Houstoun’s “Lady” was his future wife Mary Bayard (c.1766–1808), daughter of Nicholas Bayard and Catherine Van Brugh Livingston Bayard of New York. They were to marry the following year. Maria Livingston, her traveling companion, was probably one of her numerous Livingston cousins.

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