George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 21 March 1788]

Friday 21st. Thermometer at 37 in the Morning—50 at Noon And 50 at Night. Clear Morning and Mild, but a hard crust on the Surface by the frost. Clear all day.

Rid to all the Plantations. In the Neck, Oat sowing, and other Work going on as usual.

At Muddy hole, continued sowing and harrowing in Barley, after the ground got thawed & a little dried at Top.

At Dogue run, working as yesterday.

At French’s the same and the ground which had been sowed with English Oats and Grass-seeds was rolled.

At The Ferry, the work was the same as yesterday.

On my return home, found a Mr. Rogers of New York here who dined and proceeded to Alexandria afterwds.

John Rodgers (1727–1811), a renowned Presbyterian clergyman, served the Presbyterians of New York City as pastor from 1765 to 1810, except during the Revolution when he chose to live outside the British-occupied city. Although he attended no college or university, the University of Edinburgh conferred the degree of doctor of divinity on him in 1768 at the instigation of the evangelist George Whitefield, who greatly influenced Rodgers’s life from an early age. Rodgers was also for many years a trustee of the College of New Jersey and during the spring of this year served as a member of the committee that revised the standards of the Presbyterian Church in America. At the end of the War of Independence, he had written GW proposing that each discharged Continental soldier be given a copy of an American translation of the Bible, a scheme that GW warmly approved in general terms, but politely forestalled on the practical grounds that nearly two-thirds of the army had gone home by the time Rodgers’s letter arrived (Rodgers to GW, 30 May 1783, and GW to Rodgers, 11 June 1783, DLC:GW).

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