George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 22 May 1788]

Thursday 22d. Thermometer at 65 in the Morning—66 at Noon And 62 at Night. A great deal of rain fell in the Course of last Night. Drizling all the Morning and cloudy the remainder of the day, with showers around us, but little rain fell here. Wind at No. West, & towards evening fresh & cool.

Mrs. Morris having (by the Stage of yesterday) received a request from Mr. Morris to proceed to richmond, set off for that place abt. 9 Oclock this Morning, with her two Sons & daughter. Colo. Humphreys & myself accompanied her to Colchester, & returned to dinner. Found Mr. Rozer here, & soon afterwards came in a Mr. Andrews from Peterburgh. The first went after dinner the Other stayed all night.

Began to lay the foundation of my Barn, for the Ferry and French’s Plantations, of Brick.

Robert Morris, who found that he could not yet get away from his business in Richmond to return north, was anxious to be reunited with his family “after so (unexpectedly) long absence.” He met them at Bowling Green in Caroline County on 25 May and accompanied them the rest of the way to Richmond (Morris to GW, 18 and 26 May 1788, DLC:GW).

Although GW built his new barn of brick, he did not do it on the recommendation of Arthur Young. “I have seen,” Young wrote in 1791, “very expensive barns in Ireland, which the owners have boasted would confine a mouse;—so much the worse: there cannot be too much air all around: the sides, for this reason, should be neither of brick nor stone. . . . The best barns (for corn) are of boards; and the more air those boards admit, the better will the straw be for the cattle; and the brighter the sample of corn in a ticklish season” (ANNALS description begins Arthur Young, ed. Annals of Agriculture & Other Useful Arts. 46 vols. London, 1784–1815. description ends , 16:150–51).

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