George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 15 October 1788]

Wednesday 15th. Thermometer at 60 in the morning—65 at Noon and 63 at Night. Morning clear and calm.

Visited all the Plantations. In the Neck—the Mowers having cut down all the Pease (in broad Cast) in field No. 8 were employed in cuttg. down the grass and Weeds where the flax grew in order that it might be spread and rot. The Hoe People were digging Potatoes, chopping in Rye and wd. go to getting the Pease from field No. 8 in order that Wheat might be sowed therein. Seven plows and two harrows were employed in putting in Rye.

The Muddy hole people were employed with their Plows at D.R. as usual.

At Dogue run—Four Plows were breaking up field No. 3 and three others were plowing in Wheat, but finding more plows necessary for the latter purpose two from the former were added. All the others were digging Potatoes—of which, between the Easternmost and Westernmost Carrot rows came 198½ Bushels from 34 Rows.

At Frenchs—about 1 Oclock—the last of the blades were pulled and some of the Pease ground in field No. 6 got in order for plowing in Wheat.

At the Ferry—5 plows were at work and would by Night compleat breaking up field No. 3. The other hands were at Work at Frenchs.

Colo. Carrington and Mr. Robt. Purviance of Baltimore, and Mrs. Jenifer and Miss Wagener came here to dinner and stayed all Night.

Robert Purviance (d. 1806) and his brother Samuel Purviance, Jr., were prominent merchants and civic leaders in Baltimore for many years. Born in Ireland, they settled in Baltimore during the 1760s and soon established a prosperous distillery and shipping business. They were active in local Presbyterian affairs and in revolutionary politics. In 1788 Samuel was captured by Indians while on an expedition to the Ohio Country and was never seen again. About this time Robert’s fortunes were declining. On 19 May 1789 he wrote GW soliciting a minor post in the Baltimore naval office (DLC:GW). GW appointed him to the position and in 1794 he became collector of the port, an office he retained until his death (SCHARF [2] description begins J. Thomas Scharf. The Chronicles of Baltimore; Being a Complete History of “Baltimore Town” and Baltimore City from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Baltimore, 1874. description ends , 54, 299; Md. Hist. Mag., 42 [1947], 27n, 61 [1966], 350, 63 [1968], 16, 71 [1976], 296–99).

miss wagener: probably one of the daughters of Peter Wagener (d. 1798): Sinah, Mary Elizabeth, Ann, or Sarah (Sally). Mary Elizabeth later married her cousin William Grayson (1766–1806) of Prince William County (GRAYSON description begins “The Grayson Family.” Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine 5 (1923–24): 195–208, 261–68. description ends , 263; King, Abstracts of Wills description begins J. Estelle Stewart King. Abstracts of Wills and Inventories, Fairfax County, Virginia, 1742–1801: With Rent Rolls for 1761 and 1774. 2d ed. Baltimore, 1978. description ends , 62).

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