George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 January 1789]

Thursday 1st. Thermometer at 38 in the Morning—47 at Noon and 47 at Night. Clear Morning and wind tho’ not much of it at No. Wt.—clear all day & pleasant.

Went out after breakfast to lay of or rather to measure an old field which is intended to be added to Muddy hole Plantation—after which marked out a line for the New road across from the Tumbling Dam to little Hunting Creek to begin [th]e Post and rail fence on.

In the Evening Mr. Bushrod Washington & his wife and Miss Polly Blackburn came in.

The new road from Posey’s ferry to the Gum Spring—Cameron road was apparently never finished. On 29 Nov. 1790 the Virginia General Assembly passed an act discontinuing the ferry for lack of sufficient patronage. With the ferry closed, there was little or no reason for the public to use the old roads, and GW soon had gates erected on them, an action that the Fairfax County court later questioned but apparently never explicitly forbade (HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 13:152; GW to William Pearce, 28 Sept. 1794, DLC:GW; map of roads and fences to be maintained for use of ferry, [Oct. 1790], Vi).

Bushrod and Nancy Blackburn Washington apparently were now living in rented quarters at Alexandria. Their furniture had been sent up from Bushfield on 12 Dec., and on 19 Jan., Bushrod took his oath as an attorney before the Fairfax County court. GW offered Bushrod the use of his town house in Alexandria rent free, but Bushrod declined, the house being out of repair and having no facilities for a lawyer’s office (GW to Bushrod Washington, 25 Nov. 1788, DLC:GW; GW to Bushrod Washington, 16 Jan. 1789, Bushrod Washington to GW, 12 Dec. 1788 and 18 Jan. 1789, ViMtvL; Fairfax County Order Book for 1788–91, 82, Vi Microfilm).

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