14. Great appearances of Rain—but none fell. Wind Southerly—Mer. 54. Mr. McDonald & Mr. Rich Birth. Com. came to dinner. Christopher set out for Lebanon.
mr. mcdonald & mr. rich: Thomas Macdonald and Henry Pye Rich, British commissioners under Article VI of the Jay Treaty. Article VI provided that the United States make full compensation for losses owed to British merchants and others “in all such Cases where full Compensation for such losses and damages cannot, for whatever reason be actually obtained had and received by the said Creditors in the ordinary course of Justice” (BEMIS  description begins Samuel Flagg Bemis. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution. 1935. Reprint. Bloomington, Ind., and London, 1967. description ends , 460). Five commissioners were to be appointed; two British, two American, and the fifth by “unanimous voice of the other Four” (BEMIS  description begins Samuel Flagg Bemis. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution. 1935. Reprint. Bloomington, Ind., and London, 1967. description ends , 461). The four commissioners met at Philadelphia and, after much disagreement, were forced to appoint the fifth member by lot. This choice fell upon an Englishman, and since the principles subsequently laid down by the commission majority proved unacceptable to the Americans, the commission disbanded. A compromise was finally reached in 1802 by which the United States agreed to pay the British government a lump sum of £600,000 sterling in three annual installments (BEMIS  description begins Samuel Flagg Bemis. The Diplomacy of the American Revolution. 1935. Reprint. Bloomington, Ind., and London, 1967. description ends , 438–39).
In August Thomas Macdonald wrote from Philadelphia informing GW that he was forwarding him a volume of reports sent by the British Board of Agriculture and entrusted to his care by Sir John Sinclair. He informed GW of the proceedings of the commission, stating his belief that an honorable agreement could be reached. He expressed the hope that he and his colleague Rich would be able to pay their respects to GW at Mount Vernon (19 Aug. 1797, DLC:GW). GW replied on 29 Aug. thanking him for the reports and assuring Macdonald that he and Rich would be welcome at Mount Vernon (DLC:GW). christopher: GW’s body servant, Christopher (sometimes called Christopher Sheels), was “on Monday last . . . Bit by a Small Dog belonging to a Lady in my house, then as was supposed a little diseased. And Yesternight died (I do think) in a State of madness. As soon as the Boy . . . was Bit application was made to a medical Gentleman in Alexandria who has cut out so far as He could, the place Bit, applyed Ointment to keep it open, And put the Boy under a Course of Mercury” (GW to William Henry Stoy, 14 Oct. 1797, WRITINGS description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 37:581). GW, upon hearing of the miraculous cures performed in such cases by Dr. William Henry Stoy (1726–1801) of Lebanon, Pa., sent Christopher to him for further treatment. Stoy wrote GW on 19 Oct. that the servant was in no further danger since he had taken his medicine (DLC:GW). Stoy’s remedy consisted of “one ounce of the herb, red chickweed, four ounces of theriac and one quart of beer, all well digested, the dose being a wine glassful” (KELLY  description begins Howard A. Kelly and Walter L. Burrage. American Medical Biographies. Baltimore, 1920. description ends , 1177). Christopher survived Dr. Stoy’s treatment and lived to attend GW during his final illness and death.