17. Morning—Wind fresh from No. Et. and cloudy Mer. at 66. Clear afterwards. Mer. 66 at Night. Mr. [ ] sent by Mr. Pearce to attend my Cradlers in harvest arrived.
On 6 May 1798 GW wrote to his ex-manager, William Pearce, who was now living in the wheat belt of the Eastern Shore in Kent County, Maryland: “In cradling my Wheat the coming Harvest I wish to catch it in the hand, in the manner practised on the Eastern Shore and other places; but as none of my People have been in the habit of cutting in this way, they might need an Instructor. Would it be in your power to engage a person who understands this business perfectly, as fixing the Cradles, to be here by the 25th. June, to be paid by the day while here and for coming & returning, and his reasonable travelling expences?” (NBLiHi). Pearce’s reply of 16 June 1798 introduces “Mr. John Costalaw . . . the person who I have Sent to you to make and Fix Cradels for you, and to Instruct your people In Cradeling wheat In the manner practised here” (DLC:GW).