George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 July 1798]

1. Morning—Clear & wind Southerly Mer. 74. Day clear & very warm. Mer. 86 at Noon & 84 at Night. Mr. Fitzhugh of Chatham & Doctr. Welford dined here—as did Dr. Fld.

Dr. Robert Wellford (1753–1823), originally of Hertfordshire, Eng., came to America as a surgeon with the British army under Gen. William Howe in 1776. While stationed in Philadelphia, Wellford distinguished himself for his treatment of sick and wounded American prisoners, and in 1781, after resigning his commission, he established a practice in Fredericksburg. In 1794 GW chose him as surgeon general of the army called out to put down the Whiskey Rebellion, and in June 1799 GW, recommending him for the provisional army, wrote: “Doctor Wellford ranks high in his profession, and his Character as a friend to the Government and as a man of integrity, is, I believe, unimpeachable” (GW to James McHenry, 6 June 1799, DLC:GW; BLANTON description begins Wyndham B. Blanton. Medicine in Virginia in the Eighteenth Century. Richmond, 1931. description ends , 356–57). dr. fld.: GW probably means William Pinckard Flood. He may, however, be referring to either Richard Feild (1767–1829) or his brother Alexander Feild, both of whom received medical degrees from the University of Edinburgh.

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