George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 17 October 1798]

17. Morning clear & calm M. at 56—very warm midday. Mr. Law—a Mr. David Barry and a Mr. Shedden came to dinner & staid the Night.

David Barry may be James Barry’s nephew James David Barry.

mr. shedden: Robert Shedden (1741–1826), a native of Scotland, immigrated to America at the age of 18, settling in Portsmouth, Va. In 1767 he married Agatha Wells Goodrich, daughter of John Goodrich who was, like Shedden, loyal to the British. Shedden’s illegal trade with British merchants brought about his arrest and the seizure of his property in 1776. Upon release he fled first to Bermuda, then to New York, and finally to London when the British evacuated in 1783. There he raised four sons and prospered at the head of a successful commercial house. Shedden’s affairs in Virginia were still unresolved as late as 1789. He or one of his sons may have returned to America to settle old debts and establish new commercial ties, not an uncommon practice among displaced merchants.

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