George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 13 December 1799]

13. Morning Snowing & abt. 3 Inches deep. Wind at No. Et. & Mer. at 30. Contg. Snowing till 1 Oclock and abt. 4 it became perfectly clear. Wind in the same place but not hard. Mer. 28 at Night.

On 12 Dec. in the midst of the day’s severe weather GW rode out to supervise winter activities at the various farms, becoming wet and chilled in the course of his ride. On the 13th, in spite of a developing cold and sore throat, late in the day he went out on the front lawn to mark some trees for cutting. During the night he awoke with an inflammation of the throat but dissuaded Mrs. Washington from waking any members of the household until morning. Through the day of 14 Dec. he received various treatments commonly in use for such an illness, and he was attended by doctors James Craik, Gustavus Richard Brown, and Elisha Cullen Dick. On the evening of 14 Dec. GW died in his bed at Mount Vernon (see FREEMAN description begins Douglas Southall Freeman. George Washington: A Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1948–57. description ends , 7:618–25).

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