From Christopher Hardwick
Bulskin May 18th 1760
we are disopinted in sending two Wagings down Magnis Tate has declind Coming down & Mr Crafords waginner Refusd to Carey the two mars down So that I was fosed to send down nat with them which I Cud very elley spare!1 I am in hops I Shall soon be able to see about my beseness we have no more people taken with the Small pox as yet nor I am in hops Shant I have prepared them a Cording to your orders & the Doct. instruct⟨mutilated⟩s & are all well but the two that had the small pox & Fortin & winy & they Seame to be very mulch amnded2 I beg you will Disspach nat as Soon as posable—I am your most obednt Humble Servant
1. In March 1760, GW complained that “Mulatto Jack returnd home [from Bullskin plantation] with the Mares he was sent for, but so poor were they, and so much abusd had they been by my Rascally Overseer Hardwick that they were scarce able to go highlone, much less to assist in the business of the Plantations” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:253). Magnus Tate, an officer of the Frederick County militia who lived in the Bullskin area, was one of the few voters who voted for neither GW nor Thomas Bryan Martin in the county’s burgess election in July 1758. Valentine Crawford, who also lived nearby, usually hauled GW’s sweet-scented mountain tobacco down to Alexandria for him. The young slave Nat traveled from Bullskin plantation in February with wagons of tobacco and a herd of hogs for Mount Vernon where he promptly came down with a case of measles (ibid., 234–35).
2. GW set out from Mount Vernon for Frederick County on 4 May “to see my Negroes that lay Ill of the Small Pox.” At Bullskin plantation he “was informd that Harry & Kit, the two first of my Negroes that took the Small Pox were Dead and Roger & Phillis the only two down with it were recovering from it” (ibid., 276). GW had consulted the doctor at Winchester before going to his plantation where he found Hardwick down with a broken leg and “every thing in the utmost confusion, disorder & backwardness.” He arranged with Valentine Crawford to keep an eye on things and “in case any more of the People at the lower Quarter [of Bullskin plantation] getting it [smallpox] to take them home to his House—& if any of those at the upper Quarter gets it to have them removd into my Room and the Nurse sent for” (ibid., 276–77).