From George William Fairfax
30 October 1761
Your favors of the 2d of Decr 6th of March 3d of Apl 27th of July and first of Augt came very safe to hand.1 In that of July I am sorry to find that you were in such a bad state of health, and that neither Mr Greens nor Hamiltons prescriptions had then the desired effect.2 The latters it seems you had but just begun and consequently could not expect an immediate cure, but I hope long before this you are perfectly restored. If not probabilly change of Air might be of service and if you had any particular business, or even fancy to see England we shall be extreamly glad to see you at York, or at our little retreat not many Miles from it But I hope a bad state of Health will not oblige you to cross the terrible western Ocean, tho’ if better advice should be really necessary the sooner it is taken the better, and not delay it so long as our deceased friend3—I am sorry to find that my Mare Moggy4 did not prove with Foal, and that I should neglect to desire that you would put her to whatever Horse you thought proper. It may possibilly be occationed from her Travelling so great a distance after, and suppose you was to try your own Horse Gift5 in the Spring, it will be the least trouble, and certainly will remove that suspition. I am informed by many hands (tho’ not from the performers) that an Office is really a building at Greenway Court, and that his Lordship & Family removes this very month. It gives me the most concern to find what an Influence Martin has as I fear he will not stop at that, but will daily lessen the Esteem the people have for the good old Gentn:6 I offer my Compliments to Mrs Washington and am very sincerely Dear Sir Your most Obedient humble Servt
Go: Wm Fairfax
I have been endeavouring ever since I have been in England to gett a Gardener or two, but without any success, tho’ I have employed two or three7 to look out for me, And shall still continue desire them to continue their enquiry.
ADfS, Collection of Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Gays House, Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Great Britain.
1. Letters not found.
2. In his Cash Accounts, 1761, GW records that he paid Doctor Hamilton in August 1761 the sum of £2.3 “for advice” and the same “for Prescription.” He then paid him £25.16 for three visits in August and October. Doctor Hamilton is probably John Hamilton.
4. Here Fairfax crossed out “has not stood to the Horse.”
5. Fairfax has written “Gift,” but perhaps he meant his “f” to be a long “s.” GW refers to his horse “Gist” in his letter of 6 May 1755 to his brother John Augustine.
6. On 27 May 1760 before leaving for England, Fairfax wrote his cousin Lord Fairfax (Thomas Fairfax, sixth baron Fairfax of Cameron; 1693–1781): “Since your Lordships departure Sally [Mrs. George William Fairfax] tells me that Col [Thomas Bryan] Martin said you would not object to reside here [at Belvoir] in our absence. . . . I desire no rent for the house and plantation, as it will be an advantage to have them inhabited” (Neill, The Fairfaxes of England and America description begins Edward D. Neill. The Fairfaxes of England and America in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Including Letters from and to Hon. William Fairfax, President of Council of Virginia, and His Sons Col. George William Fairfax and Rev. Bryan, Eighth Lord Fairfax, the Neighbors and Friends of George Washington. Albany, 1868. description ends , 119–20). One may infer from Fairfax’s words that Lord Fairfax probably had been during this time GW’s neighbor at Belvoir. Greenway Court in the Shenandoah Valley had been Lord Fairfax’s residence since 1752. Thomas Bryan Martin (1731–1798) was Lord Fairfax’s nephew and land agent. George William Fairfax wrote a kinsman on 8 Sept. 1762, “Mr M—— has carried his long laboured point of getting the management of the Office into his own hands, and removing it with them to Frederick” (ibid., 129–30).
7. GW enlisted the aid of several other friends in his attempts to find gardeners, including fellow officers Robert Stewart, Robert McKenzie, and Dr. James Craik. See Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:216–17, and Robert Stewart to GW, 14 May, 3 June 1760.