George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Burwell Bassett, 2 August 1765

To Burwell Bassett

Mount Vernon 2d. of Augt. 1765.

Dear Sir

By a craft1 sent round by Captn Boyes we had the pleasure to hear you were all well, but suffering with the drought as we are—We have never had the Ground wet in this Neighborhood since the heavy Rains which fell about the first of May; in June early we had a Shower that refreshed the Corn, & gave a little start to Hemp; but the dry weather which followed, and hath since continued, renders our prospects truly melancholy;2 however not 10 Miles from hence, in the Forest, they are perfectly seasonable, & have promising Crops of Corn & Tobacco which is a favourable circumstance for us, as our want of Bread may be supplied from thence.—To render my misfortunes more complete, I lost most of my Wheat by the Rust, so that I shall undergo the loss of a complete Crop here, & am informed that my expectations from below are not much better.—

I have not yet heard how you succeeded in Electioneering, but there was little room to doubt of yours; I changed the Scene from Frederick to this County, & had an easy and creditable Poll,3 & was preparing to attend, when the Proclamation for Proroguing the Assembly came to hand (on the 28th Ultimo) & convinced at the same time that the Governor had no Inclinations to meet an Assembly at this Juncture4—The Bearer waits, I have only time therefore to add my Compliments to Mrs. Bassett & Family, & to assure you that with great sincerity I am Dr Sir Yr. Most Obedt. & Affect.

G. Washington.

ALS, sold by Ernest D. North, catalog no. 27, item 283, May 1913; Ford, Writings of Washington description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed. The Writings of George Washington. 14 vols. New York, 1889–93. description ends , 2:205–6.

1The catalog has “draft” instead of “craft.”

2Relief from the drought came on 5 Aug. when, GW reported, “a good shower fell” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:340).

3Governor Fauquier dissolved the Virginia assembly on 1 June 1765. In new burgess elections held in mid-July, GW led the poll in Fairfax County with 201 votes out of 512 cast; and thereafter until the Revolution he sat for his home county in the House of Burgesses instead of for Frederick County which he had represented since 1758. See Fairfax County Poll Sheet, 16 July 1765. Burwell Bassett who first took his seat in the House for New Kent County in place of Gill Armistead in November 1762 was elected again in the summer of 1765. GW probably had left Williamsburg before Patrick Henry presented on 29 May his famous resolutions opposing the Stamp Act, leading to the governor’s dissolving the assembly.

4Fauquier continued to prorogue the new assembly from one date to the next until 6 Nov. 1766 when it finally met for the first time.

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