To John Fitzgerald
Mount Vernon 5th June 1786.
Whatever number of servants you & Colo. Gilpin may think it advisable to purchase in behalf of the Potomac Company from the Ship which is just gone up, will meet my approbation; & I shall readily concur with you in price. There is a Black smith on board highly recommended, & one or two stone masons which may be useful at our works.1
Have you received any precise account of the appearance or effect of the late fresh, at the great Falls? From the swell of the water & quantity of drift wood at this place, I am led to believe that it must have exceeded in height, any within the memory of man; which makes me anxious to hear from our works.2
If there is anything which may require a meeting of the Directors, it would be convenient for me to attend (at any hour which may be named) on Wednesday next. I am Dr Sir, &c.
1. On Sunday, 4 June, GW “Received from on board the Brig Ann, from Ireland, two Servant Men for whom I had agreed yesterday—viz.—Thomas Ryan a Shoemaker, and Caven Bowe a Tayler . . .” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:340; see also Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 227). Four days later the Georgetown merchant William Deakins, Jr., advertised for sale “on reasonable terms” 150 “very healthy indented servants” brought in the Ann, including “several valuable tradesmen” (Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser). See Fitzgerald to GW, 6 June. See also GW to Thomas Johnson, 20 Dec. 1785.
2. On 29 May GW “Found my Mill race broke in 3 or 4 places and nearly half my Tumbling dams at the head of it, carried away by the fresh, occasioned by the immoderate rains, which had fallen” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:337).