George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Moss, 30 May 1788

From John Moss

30th May 1788.


Not attending to your list of Titheables when I receaved it, did not discover you had not made the necessary distingtion between Blacks above Sixteen, and over Twelve and under Sixteen. I inclose the list that you may make the alteration.1 Should also be glad to receave Major Washingtons list. Colo. Wren also desired me to ask you for your list in Truro Parish. The whole you may send me to Mrs Peakes if convenient. Or lodge them for me at Mr Hepburns Store in Alexandria.2 I am Sir with due Esteem your Hble Servt

John Moss

ALS, DLC:GW. Moss wrote on the cover of the letter: “The Lists may be left at Mr [William] Hepburns Store, as I dont Stay at Mrs Peakes.”

John Moss became a justice of the Fairfax County Court in 1785 and tax commissioner for Fairfax parish in 1786. During the Revolutionary War he served first as a captain in the 1st Virginia Regiment and later as Virginia’s agent for stores.

1After receiving Moss’s letter, GW made additions in his own hand to the lists of his taxable property in Truro and Fairfax parishes in April 1788, indicating which of his slaves were “undr 16.” The list of “Blacks above 12 years of age” in Truro Parish included: Will, Frank, Auston, Hercules, Nathan, Giles, Joe, Paris, Gunner, Boatswain, Sam, Anthony, Tom, Will, Isaac, James, Sambo, Tom Nokes, Nat, George, Simms, Joe, Jack, Bristol, Peter, Peter, Scumburg “(past labor),” Frank, Jack, Betty “(past service),” Doll, Jenney, Charlotte, Sall, Caroline, Sall Rass, Dorchia, Alice, Myrtilla, Kitty, Moll, Billy “undr 16,” Joe “D[itt]o,” Christopher “Do,” Cyrus “Do,” Uriah “Do,” Godferry “Do,” Sinah “Do,” Mima “Do,” Lylla “Do,” Oney “Do,” Anna “Do,” Beck “Do,” Virgin “Do,” Patt “Do,” Will, Will, Charles, Gabriel, Jupiter, Nanney, Kate, Sarah, Alice, Nanny, Peg, Sackey, Darcus, Amy, Nancy, Molly “undr 16,” Morris, Robin, Adam, Jack, Jack, Dick, Ben, Matt, Morris, Brunswick “(past service),” Hannah, Lucy, Moll, Jenny, Silla, Charity, Betty, Peg, Sail, Grace, Sue, Agga “Undr 16,” Will, Paul, Abraham, Paschal, Rose, Sabeen, Lucy, Delia, Daphne, Grace, Tom “undr 16,” Moses “Do,” Isaac “Do,” Sam Kit, London, Cæsar, Cupid, Paul, Betty, Doll, Lucy, Lucy, Flora, Fanny, Rachael, Jenney, Edy, and Daphne, a total of 121. Also reported were 98 Horses, 4 Mules, “1 Covering Horse @ 2 Guineas,” and 1 Chariot.

The “Blacks above 12 Years of age” in Fairfax Parish included Davy, Breeche, Nat, Ned, Essex, Bath, Johnny, Will, Robin, Ben, Molly, Ruth, Dolly, Peg, Daphne, Mwnia, Agnus, Jack, Sucky, Judy, Judy, Hannah, Cornelia, Lidya, Esther, Cloe, Fanny, and “Alice under 16[,] Rose under 16, Ben Do Do,” a total of thirty. There were twenty-six horses (DLC:GW).

2James Wren (c.1728–1815), a justice of the Fairfax County Court and a member of vestry of Fairfax Parish, took his oath as tax commissioner for the Truro district of Fairfax County on 19 May 1788 (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:351). Mrs. Peake was probably Mary Stonestreet Peake (c.1738–1805), widow of Humphrey Peake (1733–1785), who lived in Fairfax Parish next to Thomson Mason (1759–1820), George Mason’s son.

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