George Washington Papers

Joseph Davenport’s Proposal, 18 March 1792

Joseph Davenport’s Proposal

[Mount Vernon, 18 March 1792]

Propositions from J: Davenport—

Joseph Davenport proposes continuing with the President of the United states one year after the expiration of the present year, on the following terms—His wages to be seventy two pounds pensylvania Curry pr year finding himself Bord with out any of the perquisites now allowed him by the President except the use of two Cows—the House he now occupies and firewood as usual—he relinquishes the raising of Geese keeping a Horse and every other privilege that his present agreement entitles him to & that he will attend the mill without assistance except in the time of manufacturing and when the mill does not require His attendance he will be imployed in the Coopers Shop pay the strictest attention to keeping the Mill in the Best order.

Df, in the writing of George Augustine Washington, DLC:GW.

For the gristmill at Mount Vernon that GW had built on Dogue Run in 1770–71 and in which he had installed laborsaving machinery in 1791, see GW’s Cash Accounts, August 1770, n.9, Tobias Lear to Oliver Evans, 29 Aug. 1791, and GW to Anthony Whitting, 4 Sept. 1791, n.3; see also editorial note, 8 Feb. 1771, Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:7.

Joseph Davenport (d. 1796) operated the mill at Mount Vernon from the summer of 1785 until his death (see Robert Lewis & Sons to GW, 5 April 1785, and GW to Clement Biddle, 8 April 1798, n.3). An account with Alexandria inspector Alexander Smith, 19 Mar. 1792–25 June 1793, shows that Smith examined 190 barrels of GW’s flour on 19 Mar. 1792 and 314 in June 1793 (DLC:GW). A state law to inspect Virginia exports of flour and bread, which was passed on 23 Nov. 1787 and amended on 10 Dec. 1788, appointed thirty inspectors at towns, ports, and other sites to regulate the quantity and quality of flour and bread and the size and manufacture of casks, to record millers’ and bakers’ brands, and to receive and save manifests of the gross, tare, and net weights of the products (see Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 12:515–20,692–93).

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