George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Enoch Edwards, 1 May 1792

From Enoch Edwards

Philada May 1st 1792

Mr Clymer applied to me to procure for your Excellency a dutch Plough which I will with Pleasure immediately do, but I would wish to know whether you would prefer a Barr-Shear, or one made in the common Way, with a wooden Chip—the difference between the two is that the former runs much lighter than the latter, but there is a little more difficulty it getting it new laid & sharpned. the Bar is apt to spring a little on being heated, & will not fit on again unless the Smith has the Plough sent to him as well as the Shear, But if it is to be used on a Farm where there is a Smith there will be no Inconvenience. otherwise I would recommend the kind that has a Chip fited to it.

I also wish to know whether you would like to run after two horses or three as the Construction of it should be somewhat different.

I would just mention to your Excellency that I have a Harrow I think superior to any yet used in this country take all advantages together I think it quite equal to the plough. I will take the Liberty to send you a Draught of one of them, & if it should please you, will at any time direct one to be made for you under my immediate Inspection.

I am under the Necessity of going out of Town this afternoon & am therefore obliged to trouble you now for your instructions.1 I have the honor to be with due Respect your Excellencys obedt Srvt

En: Edwards


Enoch Edwards (1751–1802), who had been one of Dr. Benjamin Rush’s first pupils, served as a surgeon during the Revolutionary War. After the war Edwards was a member of the Pennsylvania ratifying convention of 1787 and the state constitutional convention of 1789. In 1791 Gov. Thomas Mifflin appointed Edwards an associate justice of the Pennsylvania court of common pleas, a position he held until his death.

1No written response to this letter from GW has been found, but on 17 May, Bartholomew Dandridge wrote GW from Philadelphia: “The day before yesterday, and just as Capt. [William] Carhart [Carheart] was about to sail from this place, a plough was left here by a man from Frankfort, who said it was made at that place for the president. Never having heard you or Mr Lear mention that such a one was to be received for you, & not knowing from whom it came, I was at a loss whether to take it or not: I therefore enquired of Mr [George] Clymer, who I supposed might know something about it, & he informed me that it was made by his direction & your desire, & came from a Doctr [Enoch] Edwards; in consequence of which I have sent it by Capt. Carhart to you, which I hope is right” (owned [1977] by Patterson Branch, Sr., Richmond, Virginia).

Index Entries