George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Pearce, 6 October 1793

To William Pearce

Mount Vernon Octr 6th 1793

Mr Pearce,

Enclosed is a copy of our agreement with my Signature to it.1

Since you were here, Mrs Washington the Widow of my Nephew, who formerly lived at this place, has resolved as soon as we leave it, to remove to her Brother’s in the lower part of this State, and will not I believe, return to reside at it again.2 This will make it more convenient and agreeable, both for yourself and me, that you should live the Winter, at least, at my Mansion house; as it will allow more time for my Carpenters to provide for Mr Crow, and to put the place he lives at in better repair than it now is for yourself, if there should be occasion for you to go there; and this too, under your own inspection.

The right wing to my dwelling house as you possibly may have noticed, & heard called the Hall, (being kept altogether for the use of strangers) has two good rooms below (with tiled floors) and as many above, all with fireplaces. This will accomodate your family (being a larger house) better than Crows; and by being here, you will have the use of my Kitchen, the Cook belonging thereto, Frank the House Servant, a boy also in the House.3 The Stable, Garden &ca &ca, without any additional expence to me; at the same time that it will, by placing you in the centre of the business, ease you of much trouble; for otherwise, the frequent calls from the Farms, from workmen of different descriptions for Tools, Nails, Iron &ca from the Store—and the particular attention which matters abt the Mansion house will require, would have occasioned you many an inconvenient ride here, the necessity for which will be entirely superceded, as your Mornings and evenings will, of course, be spent where your presence will be most wanting.

As I am never sparing (with proper œconomy) in furnishing my Farms with any, and every kind of Tool & implement that is calculated to do good and neat work, I not only authorize you to bring the kind of Ploughs you were speaking to me about, but any others, the utility of which you have proved from your own experience; particularly a kind of hand rake which Mr Stuart tells me are used on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in lieu of Hoes for Corn at a certain stage of its growth—and a Scythe & Cradle different from those used with us, & with which the grain is laid much better. In short I shall begrudge no reasonable expence that will contribute to the improvement & neatness of my Farms; for nothing pleases me better than to see them in good order, and every thing trim, handsome, & thriving about them; nor nothing hurts me more than to find them otherwise, & the tools & implements laying wherever they were last used, exposed to injuries from Rain, Sun, &ca.

I hope you will endeavor to arrange your own concerns in such a manner as to be here as much before the time agreed on as you conveniently can. Great advantages to me will result from this, by putting the business in a good train before the Fall operations are closed by the frosts of Winter, and all improvements are thereby at an end for that Season. On the other hand, inconveniences to yourself may arise from delay on account of the Weather—Navigation &ca; there having been instances of this River’s closing with Ice several days before Christmas which might prevent the removal of yr things in time. That your living at the Mansion may be attended with no more expence to you than if you had gone to the other place (at which Crow now lives) on account of Gentlemen, who now & then call here out of curiosity—as they are passing through the Country—I shall lay in such things as will be necessary for this purpose, and the occasions (which are but rare) may require.

I expect to leave this place about the 28th of the Month for Philadelphia, or the neighbourhood of it; any letter therefore which shall arrive before that time will find me here—afterwards it will have to go to Philadelphia where it had better be directed. I am your friend & Servant

Go: Washington

ALS, ViMtvL.

1The agreement is dated 23 September.

2Frances Bassett Washington, widow of George Augustine Washington, evidently was planning to stay with her brother Burwell Bassett, Jr., in New Kent County, Virginia.

3The cook was Lucy, wife of Frank (Francis) Lee, the house servant.

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