From Howell Lewis
Mount Vernon January 1st 1794
I recd Mr Dandridg’s letters of the 18th & 23d of last Month.1 There directions I shall attend to. I will if you think proper, deliver all the receipts for money paid by me, to Mr Pearce, and when I return to Philadelphia will bring you an accurate Accot of the whole Sum. I shall deliver the Plans of the several Farms to him 2—Mr Pearce has not yet arrived, & I cant learn any thing of him. Mr Butler leaves Mount Vernon this day, and has applied to me to settle his accot with you, but not having recd any directions from you, I declined having any thing to do with it, until I heard from you, I gave him 10 Dollars till then—There is but 85 dollars in the house & Mr Stuart not paid yet—Mr Davenport had £22.4.10 & the rest I have paid for the use of the Farms & Mansion house.3
The weather was so severe the last week as to Block up the River so Close, as to suffer People to walk a cross at Alexandria, at this Place it was frozen a cross, & as low dow[n] the River as I could see; It is now breaking up, & if Mr Pearce, does not take the advantage of the present situation of the Rive[r], I question whether he gets here at all this winter by water—I perceive that this Freezing & thawing weather has injured your wheat considerably, from the frost spewing it up, & the Sun thawing the earth from the roots & leaves them bare.
We are all well here, & I must conclude with my compliments to my Aunt & the Family & those of the new year & I am your Affecte Nephew
1. The letters of 18 and 23 Dec. 1793 from Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., which have not been identified, covered GW’s letters to William Pearce of 18 and 23 Dec. 1793. Pearce, however, had not yet arrived at Mount Vernon to assume his duties as estate manager. Lewis, therefore, continued to serve in this position temporarily until Pearce’s arrival later this month (see GW to William Stuart, Hiland Crow, and Henry McCoy, 14 July 1793; GW to Pearce, 19 Jan. 1794).
3. James Butler and William Stuart were the respective overseers of the Mansion House and River farms. Joseph Davenport was the miller. Butler received £13.16.4 on 7 Jan. 1794 for “his wages in full for the year 93” (Mount Vernon Accounts, 1794–1797 description begins Manuscript Mount Vernon Accounts, 6 Jan. 1794-19 Jan. 1797. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers. description ends ). On the eventual payment of Stuart’s past wages, see n.9 of GW to Pearce, 9 Feb. 1794.