George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Pearce, 4 February 1794

From William Pearce

Mountvernon Feby 4th 1794


I Receved your Letter of the 26 Janry and a bank note of 100 dollars—I took notice that you had put down in the notes in the plan of Rotation—that Corn might be planted in such parts of the fields that ware alloted for the Buck wheat—as would produce it1—If the feilds that ware alloted for Corn was not Likely to produce a Soficient Quantity To answear the Several demands that would be for that Article—and uppon Examening the Several Feilds I did not think they would do it—and that was the Reason I mentioned it In my letter2—I was looking over The Grass lot at River farm before the snow come And I find that the Clover is Very thin in it—& I think thare ought to be a part of It Broke up this spring—& put in Potatoes—I have Inquired of Mr Butler & old Jack about the orchard Grass Seed but they Can Give no acct of it, & say that thare was none Saved to thare knoledge—when the Clover Seed Comes I will Take Good Care that none [of] It shall be Stolen or Wasted and when it is to be sown will mannage It as you have directed3—and Indeed I will Indeavour to do Every thing In my power according to the best of my Judgment—Col. Ball has Sent Sixty Bushels of Buck wheat & wrote that he Intended to keep hauling till he Sends 500 Bushels down—He wrote to have 3 shoats Sent him of the China Breed.4

I am Sorry to have to Inform you that the Stock of sheep at Both Union & Dogue Run farms are Some of them Dieing Every week5—& a Great many of Them will be lost, let what will be done—Since I come I have had shelters made for them & Troughs to feed them In & to Give them salt—& have attended to them myself & was In hopes to have saved those that I found to be weak but they ware too far gone—and Several of the young Cattle at dogue Run was past all Recovery when I come & some have died already & Several more I am affraid might die before spring, they are so very poor & weak—The stock at River farm & Muddy hole I am In hopes will be Brought through the winter without much loss and I am in hopes that the Cattle at Union farm will be brought through the winter prety well Likewise some of the young ones are very thin & they have Lost one.

Mr Stewart Sais part of his last years wages are due & he is in want of money but as you had directed me not to pay any Acct without first Informing you—I shall not pay him Any till I receive orders from you6—the Ice house is Better than half filled with Ice—but the Ice was so thin It all melted be fore we Could Get Enough to fill It. I am Sir with the Greatest Respect Your Humble Servt

William Pearce


1On the substitution of corn for buckwheat, see n.13 of the plan of crop rotation enclosed in GW to Pearce, 18 Dec. 1793.

2This information probably was contained in Pearce’s letter to GW of 22 Jan., which has not been found.

3For the shipment of clover seed to Mount Vernon, see GW to Pearce, 16–17 and 23 March.

4On Burgess Ball’s promise to acquire buckwheat seed for GW, see Ball to GW, 17 Dec. 1793. For shipments of additional buckwheat seed from Ball, see Ball to GW, 13 Feb. and 5 April, and GW to Ball, 23 March. Ball’s letter to Pearce asking for three young hogs of the Big China breed has not been identified.

5Pearce’s Farm Reports for 2–8 Feb. reported a loss of “6 Sheep & 1 Yearling” at Union farm and “2 sheep 1 yearling” at Dogue Run farm (DLC:GW).

6For GW’s orders regarding William Stuart’s wages, see his letter to Pearce of 24 February.

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