To William Pearce
Philadelphia 9th Mar. 1794
Your letter of the 3d instt is this moment received. The badness of the roads has occasioned irregularity in the Post.1
I approve your repairing my house in Alexandria with my own People (preparing every thing that can be, at home) and of your doing it in the manner proposed; that is, to board between the houses in a neat & workman like manner & to do the three sides of the lot with White Oak Posts & Rails, well executed. Do not let the Posts be too far distant from each other—when this is the case the rails are apt to warp, & the fence is weakened by it.2
I am glad to hear that Green has, at length put a finish to the Barn at Dogue run farm.3 I always supposed that shutters would be necessary to keep the weather from the floors, in driving Rain or Snow, & for comfort when working there when it is very cold; but these are soon done; and should be made to hang on substantial iron hooks, that when light, or air is wanting, they may be raised up; & hung to the foot of the rafters. If the windows below want shutters, the same may be done, & hung to the joice. But shoveling the grain as it falls from the treading floor, into the middle or octagon part of the building, will always preserve it from the weather. I want much to know how this mode of treading wheat answers.
If you conceive the Lucern in the Spring lot will come to any thing, I am well content that it should remain as it is, with the dressing you propose to give it. I directed Seed to be saved last year from that which grew in the Inclosure opposite to it, but whether it was done or not I am unable to say; if it was not I will send you two or three pounds to sprinkle over the ground. Running a harrow over the lot backwards & forwards, & every way in short, will do no injury to the Lucern as it has a long tap root, but may tare weeds & grass up, and prepare it better for fresh Seed. The St foin & India hemp may be sown in the lot which you have mentioned, as more secure perhaps than the other, against Hares; but how they will be annoyed by fowls you can judge better of than I. I wish to have the most that can be made of them.
It is very unlucky that the state of the Navigation has been such as to prevent my sending you the Clover & other Seeds; a vessel is now up, & talks of sailing this week for Alexandria, by which the things shall be sent.4 I hope what clover seed you had (as you have pronounced it good) has already been sown on the grain, as far as it would go, as was directed. I am Your friend &ca
ALS, ViMtvL; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW.
1. Pearce’s letter to GW of Monday, 3 March, has not been found. According to the post office’s schedule, GW should have received this letter on Thursday, 6 March (GW to Anthony Whitting, 2 Dec. 1792).
2. For GW’s instructions to have his house and stable at the corner of Pitt and Cameron streets in Alexandria, Va., prepared for occupancy by Frances Bassett Washington, see his letters to Pearce of 12 Jan. and 16 February.
3. Thomas Green, overseer of the slave carpenters at Mount Vernon, was responsible for the construction of this barn. For the unique design of this barn, see GW to Anthony Whitting, 28 Oct. 1792, and enclosure.