John Holland Barney to Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.
Havre degrace [Md.] 20 Dcr 94
I am Sorry to inform you that the Presidents servant Austin in Attempting this Morning to Cross a Run near Harford Town,1 is Likely to Loose his Life. he is now at Mrs Stiles at Harford but intirely Given over by the Docter. he was with Great Difficulty Draged Out of the Water by her servant. I am yrs in Haste
Jno: H: Barney
John Holland Barney (1752–1840), a brother of Commodore Joshua Barney, operated a tavern on the west bank of the Susquehanna River at Havre de Grace, Maryland. By 1797 at the latest, he also was operating the town ferry at that location. By 1799 he had commenced a line of stages between Baltimore and Philadelphia, and John H. Barney & Co. continued to run stages on routes between the cities of Alexandria, Baltimore, Washington, and Philadelphia into the 1830s. Barney was also the postmaster at Havre de Grace from 1790 to 1795.
Barney wrote Dandridge again on 22 Dec. to enclose “a few Lines, from Mrs Stiles respecting the Presidents Servant” (DLC:GW). Elizabeth Stiles’s letter to Barney of that date reads: “I will thank you to write to General Washington to let him know that his servant is dead he lived about five hours after we got him out of the water I sent for the Doctor immediately and that I have his Mare and Colt here and I will take good care of them until he sends for them the expence of the Doctor and Coffin I have not got.” (DLC:GW). For a report by the doctor, Thomas Archer, see his letter to GW of 22 December.
1. Harford Town (Harford; now Bush, Md.) is located at the head of navigation on the Bush River.