George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Pearce, 17 July 1797

To William Pearce

Mount Vernon 17th July 1797


My Overseers at Union and Dogue run Farms endeavouring to play the same game they did last year—that is—to raise their wages; but as I am fully resolved not to do it (especially as the price of produce is reduced a hundred prCt) I am induced to ask you—as Clark who engaged with Mr Craik is dead, & expectation from that quarter is at an end—if you could recommend a person whom you know would suit me, for Union farm?1

It is not impossible but that I may reduce the hands at Union farm & place it and Dogue run Farm under the same Overlooker: but even in this case, I will not give more than Sixty pounds wages with the usual allowances of Provisions.

I shall insist upon a Dairies being attended to by the Overseers wife, and that Fowls shall be raised for my Table, and that nothing shall be sold from the Farms for their benefit; as the wages, with the allowances of Provisions, is all the man & his wife have to expect.

I would thank you for acknowledging the receipt of this letter by the Post, as soon as it gets to hand, that I may be certain of its safe arrival: and as soon after as possible, let me know (without absolutely engaging any one) what dependence I could place on your getting a good man, with, or without a wife, but not too large a family. It is necessary I should hear from you soon on this subject, as some are offering, & the season for engaging good overseers is at hand.2

I hope to hear your health is restored to you, and that your crops have been, and are likely to be, good. My Crop of Wheat is as good as I had any reason to expect; but the Hessian fly began just before the harvest to cut it down. Next year I expect their attack will be formidable & severe. Could there be any dependance on purchasing three or 4 hundred bushels of Rye in your Neighbourhood, and at what price? I wish you & family well and am your friend & Hble Servant

Go: Washington

P.S. The drought is, and has been extremely severe upon us: Corn not half leg high what will be the consequence I know not.

ALS, ViMtvL; ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers. GW addressed the letter to Pearce at “Chester Town Eastern Shore Maryland.”

1GW had written Pearce earlier, on 11 Dec. 1796, regarding Clark.

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