George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Pearce, 20 November 1796

Philadelphia 20th Novr 1796

Mr Pearce,

Your Letter of the 13th inst., and the Reports of the preceeding week; were received yesterday.

I am sorry to hear that the growing Wheat is suffering for want of Rain—but hope you had some on Tuesday last (three days subsequent to the date of your letter). If the fact however is otherwise, let the ground in which the Egyptian Wheat was deposited, be watered, & continu’d to be so until the Rains fall.

I had no doubt but that the Causey through the Swamp would prove a pretty heavy job to execute the work in the manner I proposed; but when so done—I shall have no plague with it thereafter, and the other part will be much less tedious and labourious. To form a judgment however of this matter, when the Causey is completed, work onwards towards the Mansion until you cross (or rather come to) the intended road leading from Muddy hole Barn. Working thus far as it will pass through as grubby ground as any there is in the whole road, you will be able to form a judgment of the time necessary for the completion of the whole; and besides, after this junction is formed, there can be no mistake afterwards. Let Davy know, & Mr Anderson also, that where the Road turns on the top of the Hill (south of the Causey) the fence is to turn also; and run with the road until it strikes the line of the other fence, in which the Gate stands; which fence is to be continued streight until the two meet, by the side of the Road.

I expected the line of the Road, when extended back to the River, would have struck it nearer to Hell hole, by several hundred yards, than where Cupids house stood. What sort of ground does it go over? and, if you can form a judgment from your present view of it, would the River, or Vessels passing thereon be seen in travelling along it from the Causey to the White Gates?

I had no idea that Oznabrigs was scarce in Alexandria after the great Importations we had heard of, or that the price cd have been so high. I will make enquiry into these matters here, & inform you of the result in my next; as I shall also do abt Paints & Oil; but when you spoke of White Lead ground in Oil being 24/ pr Keg, you ought to have mentioned what the Keg contained, as they are of various sizes from 25 to 100 lbs. weight.

As Mr Lear is very frequently at his farm, I wish you would consult him with respect to Mr Alexr Smiths circumstances; and the best mode of having the sum he owes me, and the payments, according to my last to you, perfectly secured. I can run no risks in this matter; the sum is too large to be trifled with; and I am not one of those who place implicit confidence in strong assurances, or in outward appearances, unless they are corroborated by corresponding actions. You might, at the sametime, advise with him on the prices of Oznabrigs—Paints—Oil—Nails &ca that I may decide in time whether to provide them here—or in that quarter.

I presume Mrs Washington’s Bed Chamber is the same pitch of the other rooms on that floor—but that I may be certain of it, I wish you would measure the height from the floor to the Cieling and inform me thereof. I request also that you wd let me know the exact width, and height (in front of the fire place) of the Chimney in the New dining Room, that, if I should want to get a stopper (or chimney board) for it, as in some of the other rooms, I may be at no loss to fit one to it. and with respect to the Cellar windows at the South end of the Mansion house, I did not, in my former request, describe, clearly, what I wanted—which was, to know how far it was from the top of the frame which is about the level of the brick pavement and projecting into it without, to the top—or within an inch of the top of the window frame. This, & not the whole size of the frame, I wish now to know. Is the 2 f.–7 1/2 I. width, and 1 f.–2 I. height of the Cellar windows in front—the dimensions of the frame from out to out of it—or from in, to in? Are the Stone Cills, at bottom of these window frames, wider than the wood frames thereon? And how much?

Order Peter to take good care of the three young (as well as the three covering) Jacks this Winter; and to feed them in such a manner as to keep them in very thriving order, that I may turn them to a good Account hereafter. I am Your friend

Go: Washington

P.S. Let me know the size of the blue Parlour—that is the length and breadth of it—and how far it is from the hearth on each side to the sides of the Room that the size of the hearth may be taken out [of] the Carpet as it now is with the [   ]. The dimensions of the 4 sides must be sent also.


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