A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the house of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, No. 28 Newbury Street, Boston, on Thursday, 26 February, 1914, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Henry Lefavour, LL.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The Corresponding Secretary reported that letters had been received from Mr. Charles Hall Grandgent and Mr. Franklin Pierce Rice accepting Resident Membership.
The President announced the death of Louis Cabot, a Resident Member, on the 9th of February, and of the Hon. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, a Corresponding Member, on the 24th of February.
The President spoke of a plan now on foot to erect in Boston a statue of Anne Hutchinson.
Mr. Worthington C. Ford communicated a Diary kept by Washington at Mt. Vernon during the months of May, June, and July, 1786.426
MAY — 1786
Rid to the Fishing landing and to the Plantation, at the Ferry, Dogue run, and Muddy hole, perceived the Siberian Wheat at the two first had come up thinly which I attributed partly to bad seed and partly to two thin sowing as the oats and Barley at all three were also too thin, and where the ground had been wet — and hard baked none appeared.
Set them to drilling the common corn at Muddy hole, and to sewing clover seed in the neck on the oats. — the ground for which was in bad order; being so hard baked that the roller could make no impression on it. — this business has been unreasonably delayed, partly from the late arrival of the seed from Phila & partly from neglect & unfavourable weather after it did arrive.
But indifferent luck in fishing to day.
Planted, or rather transplanted from the Box sent me by Col° Wm Washington427 S° Carolina 6 of the Sweet scented, or aromatic shrubs in my shrubberies, on each side the serpentine walks on this (on the east) side of the Garden gate — the rest of these shrubs I suffered to remain in the Box as they were beginning to shoot forth buds & it might be too late to remove them. — Wind at N° West.
Tuesday — 2
Thermometer at 60 in the Morning 69 at noon — and 62 at night.
Wind Easterly but not very fresh clear and pleasant. — rid by Muddy hole plantation into the neck—at the first finished drilling the common corn, and ordered the plow to be sent to Dogue run. At the latter I began to Drill the common corn in the furthermost cut — next the river opposite to Mr. Digges’s — & continued the sowing of clover, there — could perceive no vegitation in the Burnet; Saint foin, or other grass which had been sown at this place.
Planted Pumpions at Morris near the old Houses in which Mrs Wade lived; in a light Sandy soil 10 feet apart.
Planted 140 seed sent me by Col° Wm Washington and said by him to be the seed of the large Magnolia or Laurel of Carolina in boxes N° 4–5 & 6 near the green house.
Also 21 of the Illinois nuts;428 compleating at the N° end, the piece of a row in My Botanical Garden in which on the — of — I put Gloucester hiccory nuts.
Wednesday — 3d
Thermometer at 60 in the morning 67 at noon — and 62 at night.
Calm and clear in the Morning — about noon the wind sprung up from the Southward and towds night veered round to the eastwd and turned cool — Midday warm.
Rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run and Ferry plantations — Also to the fishing landing.
At the 1st hoed up the sunken & cold places in which Barley had been sowed and was rotten in order to resow them.
At the next I had the ground which was harrowed yesterday & cross harrowing to day sowed with seeds from my Hay loft. Which I directed to be again harrowed, to cover the seed and more effectually loosen the earth. Also began to drill Peas at this — the large sort, next the Barley. Caught a good Many Fish yesterday, not many today.
Planted two rows of the everlasting Peas in my botanical Garden, in the section which contained the guinea grass that would not stand the winter. — Also 2 rows of the acorn of the live & water oak in the same garden, adjoining the row which has the Hiccory & Illinois nuts. And in box No. 9 in the garden by the Green House was put a pestatia nut given to me by Col° Mead.429
Perceived the seeds of the Honey locust to be coming up, irregularly — whether owing to their being shallowest planted — hardness of ground — or wet I cannot say. Also observed the clover & orchard grass seed which had been sowed under the Pines in the pine grove for an experiment, was coming up pretty thick.
Thursday — 4th
Thermometer at 58 in the morning 68 at noon — and 63 at night.
Doctr Craik came here in the forenoon, & crossed the river. After Dinner on his return home, at wch time I set out for Abingdon in order (to morrow) to survey My 4 miles run Tract, on which I had cause to apprehend trespasses had been committed.
Sent Majr Washington430 to Town on Business when he and Mr. Lund Washington engaged to Mr Watson 100. Barrls of My Flour to be delivered next week at 32/9 p Barrl
Not many fish caught to day at the Ferry.
Made good the missing Barley at Muddy hole.
Thermometer at 62 in the morning 67 at noon — and 63 at night.
The Morning mild and agreeable, as indeed it was through the day till towards evening, when it began to lower pretty much — a large & distinct circle round the Sun before noon & lasted a gd while.
Set out early from Abingdon, and beginning at the upper comer of my Land (or 4 miles run) a little below an old Mill; I ran the Tract agreeably to the courses & distances, of a Plat made thereof by John Hough, in the year 1766 (Novr) in presence of Col° Carlyle & Mr James Mercer. — Not havg Hough’s field Notes, & no corner trees being noted in His Plot, I did not attempt to look for lines; but allowing one degree for the variation of compass since the survey, above mentioned was made, I run the courses and distances only; & was unable for want of time to do more than run the lines that brot me to the ran again, the meanders of wch must be run at some other time in order to ascertain with precision the quantity of land which is contained. — Upon the whole I found this tract fully equal to my expectations. — The whole of it is well wooded, some part is pretty well timbered; and generally speaking, it is level. — About the main road, or the South side of the tract, Trespasses (on the wood) had been made but one degree less, than I expected to find. — and as I run the lines as set done by Hough, with the variation; I run into the fields lately Col° Carlyles (now Whitings) so far as to cut off 12 or 15 acres of his inclosures, and made the plat close very well to the run.
Returned at night to Abingdon, being attended in the labours of the day, by Doctr Stuart.
Saturday — 6th
A fresh wind all night at N° Et Morning and forenoon very cloudy, with a mizzling rain, but not enough to wet the ground — wind from the same qr or a little more northerly, continuing all day, which made it cool and disagreeable.
After an early breakfast I set out on my return home, & taking Muddy hole in my way, returned about 10 O’clock.
Found that all the large (Indian) Peas I had, had been sown with the drill plow yesterday, at Dogue run whh only compleated 8 rows after which they proceeded to sow the small black eyed peas & finished with ym
That the drill plow in the neck had finished planting the common corn in the cut in which it had first begun and was proceeding in the end adjoining, and that the Muddy hole people had just begun to Hoe the new ground (for corn) in front of the Home House.
That the Ferry Plantation had begun to Plant corn, in the common mode, for want of the drill plow, which was otherwise engaged. And that an indifferent hd had been made of catching Fish since Wednesday last.
Sunday — 7th
Thermometer at 56 in the Morng 67 at noon and 66 at night.
Clear with the wind fresh but not cold, from the n° west, all day — Towards night it died away & inclined to the southward more, — Mr Porter, Mr Murray, (Young) Mr Bowen, and a Captain Aitkins came (by invitation) to dine with us to day, and returned to Alexandria in the evening. — just as we were about to set down to Dinner Doctr Craik, his wife, son William, and Daughters (Miss Craik & Miss Nancy) came in Dined & stayed all night.
Monday — 8th
Thermometer at 60 in the Morning 70 at noon and 68 at night.
Clear, Calm & warm.
Rid to Muddy hole & Dogue run began at the first to cross the lists in order to Plant corn — the early corn & Indian Pease at this place were coming up. Sent a carpenter to put a new axle & do some other repairs to the Barrel plow at Dogue run.
Sowed 3 rows of the Border grass seeds in the inclosure behind the stables, adjoining to, and just below the Cape wheat & next the fence –– Next to these was near a row of yellow clover — the first was given to me by Col° Fitzhugh431 of Maryland and the other by Col° Chas Carter of Ludlow. —these rows were two feet a part, and the seeds sown very thin in the rows that the more seeds might be saved from them for ye next years
On Saturday last the dead cedars in My Shrubberies were replaced by live ones just taken up. Doctr Craik, wife & family went away after breakfast.
In the evening a Captn Whaley from Yohiogany came in on some business respecting the affairs of the deceased Col Crawford — and Hugh Stephenson to whom I gave under cover to Thos Smith Esqr (my lawyer in that country) a Bill of Sale and the letter wch enclosed it which the said Col° Crawford had sent me in the m° of May 1774 as security for what he owed me, and to indemnify me for my engagements in his behalf, to see if they were valid & would cover the debt he owed me, as they never had been recorded. — I also gave him the statement of my acct with Col° John, and the deceased Hugh Stephenson which, in behalf of the latter he promised to pay and to obtain the other moiety from the first. — He also promised to send in my negros which had been hired to Gilbert Simpson, or bring them in himself, in consequence of this assurance I gave him an order on Majr Freeman to deliver them.
Tuesday — 9th
Thermometer at 60 in the Morng 66 at noon — and 64 at night.
Clear & warm, with but little wind and that did not spring up till about 11 o’clock, first from the N° Et shifting afterwards to S° Et
Rid to all my Plantations between Breakfast and dinner.
Found the Flax in the neck had come up, and full thick, and that the grass (seeds) rather millet) obtnd from Col° Cary had come up, but were of the saint foin, Burnet or rib grass appeared to be springing — finished planting, with the Barrel plow, the early corn in the furthest cut in the field for experiments, in the neck, and not having enough to compleat another cut in the same field I ordered all the remaining part of it to be drilled with common corn, accordingly, about noon, the intermediate rows in the middle cut which had been left for the early corn were begun to be planted with the other. — At this plantation also the People had begun to break up the intervals in the most grassy places between the listed ground, but I set a plough to crossing in order to plant corn in the common way in the field intended for this purpose.
At Dogue run, the hands there were also hoeing up the intervals between the corn rows.
The ground, by the heavy rains which fell about 14 days ago, dry weather, and baking winds since, had got immensely hard, so as that seeds which were not already up, could not force through it, and them which had come up previously could not grow.
Captn Whaley went away before breakfast.
Mr George Digges, and Miss Digges came to dinner & returned in the evening — at which time my Brother John432 came in from Berkeley.
Thermometer at 58 in the morning — at noon — and — at night
But little wind in the morning a red sky at the sunrising, and some clouds and appearances of rain, which soon dispersed.
My Brother and Mr George Washington went up to Town after Breakfast and did not return till the Evening.
I rid to the Plantations at Muddy hole — Dogue run, and Ferry — also to the fishing landing — at the first I found the early corn had come up very well, except where the ground was hard, and baked, but the birds were pulling it up fast. The Peas were also coming up, but not so regular as the corn, and of the Siberian wheat, Barley and Oats which had come up some were cut off by a bug, and the rest looked indifferently, and in many places very thin the Barley which looked strong & of a good colour at first, had got to be yellow, and the end of the blades in a manner dead. No appearance yet of the Potatoes & Carrots coming up.
Ordered Morris (at Dogue run) to discontinue his 5 furrow lists and go on with three, as I might (the season advancing fast) get my corn in the ground before it was too late.
The first appeared to be quite done running, but I ordered my People to continue at landing trying a haul on every tide untill Saturday and between whiles to attempt clearing a landing for sein hauling above the Ferry landing where the Channel approaches nearer the shore and it is thought good for shad.
Began to plant corn in the common way at Muddy hole.
Thermometer at 55 in the Morning — 58 at noon and 58 at night.
Morning Cloudy, with great appearances of rain. about 11 O’clk it began to rain, which fell moderately for about ten minutes & ceased but continued Cloudy the remainder of the day — wind at S° East but not very fresh.
I rid to the Plantations at Muddy hole, Dogue run and Ferry between Breakfast & dinner and crossed to that in the Neck after dinner — The ground particularly when they were drilling corn at the last, and indeed, at Dogue ran wch was stiff, & had been plowed when it was too wet was astonishly hard and lumpy, and in which it is much to be feared the corn will never rise.
Thermometer at 58, in the morning 67 at noon — and 65 at night.
Cloudy in the Morning, about noon the sun shone but was soon obscured again, & it remained cloudy all the latter part of the day — rain exceedingly wanting — at home all day.
Finished about noon planting with the Barrel Plow the middle cut in my field of experiments at the River Plantation.
Saturday — 13th
Thermometer at 60 in the morning 64 at noon — and 64 at night.
Lowering all the forepart of the day with drops of rain (but no more) now and then. — Evening clear — wind variable, but mostly at S° Et
I rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run & Ferry plantations; and to the fishery at the latter.
Ordered my People to quit hauling — and bring home my seins.
Finished (yesterday evening) planting corn with the barrel plow in the Cut intended for experiments at Dogue run. Also finished planting Corn in the Middle cut (this day abt 3 O’clock) at Muddy hole in the common way — putting a little dung in each hole, in the poor parts of the ground.
The Cotton seeds, Pumpion seeds, & Timothy seeds (which were sowed on the oats) at Dogue run, were coming up.
Sunday — 14th
Thermometer at 60 in the morning 70 at noon — and 71 at night.
Clear all day with very little wind and that from S° West.
G. A. Washington and his wife, and Mr Shaw435 went to Pohick Church, dined at Mr L. Washingtons. and returned in the evening — Col° Gilpin, The Rev. Mr McQuire, Mr Hunter & Mr Sanderson came here to dinner and returned afterwards.
Began yesterday afternoon to pen my sheep, & milch cattle at the H° House in the hurdles which had been made for the former.
Monday — 15th
Thermometer at 64 in the morning — 68 at noon — and 68 at night.
Clear Morning with but little wind — about 10 O’clock Clouds arose to the westward, and at 11 it began to thunder; about 12, a small, & very light sprinkling of rain fell, after which it cleared, but about 4 O’clock in the afternoon another cloud arose from whence we had a slow & moderate rain for about 3 quarters of an hour which softened the top of the ground (before much baked) and must be of great service to vegetation — Wind what there was of it came from the S° West.
I rid to the plantation in the neck and to Muddy hole, at the latter perceived the Irish Potatoes to be coming up. — at the former the Plows having over taken the dung carts (which were carrying out dung to spread in the corn rows) I set them to plowing and planting the Peas, ordering the alternate Pea rows to be planted at the same distance (viz 18 Inches) a part, as the corn is, intending the intermediate ones to be drilled, that is, planted at 6 inches a part to see which mode will be most productive.
A with whom an agreement was made to bring a load of good & clean shells having brought very bad and dirty ones they were refused.
Majr G. Washington went up to Alexandria on business — Doctr Craik returned with him (by desire) in the afternoon to visit Mrs Washington, who had been troubled for several days with a pain in her shoulder.
Tuesday — 16th
Thermometer at 65 in the Morning — at noon –– and 64 at night.
Morning lowering — about 10 O’clock it thickened and thundered and before eleven began to rain & continued showery till near two O’clock after wch it ceased but towards [night] it thickened & began to rain again — Wind for the most part Easterly but not strong. — The rain of Yesterday and what fell today appear to have wet the ground sufficiently.
Doctr Craik went away immediately after breakfast, I rid to the Plantations at Muddy hole and Dogue run perceived the Pease at the former had come up very indifferently and looked badly which some of my Negros ascribed to their being planted too early whilst the earth was too cold for this crop.
The Peas which were planted somewhat later at Morses, (Dogue run) were also coming up, as his corn was, and much pulled up by the Birds.
The Timothy seed sowed (on the Clover) first wch had failed from the badness of the seed and which after harrowing had been laid down in it, at Dogue run, appeared to be coming up thick.
Began to plant corn at this Plantation yesterday in the common method.
When I returned home I fd Moses Ball, his son John Ball, & Wm Carter here, the first having his effects under execution wanted to borrow Money to redeem them, lent him ten pounds for this purpose.
In the afternoon a John Halley (of Maryland) applied to rent a fishing shore of me at Sheridens point. Requested him to make his proposals in writing and I would consider of them, and as he was the first who had applied wd give him the preference upon equal ground.
Wednesday — 17th
Thermometer at 62 in the Morning 63 at noon — and 56 at night.
Morning calm, warm and pleasant, between 10 and 12 clouds arose, and showers fell around us, but none here between one & 2 O clock the wind came out hard at N° West and turned cold. After which it moderated, and shifted to the Eastward; but still continued cold.
At home all day, writing the best part of it.
Began where oats had been sowed in the neck, and the grd had got hard bound, and the clover seed unable to penetrate the earth and to vegitate, to harrow and roll it, to see if the clover & oats both would not be benefitted thereby.
Thermometer at 58 in the morning 65 at noon — and 60 at night.
Wind at S° West, with Showery Clouds around us all day; about 7 O clock it began to rain, and continued to do so powerfully, for 20 or 30 Minits when it cleared again.
Rid to all the Plantations between breakfast & dinner — at the Ferry I found my people had finished planting corn in the common way yesterday and were preparing the small piece near the Fish House to plant with ye drill (or Barrel) in which they were also beginning to plant Irish Potatoes, this piece contains a few rod over two acres. At Dogue run, finding they would be late planting & replanting corn (for that which was first planted with the drill plow had either come up very badly or had been destroyed by Birds) I directed after the Cut (round Barry’s houses) in which they were planting, was finished to run a single furrow in the remainder of the other each way, and to plant it in that manner, hoeing the ground well when the corn was dropped, perceived the Irish Potatoes to be coming up at this Plantation — at Muddy hole they finished planting corn about 10 O’clock, at this place I tried a 3 hoed harrow which I had just made with a single horse, upon the whole it answered very well, the draft seemed rather hard for one horse but the late rains had made the ground heavier than usual. Ordered my overseer at this place to take into the Barn & thrash out, the only stack of wheat remaining at the Plantation and to carry the grain to the mill.
In the Neck every other Pea row had been planted with the barrel dropping the Peas at 18 inches a part in the rows, and five other rows (intermediate) on the South were planted at 6 inches asunder in the rows but finding this would take more seed than I cd spare I discontinued sowing more in this manner and returned to the 18 inch distance agn
A Mr Thos Moody came here in the afternoon and paid me some money in discharge of his father’s Bond to Col° Thos Colvels Estate to which I am an Exr
John Knoules came here to work at £5 pr month, and a pint of rum pr day.
Friday — 19th
Thermometer; at 55 in the Morning 65 at noon — and 60 at night.
Wind at N° West in the Morning and indeed through the day, the forepart of which was cool, the middle and latter part moderate the whole pleasant.
Rid to Muddy hole —Dogue ran, & Neck Plantations; the harrow plow was stopped at the first by the rain which fell yesterday and which had made the grd too wet & too heavy to use it in. at the latter they would have finished drilling the corn, and planting the Potatoes (the doing of which began yesterday) but for the rain which had fallen in the afternoon — It was done however early this morning and the other spot, in which the Siberian wht had been sowed was set out to get it in order for corn. To Dogue run I sent the remains of the Barley about half a peck to be pricked in where missing in the rows (beginning next the wheat) at the distance of eight inches.
Mr. Porter & Doctr Craik Just came down the River in a ship bd to France landed & dined here & returned to Alexandria in the afternoon.
Saturday — 20th
Thermometer at 56 in the Morning 60 at noon and 59 at night.
Morning clear with the wind at South West — about 8 o clock it began to thicken to the westward which encreased with distant thunder, by ten O’Clock it was quite overcast and began to rain moderately & continued to do so without wind for more than two hours when it ceased the sun came out but was more less cloudy all the Afternoon and cool, the wind having shifted to the South-East and got fresher.
Rid to Muddy hole and the Neck — the ground at the first having got drier, the harrow plow was again set to work in the drilled ground. Finished planting (yesterday evening) Corn in the Neck with the Barrel plow and set about sowing pease there again.
Finished planting with corn the cut at Dogue run which includes the Houses that were Barrys — and began in that nearest the overseers House.
Having received from Holt of Williamsburg through the hands of Mr Dandridge about 6 gills of the eastern shore Peas (or as he calls them beans) so celebrated for fertilizing land I began, & before the rain fell, planted 3 rows in the inclosure below the stables adjoining the row of yellow clover, & in a line with the Cape Wheat, being a continuation of those rows (2 feet a part,) the seeds were placed a foot asunder in the rows.
Thermometer at 60 in the morn’g 70 at noon, and 66 at Night.
A good deal, and heavy rain fell in the night, with thunder & lightning; day warm, with sun shine & clouds alternately. Calm in the forenoon, & wind at East in the Afternoon with thunder and great appearances of rain a little only of which fell.
Monday — 22d
Thermometer at 64 in the Morning 60 at noon — and 60 at night
Wind Easterly, and very cloudy with drops of Rain now and then
Rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run & Ferry Plantations, replanting corn at the first, begun today, and not on Saturday as I have noted, to plant corn in the cut next the overseers house at Dogue run, where by a mistake of the Overseer they had begun, and had planted Barley in the rows of Siberian Wheat, and had done — of them before I got there — stopped and set them to replanting the missing parts of the Barley rows. — Finished drilling the corn at the Ferry Plantation.
Planted 10 more rows of the eastern shore Peas, alongside of those which were put in on Saturday last. –– And all that section with them in My Botanical garden which had the guinea grass last year, except the two rows which had been before planted on the 3d instt with everlasting Peas.
I seperated my rams from the ewes at the home house. –– and ordered the same to be done at the plantations.
Began to take up the pavement of the Piaza.
Tuesday — 23d
Thermometer at 60 in the Morn’g 60 at noon and 58 at night.
Misting in the morning and very cloudy & cold all day with the wind at N° Et
Rid to Muddy hole and Neck Plantations. — ordered the grd allotted for Cabbages, to be prepared at both places; and plants to be taken from my garden to set it with. This preparation consisted of another listing (or plowing with three furrows) of the ground which had been before listed, leaving an intermediate row at each place for Turnips, to try which would yield most & be most profitable.
Replanting the common corn which had been drilled at Muddy hole. –– finished planting Peas with the Barrel in the neck on Saturday last. — and listing the corn ground at the same place this day for planting in the common way.
Began yesterday with the Ferry people, to list the new ground in front of the House for corn with Hoes. And this day began to lay the Flags in my Piaza — Cornelius and Tom Davis assisting.
Wednesday — 24
Thermometer at 56 in the morn’g 56 at noon and 58 at night.
Still drizling and cloudy all day, with the wind at N° East.
At home all day — about 11 O’Clock Doctr Stuart436 and Mr Lund Washington came in dined & returned afterwards, and in the afternoon Col° Robt Stith arrived (from Alexandria) and stayed all night.
Planted yesterday evening at Muddy hole about 1300 Cabbage plants and this morning finished the ground allotted for them at that place. to do which took in all abt –– Plants. Also planted this day in the neck two compleat rows of the Cabbages and the other two rows from the river-fence up to the bushy pond by the other fence running westerly — and sent plants over this evening to compleat them in the morning.
Thursday — 25th
Thermometer at 59 in the Morning 58 at Noon — and 58 at Night.
Drizling in the Morning, after which, about 9 o’clock, it began to rain, and continued to do so moderately all day. — At night and in the night, it rained a good deal. Wind at N° Et
At home all day, Col° Stith set off after breakfast, but turned back when it began to rain and stayed all day & night.
Finished planting cabbages in the neck; — and transplanted carrots from my garden, to two of the rows at Muddy hole, which had been sowed, or rather planted, with seed which was either put in too deep, or never vegitated one of these was had dung in the furrow, and the other not. –– Put a Collar on a large Bull in order to break him to the draft. At first he was sulky & restive but came to by Degrees.
Friday — 26th
Thermometer at 58 in the Morning 60 at Noon — and 60 at night.
Raining with little or no intermission through the day — a great deal having fallen in the night — wind still at N° East.
Sent 50 Barrels of super fine flour by the sloop Tryal Peter Kirwin to Thos Newton Junr Esqr to be disposed of on my account.
Saturday — 27th
Thermometer at 62 in the Morn’g 66 at noon — and 68 at night.
Wind Easterly all day — raining in the Morning, clear about noon with Clouds, mists, and sunshine afterwards alternately.
Rid about 11 O’clock to visit the Plantations at Muddy hole and Dogue run. At the latter & in the Neck, the rain which had fallen in such quantities since Wednesday last had stopped their planting of corn and left a little ground at each of those places unfinished.
Col° Stith crossed the river after dinner on his return home.
Finished laying 28 courses of the pavement in the Piaza, weather very unfavourable for it.
Thermometer at 66 in the Morning 66 at noon — and 68 at night.
The forenoon very rainy with high wind from the No. Et — about noon it ceased raining — the wind moderated and veered round to the Southward and then died away.
The continual, and excessive rains, had so surcharged the Earth with water, that abt 40 feet of my sunk wall near the Ice House fell down and the greater part of my cape wheat lodged.
Monday — 29th
Thermometer at 68 in the Morn’g 72 at noon and 70 at night.
Thunder, lightning, and a good deal of rain last night with mist & rain till nine O’clock this morning and wind fresh from the eastward most part of the day.
About 9 O’clock Mr Tobias Lear437 who had been previously engaged on a salary of 200 Dollars, to live with me as a private Secretary & precepter for Washington Custis438 a year came here from New Hampshire, at which place his friends reside.
Rid to the Plantations at Dogue run & Muddy hole passing by the new ground where my Ferry and Muddy people were Hoeing for corn.
Found my mill race broken in 3 or four places, and nearly half my Tumbling dam at the head of it, carried away by the fresh occasioned by the immoderate rains which had fallen and my corn field both here and at Muddy hole in all the low places, and in the furrows covered with water. — at both they were plowing, at the first to plant corn, and at the latter breaking up, but the water in many places followed the plow & it is to be feared that more hurt than good would result from the measure but the backwardness of corn planting in one instance, and the rapid growth of grass in both scarcely left a chance.
On my return found Col° Mead here.
Found, when I was at Dogue run that Richard Burnet and wife had been living in the House formerly Barrys, since Wednesday last.
Agreed this day with James Bloxham,439 who arrived here the — of April from England to live with and superintend my farming business upon the terms mentioned in a specific agreement in writing.
Thermometer at — in the Morning — at noon — and — at night.
Wind tho’ not much of it was still at East — Morning misty and threatening till dinner time after which it cleared.
Accompanied by Col° Mead I rid to Muddy hole and Neck Plantations to shew him my experiments in the Drill husbandry with which he seemed to be pleased.
G. A. Washington went up to Alexandria on my business & did not return till the evening.
Wednesday — 31st
Thermometer at 68 in the morning — at noon — and 69 at night.
Wind still at N° East, and the day heavy & lowering, with out rain.
Col° Mead left this after a very early Breakfast.
I rid to the Plantation at Muddy hole & Dogue run, by the New ground; — and also went to the Mill.
At both places the plows were at work in ground much too wet. At the first that is muddy hole, they were breaking up ground and at the other (Dogue run) they were crossing for the purpose of planting corn, which would be all in today and in miserable order as the ground was little other than mortar, & hills obliged to be raised to keep the grain out of the water.
My Mill People, and Cowpers were employed in repairing the breaches made by the rain and in preventing the water of Piney run going up the race in to Dogue run, at the Tumbling dam as it has done since the mishap to the latter.
JUNE — 1786.
Thursday — 1st
Thermometer at 68 in the Morning 72 at noon — and 70 at night.
Misting in the morning, and at intervals all day with the wind at N° Et and at times fresh.
Rid to my plantations at Muddy hole and in the Neck; at the latter the people were setting corn in the field of experiments, furtherest out, the Peas at this place have come up very indifferently, and looked badly — the Barley also did not assume the best appearance but the Oats looked well. — Breaking up at both these places altho’ the grd was vastly too wet for it.
Removed my cow pen & sheep fold at home.
Mr Shaw was sent to Alexandria on my business to day, and returned in the night.
Friday — 2d
Thermometer at 68 in the Morning 70 at noon and 70 at night.
A good deal of rain fell in the night & this Morning with the wind at N° Et afterwards it continued misling and the sun to shine alternately through the day. More clouds and wet weather, and less sun shine never happened, it is thought in the same time, in this country before. — Water runs from the Hills, and stand in hollows as in the depth of winter; & except where there is a great mixture of sand the ground when plowed is little other than Mortar. Yet, such is the progress of the grass, that plowing must go forward or the corn get smothered and lost by means of it.
In the afternoon a Capt Aitkinson of the Cæsar & another Gentleman came on shore and drank tea. The first was furnished with a horse to go to go to his employer Mr Sanderson at Alexandria, the other Gentleman returned to the ship. Sent to Doctr Craik informing him how Adam in the Neck did and receiving fresh directions & medicines for him, soon after which an acct came of his death.
Saturday — 3d
Thermometer at 69 in the morning 72 at noon and 71 at night.
Morning very heavy, sometimes misting, and then raining till 9 O’clock, lowering afterwards till the afternoon, when it became calm & clear with a good horizon at the suns setting. — the wind was at No Et all the forepart of the day, & pretty fresh.
Rid to the Plantation at the Ferry, Dogue run, and Muddy hole, at the first and last they were plowing but the grd was very heavy. — at the other it was too wet to plow at all.
The corn at all these places I found very much pulled up and destroyed by the Birds. The rains had so softened the ground that to do this was very easy for them.
Of the Siberian Wheat scarce any (of the little that came up) remains in the ground, — and the appearance of the Barley is very indifferent, not being either of a good colour or vigorous growth; — whether owing to the quantity of rain or other causes I do not undertake to decide — It did not in the first instance, come up well, the drouth at first hurt it and the water in many places covered it afterwards, this also happened to the Pease which cut but a poor figure.
The Potatoes in low places never came up, or is destroyed. The cabbage plants in general stand well tho’ in some low places these also are covered with water, and appear to be dead. — The oats seem to be in a more thriving way than any other species of the crops and when they came up well at first have a promising look.
Thermometer at 70 in the morning 72 at noon — and 75 at night. An exceedingly heavy fog in the morning and quite calm all day and clear.
Received from on board the Brig Ann from Ireland, two servant men for whom I had agreed yesterday, — viz — Thomas Ryan a shoemaker, and Caven Bowe a Tayler redemptioners for 3 years service by Indenture if they could not pay each, the sum of £12 Ster’g which sums I agreed to pay.
Geo. A. Washington set off early this morning for Fredericksburgh, his wife and Washington Custis went to Church at Alexandria intending from thence to Abingdon. Mr Shaw also went to Alexandria, & returned in the night.
Monday — 5th
Thermometer at 72 in the Morning 78 at noon — and 74 at night.
Morning, and generally thro’ the day clear and very pleasant, but warm. — Very little wind and that Southerly.
Before Breakfast Mrs Jenifer the widow of Doctr Jenifer440 came & returned in the after noon. — Soon after breakfast Missrs Sanderson, Wilson, Murray & McPherson came in, all of whom except the latter, went away before dinner Mr Sanderson dined & crossed the river afterwards on his way to embark at Leonardtown, Saint Mary’s for England.
Tuesday — 6
Thermometer at 72 in the morning 76 at noon — and 74 at night.
Thick Morning, and more or less clouds all day, but no rain, but little wind, that which was, came from the N° Et rather more easterly.
Rid to the Plantations at the Ferry Muddy hole, & Neck. At the first and last the people were setting and planting of Corn. The Ferry people finished listing with the holes their part of the new ground in front of the House on Saturday last and the hands belonging to Muddy hole will do the same to day.
Sheared my sheep in the neck this day, and rid through the wheat and rye at that Plantation found the first to stand generally sufficiently thick on the ground but the heads appeared very short, they were full in blossom, the lower blades almost generally had turned quite red, and were dead, but I did not perceive any signs of rust on them or that the head, or straw was injured thereby.
The rye was much better than I ever expected it would be, except being rather too thin (especially in places, tho’ much thicker than I had any idea it ever would be) it might upon the whole be called a good field.
The ground at all the Plantations plowed very heavily and wet. Began to cut the clover at the Home House (sowed aprl was year) which lay in the upper part of the field & unmixed with orchard grass.
Had the ground which had been lately listed at Dogue run for Cabbages chopped fine with the Hoes and intended to put the plants in the ground this evening but it was so late before the overseer sent to my Gardener for them that there was only time left to draw and carry them to the Plantation this evening.
Mr Shaw (with my newly purchased shoemaker to provide himself with Tools) went up to Town on my business & returned in the afternoon.
Wednesday — 7th
Mercury at 72 in the morning 78 at noon — and 74 at night.
Morning a little cloudy — in the afternoon light showers around us, with thunder and lightning at a distance, light breezes from the Southward.
Rid to the Ferry, Dogue run and Muddy hole Plantations, and through the Wheat and Rye at the first — neither of which answered My expectations. The first besides having a small head generally, was mixed exceedingly with Cheat, and the latter was much broken down with the winds and rain which had happened, and abounded in white heads deficient of grain occasioned I presume by the heavy rains which happened while the ear was in bloom. — The wheat it is to be hoped will escape this disaster as there has been little or no wind or rain since it began to bloom which is now pretty well over.
The people at the Plantations above mentioned, were all replanting & setting corn according to circumstances in their Drilled ground, at Muddy hole, setting took place altogether, and here also they began to replant peas, but had not enough of the large kind to make good the deficiency, but plenty of the small, black eyed Peas.
Sheared the few sheep I had at the Ferry to day
Fanny Washington and the two children, Nelly & Geo. Washington,441 together with Miss Nancy Craik came home yesterday whilst we were at Dinner.
Mercury at 72 in the morning 76 at noon, and 73 at night.
Clear in the forenoon and calm, about one O’clock a cloud arose in the No West quarter wch spread extensively, and before 3 began to rain fast and continued to do so near half an hour — during this flurry the wind blew fresh from the westward, but after the rain ceased it came back to the Southwest and continued moderate until some time in the night when it got to the No Wt & blew pretty fresh.
Rid to the Plantations at Dogue run and Muddy hole, and to the tumbling dam of Dogue run, where I had begun with two hands from each Quarter, and two carpenters, to repair the breaches which had been made by the late rains. After having got the water stopped, in order to lay the wooden frame, the run swelled so much (occasioned by the rain which fell this afternoon as to carry away the greatest part of the earth and rendered the labour of the day of little effect.
Still setting, & replanting corn at Dogue run and Muddy hole in the Drilled fields, the last of which with replanting pease in the same would be compleated this day.
Rid through My rye at Muddy hole which would have been fully equal to what might have been expected from the grd had it not been for the rains which had broken down & tangled the straw and occasioned a number of white, & unfilled heads.
The Eastern shore Peas (according to the information of my overseers in the neck) were sowed yesterday (by the barrel plow) in the ground which had been put in rib work (that never came up) — there were 10 rows of the Peas and a little being left I ordered him to dibble in what remained in additional rows.
Cut all the Clover at the H° House to day, & the small spots of grass round the sweet brier Circles, also some under the Trees at the N° end of the House by the Smiths shop to day, and put the clover in wind rows accept the part last cut.
Mr Wallace came here to dinner & stayed all night.
Mercury at 70 in the Morning, 77 at noon — and 74 at night.
Morning clear and pleast with the wind at N° West but not fresh, nor had it changed the air cooler.
Mr. Wallace went away after breakfast. and I rid to Muddy hole & River Plantations, the heaviness of the Plowing and wetness of the land had encreased by the late rains nothing indeed but the backwardness of the season and rapid growth of the grass & weeds could justify working ground in the condition the plowed land is.
Passed through the wheat at Muddy hole this day, found it upon the whole as good as was to be expected from the impoverished state of the land. Though there is a good deal of cheat in the freshest part of the ground, and the spick, (blasted grains) more or less in all — Finished replanting the corn & Peas in the drilled ground at Muddy hole this Morning about nine O’clock, and not yesterday as was expected, & began to replant corn in the cut adjoining.
The drilled corn in the Neck had also been gone over, and the people were replanting in the other field. Tho’ by much too wet for such business.
Agreed this day with Mr Thorpe to do my Plaistering in any of the rooms in, or abt the house & to repair the lathing at 7d pr Square yard.
Got all the clover hay into small cocks this afternoon.
Mr Shaw went up to Town to day on my business & returned in the evening.
Mercury at 66 in the morning 72 at noon — and — at night.
A heavy lowering Morning with the wind at East. — at times the Sun appeared for a few momts but generally the clouds were heavy with distant thunder in the S° Wt quarter in the afternoon tho’ no rain fell here.
Rid to the Plantations at Muddy hole, Dogue run, and Ferry, took the Mill in the way, Finished replanting corn this morning at the Ferry wholly, and yesterday at Dogue run in the ground which was drilled. — Began to hoe corn at the Ferry (on the hill) which is the first plantation in order for it and here it ought to have followed the plows, the work of which is backward on acct of their having been stopped.
Turned the Cocks of clover hay today — and put all the rest of the grass except that which was cut this afternoon late into Cocks.
Major Washington returned in the afternoon from Fredericksburgh.
Sunday — 11th
Thermometer at 68 in the Morning 80 at noon and 75 at night.
A heavy fog in the Morning and cloudy most part of the day, with great appearances of rain but none fell, winds At East in the Morning so’ not much of it fresh afterwards from the S° West till 6 O’clock when it came out at N° Wt
Sometime after candles were lighted Col° Senf came in.
Monday — 12th
Mercury at 68 in the morning 72 at noon and 69 at night
Morning early was calm, but about 7 o’clock the wind sprung up at N° West and blew pretty fresh till late in the afternoon when it became calm.
I rid to the Ferry, Dogue run, and Muddy hole plantations and to the people who were working at the Tumbling dam.
Finished replanting Corn at Muddy hole on Saturday last & began late in the afternoon of Thursday to hoe the drilled Corn at that place. — Also finished breaking up the cut of drilled Corn nearest the Barn, which compleated the last breaking up of the whole corn ground at that Plantation.
Began to cut the meadow near the wood, at Dogue run about 10 O’clock today. — and got all the clover & other Hay into large cocks this afternoon.
Tuesday — 13th
Mercury at 68 in the morning 75 at noon — and 73 at Night.
Rid to the River, Muddy hole & Dogue run Plantations — At the first found the plows in the Eastermost cut of drilled corn; where they had begun yesterday Morning and were going over it the 2d time — the hoes, which had got into it yesterday about 2 O’clock (after having finished replanting Corn) were following in the same cut — the plows would get through it about noon, and the hoes nearly, if not quite done by night.
Found the Flax Just beginning to blossum at this place where it was rankest.
At Muddy hole the plows had this Morning, finished breaking up and were beginning to cross plow in the cut next the drilled Corn.
Finished cutting the meadow (into which 5 mowers went yesterday) 3 or 4 O’clock.
Stopped the water of Dogue run at the Tumbling dam today and turned it into the run.
On my return home found Judge Harrison442 of Maryland and Mr. Rawlins both here, the last of whom went away after dinner.
Wednesday — 14th
Mercury at 68 in the morning 74 at noon — and 76 at night.
After an early breakfast Judge Harrison left this for his own house — and In Company with Col° Senf, I set out for our Works at the great falls; where we arrived about 11 O’clock and after viewing them set out on our return & reached Col° Gilpins where we lodged.
Mr Rumsey443 was not there (at the Falls) having gone that morning to Seneca — but Mr Stuart the assistant was present.
This day was clear and warm with but little wind from the Southward.
Thursday — 15th
Mercury at 70 in the morning 82 at noon and 82 at night.
Clear with little wind and very warm.
Took Alexandria — My Mill dam meadow at Dogue ran and the Plantation there — as also the Ferry Plantation in my way home. Found the tumbling dam all but new laying the sheeting, and filling below it compleated — directed all the Breaches in the run & the leak at Piney Branch dam, to be thoroughly repaired before the hands should quit.
Found the Hay which had been cut in the upper meadow nearly cured, and four mowers in the meadow next the Overseers House. About 2 O’clock in the Afternoon Doctr La Moyeur came in with a servant, Chaise & 3 Horses.
Friday — 16th
Mercury at 74 in the Morning 82 at noon and 80 at night.
Clear with but little wind in the Morning about 10 or 11 o’clock a breeze sprang up from the Eastward but died soon afterwards — rising again in the Afternoon at S° West.
Began about 10 O’clock to put up the Book press in My study.
Saturday — 17th
Mercury at 76 in the Morning 85 at noon — and 83 at Night.
Calm and very warm all day with but little wind and that Southerly — at times it was a little Cloudy and at night there were thunder and lightning but no rain.
Rid to all the plantations today. In the neck the Hoes and Plows were in the last (Westerward Cut, the first got to work in it about noon yesterday, and the latter about 3 or 4 O’clock in the afternoon both having passed through the Middle Cut, compleating as they went. — The Three hoed harrow would about get through the East-most cut (Alternate rows) by noon. — The oats were beginning to shoot forth the heads. — At Muddy hole plantation, the Hoes having overtaken the Plows, that were crossing went to weeding the drilled Peas and I directed them to replant both Potatoes and Cabbages where missing in the same field. At Dogue run the Hoes appeared to have made little progress in weeding the drilled field — first because it was tedeous among the cabbages, Potatoes & Pease but principally because the ground had got so rough & matted with grass as to require much labour. — At the Ferry the Hoes had weeded the corn in the cut on the Hill and about 10 O’clock had begun in the flat below next the meadow fence & adjoining the drilled Corn examined the Wheat again to day, & concluded that at best half of it is destroyed.
Doctr La Moyeur & Maj. Washington went up to Alexandria to day. The latter on my business, they dined there & returned in the evening — just as we had dined Captn Smith of Mr Ridout’s Brig. Mr Wallace a passenger in it for Bordeaux, and Doctr Mortimer (going as far as Norfolk in her) came in and had dinner set for them.
Mr. Hough, Butcher in Alexandria, came here this afternoon & purchased from me three fatted beeves (2 in the neck & 1 at Dogue run) for which he is to pay next week £42 — also the picking of 12 Weathers from my flock at 34/– pr head — if upon consulting my Farmer & they could be spared he was to have 20.
Sunday — 18th
Mercury at 78 in the Morning 84 at Noon — and 78 at night.
Calm, clear, and very warm in the forepart of the day. — At 2 O’clock a cloud arose to the Westward; and a pretty heavy shower of rain fell with some thunder & lightning, after which it cleared; but another shower came on about sun down tho’ it was very moderate & of short continuance.
Mercury at 73 in the Morning 79 at noon — and 78 at night.
Morning Cloudy but clear afterwards with the wind at S° West.
Rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run, and Ferry Plantations; and to the Meadows (where people were at work) at the two latter.
Finding My corn was in danger of being lost by Grass & weeds, I stopped Brick making, and sent Gurrer, Boatswain, Anthony, and Myrtilla to assist at Dogue run in weeding it.
The grass at the Ferry being forwarder and better than that at Dogue run, where the Scythmen began last to cut, I removed them, (tho’ the grass was not half down) to the former place, 4 cutters at work.
Mr. Herbert & wife, Mr Throcmortan & his wife, Miss Hannah & Miss Kitty Washington, & Mr Willm Craik came her to dinner & all stayed the evening except Mr Herbert who returned to Alexandria, a Marqs Andri Mechaux444 a Botanest sent by the Court of France to America (after having been only 6 weeks returned from India) came in a little before dinner with letters of introduction & recommendation from the Duke de Lauzen & Marqs de la Fayette to me, he dined & returned afterwards to Alexandria on his way to New York, from whence he had come, and where he was about to establish a Botanical garden.
Tuesday — 20th
Mercury at 71 in the Morning 77 at Noon — and 78 at night.
Morning clear and pleasant with but little wind, in the afternoon the wind blew from the Eastward, & a cloud a rising in the contrary directions it began about 9 O’clock to rain very powerfully and continued to do so more or less through the night.
Mr Craik went away before Breakfast and the rest of the Company about 11 O’clock, at which time, I rid to the Plantations at Dogue run & ferry and to the meadows where people were cutting & making Hay — stopped the Cutters at the ferry, and set them to making hay having too much grass down & exposed for the numbers employed in this business to execute in time without.
Mr Shaw went up to Alexandria on My business — and returned in the afternoon.
Wednesday — 21st
Mercury at 66 in the morning 66 at noon, and 66 at night.
Wind at No Et and raining more or less till near noon — after wch it continued Cloudy until Sundown, with the wind in the same quarter.
A stop put to out door work till near noon. About Sundown Mr Fendall came here.
Thursday — 22d
Mercury at 63 in the Morning 68 at noon and 68 at night. Calm, clear, cool, & pleasant all day.
Mr Fendale went away after Breakfast.
I rid to all the plantations and to the Hay Makers at the Ferry.
The plows finished the drilled corn in the neck on Monday afternoon, and the hoes got over it on Tuesday Morning and both went into the Cut of common corn by the Barn.
Friday — 23d
Mercury at 66 in the Morning 76 at noon — and 74 at night.
Very little wind all day, but clear and pleasant notwithstanding. Finished Hoeing the drilled corn at Dogue run about 9 o’clock this forenoon, and began to weed the corn in the dunged ground at that place wch had got very foul.
Doctr La Moyeur came here this afternoon.
Saturday — 24th
Mercury at 69 in the morning. 76 at noon and 80 at night.
Clear in the forenoon with but little wind, in the afternoon clouds arose and a smart shower of rain fell.
Rid to all the plantations and to the Hay Makers at the Ferry. In the Neck both Plows & Hoes would have finished the cut of corn by the Barn had not the Rain prevented — The Ferry hands would also have finished the cut of common corn on the Flat but for the same cause.
Sunday — 25th
Mercury at 75 in the Morn’g 80 at noon and 80 at night.
Clear all day with little or no wind and very warm.
Majr Washington and Fanny came home before Breakfast.
Monday — 26th
Mercury at 74 in the morning 76 at noon and 78 at night. The forenoon was clear and calm, as was the afternoon except a cloud which rose to the westward and produced rain and very high wind in the night.
Rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run and Ferry Plantations. Found the Muddy hole people in the Eastermost cut of Corn having finished (with the hoes) the Middle cut on Saturday — the plows however were yet in the Middle Cut. — At Dogue ran the plows had finished breaking up, and had begun crossing the cut in which Barry’s houses stand, into which they went about dinner time on Saturday. About 11 O’clock to day the hoes finished weeding the Cowpened ground, and had got into the swamp corn which was more weedy than the rest. At the Ferry the plows finished about 9 O’Clock, the drilled Corn by the Fish house and went into the other drilled corn by the meadow. — About the same time the hoes having finished weeding the Corn in the flat, planted in the Common way, had begun to weed the drilled corn by the Fish House and to replant the Irish Potatoes therein.
Finished cutting the Meadow at the Ferry this afternoon
Tuesday — 27th
Mercury at 69 in the morning 70 at noon and 70 at night. Lowering (rather Cloudy) in the Morning with the wind brisk but not cold from the N° West. Afternoon Clear & pleasant.
Rid to all my Plantations, found the plows and Hoes in the neck had gone over the Cut by the Bank. — the first finished it yesterday about breakfast & the other about dinner time and were in the cut adjoining. Finding the Hoe-Harrow did not do good work in the drilled corn, I ordered it to desist and the Bar shaw plow to be used, till the common corn was all crossed, after which to use it when the ground was worked the other way, cut down the Clover at Muddy hole this forenoon (whilst it was moist from the Rain of last night) and put it into windrows — 3 swarths in a row — The Dogue run hands had not got over the Corn in the swamps. At the Ferry the People had just finished weeding the drilled corn by the Fish House, & replanting the Potatoes thereon, — not having quite enough of the latter to replant the whole, the deficiency was supplied with Corn. — Making the hay that was cut yesterday at the Ferry, with the small gang.
Doctr Craik dined here, and returned home afterwards.
Mr Shaw went up to Alexa on My business and returned late in the evening.
Wednesday — 28th
Mercury at 68 in the Morning 72 at noon — and 70 at night
Clear & pleasant all day, in the forenoon the wind was at n° W, in the afternoon it was at S° West.
Rid at the plantations at Muddy hole, Dogue run and the Ferry and to the Hay fields, at the first I sowed turnips in Drills in the ground which had been sowed with oats that never came up (by the negro quarters). — There were 7 rows running from 180 to 200 steps of these (averaging 190 yards) wch were sowed with about a gill or little more seed — The first row, southerly, was harrowed with the little harrow at the tail of the barrel; but gathering earth and burying the seed too deep I took out every other tooth and with it in this order harrowed the next row — this also appeared to cover too deep, I therefore took the harrow off altogether and tied brush in its place which did much better, the seed used here was of the first recd from Mr Chichester and was of the last year. The hands at Dogue run having just needed their swamp corn as I got there about noon — I directed, finding there was no prospect of getting over the corn there with hoes before harvest that the whole shd be immediately succoured, and then between this and Sunday the forwardest which was also the most weedy should be gone over with the Hoes.
The Mowers after cutting down the clover yesterday (wch was done by noon) went into the meadow at Morris’s wch had been left, & were cutting there to-day. — the grass at the Ferry was all got into cocks this afternoon. Doctr La Moyeur came in before Dinner.
Mr Shaw went after breakfast to day, to see if he could engage any mowers for me, he returned in the afternoon, having partly engaged 2 or 3.
Mercury at 68 in the Morning, 71 at noon and 70 at night, Cool & pleasant, the wind being at N° West & Westerly all day.
At home all day — in the evening Major Gibbs came in.
Planted in one row, between the Cherokee Plumb & the honey locust back of the N° Garden adjoining the Green House (where the Spanish Chest-nuts had been placed and were rotten) 25 of the Paliurus, very good to make hedges and inclosures for fields. Also in the section between the Work House & Salt house adjourning the Pride of China Plants, & between the rows in which the Carolina laurel seeds had been sowed, 46, of the Pistatia nut in 3 rows and in the places where the Hemlock pine had been planted and were dead, Et & W of the Garden gates, the seeds of the Pyramidical Cyprus 75 in number all of which with others were presented to me by Mr. Michaux Botanist to his Most Christn Majesty.
Mr Shaw went out again today to procure if to be had scythe men for corn and grass of which he engaged two for the latter to be at work at Dogue run tomorrow, and four of the latter to be at this place on Monday.
Friday — 30th
Mercury at 65 in the Morning, 68 at noon, and 70 at night, clear and pleasant all day, the wind being at N° West and West all day, though not fresh.
Rid to the Plantations at Muddy hole, Dogue run & Ferry; & to the Hay Makers at the second. At Dogue found the corn had all been succoured, and the hoes had got into the fresh & weedy ground along the wood side — about 3 O’clock yesterday. The Meadow near the Overseers House at this place would all be cut down about dinner time. The two white men viz; Tayler & Hill, engaged by Mr. Shaw yesterday, having got to work there this Morning. The plows at the ferry finished the drill corn yesterday about 2 O’clock and the hoes got over it about breakfast.
Began to cut My Rye at the Ferry about 12 O’clock today. employed three Negro cradlers — viz — Cæsar, Sambo & Boatswain — the greater part of which appeared to me to be blighted and the rest very ripe & much beat down, both Rye & Wheat at this place had the appearance of greater ripeness than at any other and might have been safely cut six or eight days ago, if I could have left my corn to do it.
Mr. Bushrod Washington445 came in while we were at dinner.
Saturday — 1st
Mercury at 66 in the Morning, 72 at noon — and 72 at night. Calm all day, cool & pleasant in the morning, but warm afterwards.
Rid to the Ferry, Dogue run and Muddy hole Plantations. Finished (about noon) crossing the cut in which Barrys Houses stand, and went to crossing in the one adjoining next the woods –– the hoes by this evening will have got over all the forward corn. At Muddy hole the corn was got over with the Hoes this afternoon, but the Plows were not able to accomplish it. Compleated Hoeing corn in the Neck this afternoon, and also planting it the second time.
Preparing to begin my harvest generally, on Monday, & made the arrangemts accordingly. Planted 4 of the Ramnus Tree (an evergreen) one on each side of the garden gates, a peg with two notches drove down by them (Pegs N° 1 being by the Pyramidical Cypruus) — also planted 24 of the Phil lirea latifolia (an evergreen shrub) in the shrubberies by Pegs No. 3 — and 48 of the Cytin, a tree produced in a colder climate of quick growth, by pegs N° 4. All these plants were given to me by Mr. Michaux.
Walking into my orchard grass this evening I found the seed very ripe, and shedding at a small touch, tho’ the stalk and under part appeared quite green (head brown) immediately set to cutting the heads with reap hooks, with such hands as I could pick up, least by delaying it till Monday the greater part might be lost.
Doctr La Moyeur who went from this on Wednesday last last to Alexandria returned this afternoon — and Major Gibbes went away after breakfast.
Sunday — 2d
Mercury at 68 in the Morning, 78 at noon, and 76 night. Clear with but little, and that at South; very warm.
About noon I set out for the intended meeting (to be held tomorrow) at the Seneca Falls — Dined at Colo Gilpins; where meeting with Col° Fitzgerald we proceeded all three of us to Mr Bryan Fairfax s and lodged.
Monday — 3d
After a very early breakfast (about sunrise,) we left Mr. Fairfax’s, and arriving at the head of the Seneca Falls (where a vessel was to have met us) was detained till near ten O’clock before one arrived to pass us over to our place of rendezvous at Mr. Goldsborough’s. — Met Governor Johnson here; Govr Lee was prevented by the situation of Mrs Lee from attending. A colo Francis Deakin446 appointed on the part of Maryland to lay out the road which was to be opened between the Eastern and Western waters at the expense of that State & Virginia also attended, and made a verbal report of his & Col° Nevilles survey, to effect this purpose the result of which was that they had agreed that the best route for the said road was from the mouth of savage river, through the glades to cheat river, a little below the Dunker bottom; and from thence to the Monongahila (as they conceived the navigation of Cheat river thro’ the Laurel hill very difficult) below the Tyger’s valley; — distance about 50 miles —. He was of opinion that besides the difficulties in the N° branch between the mouths of savage & stony river, that little or nothing would be shortened in the road from the bearing, or trenching off, of the north branch between these two places. — To these matters however he did not speak with precission, or certainty, as his assistant who had his field notes & Survey, had not returned.
A heavy shower of rain a good deal of wind, and much thunder and lightning just abt and after dark. — A house to appearance about 3 miles off was consumed by fire, occasioned as was supposed by lightening, but whether it was a dwelling house or Barn we did not hear, nor could we discover to whom it belonged.
The day was very warm, and without wind, till the gust arose.
Tuesday — 4th
The Directors determined to prosecute their first plan for opening the navigation of the river in the bed of it, and as straight as it was practicable and ordered the Manager to proceed accordingly & to remove the hands from the works at the Great falls to the Seneca & other parts of the river as it was their wish having but 3 years from the commencemt of the act to perfect the navigation above the falls. Mr Rumsey having signified his disinclination to serve the company any longer for the pay and emoluments which had been allowed him, and the Directors not inclining to increase them, they parted, and Mr Stuart447 (the first assistant) was appointed in his place. Mr Smith448 the other assistant had his wages raised to £200 Maryld Curry pr Ann.
These matters being settled, Govr Johnson returned home — Col° Fitzgerald proceeded on to Berkeley & Frederick, and Colo Gilpin and myself resolved to send our horses to the Great falls and go by water to that place ourselves; and were happy to find that the passage on the Virginia side of all the Islands was vastly the best; and might be made easy and good at little expence. — There being in short only 3 places where there was any difficulty, & these not great. Shallow water in a low state of the river, is all that is to be feared.449
After dining with Mr Rumsey at the Great falls Colo Gilpin and myself set out in order to reach our respective homes but a gust of wind & rain, with much lightning compelled me to take shelter, about dark at his house where, I was detained all night. This day was also exceedingly warm, there being but little wind.
Wednesday — 5th
I set out about sun rising, & taking my harvest fields at Muddy hole & the ferry in my way, got home to breakfast.
Found that my harvest had commenced as I directed, at Muddy hole & in the Neck on Monday last — with 6 Cradlers at the first, to wit, Isaac, Cowper Tom, Ben overseer Will, Adam, & Dogue run Jack who tho’ newly entered, made a very good hand; and gave hopes of being an excellent Cradler. — That Joe (Postilian) had taken the place of Sambo at the Ferry since Monday last, & the harvest there proceeded under the cutting of Cæsar, Boatswain, & him. That in the Neck 6 Cradles were constantly employed, & sometimes 7. viz: — James, (who having cut himself in the Meadow could not work constantly), Davy, overseer who having other matters to attend to could not stick to it, Sambo, Essex, George (blacksmith) Will, Ned; and Tom Davis who had never cut before, and made rather an awkward hand of it. Tom Nokes was also there, but he cut only now and then, at other times shocking, repairing rake &ca. That the gangs at Dogue Run & Muddy hole were invited, & were assisted by Anthony, Myrtilla & Dolshy from the home house. That besides Tom Davis, Ben from the Mill had gone into the Neck and that Sail brass (when not washing) & Majr Washington’s Tom were assisting the ferry people. That Cowpers Jack & Day with some small boys and girls (wch had never been taken out before) were assisting the farmer in making Hay after two white men who had been hired to cut grass, — and found that the state of the Mercury in the thermometer had during my absence, been as follows. —Viz:
This day (Wednesday) clouded about noon and before dinner began to rain, tho’ not much, & rained again at and in the night but not a great deal.
Thursday — 6th
Mercury at 71 in the Morning, 77 at noon — and — at 76 at N. Morning hazy, with thunder & rain in the afternoon.
Rid to Muddy hole & into the neck; found that the Rye at the first had been cut down yesterday and that the wheat was entered upon, and that the grain being wet this morning it could not either be shocked, or bound. The rakers were therefore employed in succouring the drilled corn at Muddy hole.
The Rye at the Ferry was also cut down yesterday about dinner time. The plows at this place 3 in number having finished crossing the corn, on the hill had begun to cross that cut below, adjoining the drilled corn. — In the Neck after the Plows had finished crossing the river cut, in the great field, 6 plows went into the drilled corn (on Tuesday) and were running a single furrow on each side of it, the Peas, Potatoes, & cabbages by way of giving them a hill.
Friday — 7th
Mercury at 72 in the morning 80 at noon — and 75 at night. Clear in the forenoon but very sultry, with wind thunder, lightning & rain in the afternoon.
Rid to all the Plantations; The Plows at Muddy hole (where 3 were at work) had finished the east cut of Corn, and had begun to plow that cut by the bars adjoining the drilled corn the 3d time. Those at Morris’s four in number, had got about half-over the Eastermost cut next the Overseers House, and the Farmer was stacking the grass which had been in cocks some time in the meadow adjoining it.
Brought in the remainder of the clover Hay, & Seed at Muddy to the stack at the barn there.
Washington Custis being sick I sent for Doctr Craik to visit him and a sick child in the neck, he arrived before dinner & after going into the neck & returning stayed all night.
Mr Shaw went up to Alexandria to day on my business in the waggon also to bring sundries down.
Mercury at 74 in the Morning, 78 at noon — and 77 at night, clear & warm, with very little wind till about 2 O’clock, when a black & extensive cloud arose to the Westward out of which much wind issued with considerable thunder and lightning and a smart shower of Rain.
Rid to the Ferry, Muddy hole & Neck Plantations. Finished cutting the Rye about noon at the latter, and set into the Wheat adjoining immediately after. I should have finished cutting & securing in shocks the Wheat at Muddy hole this afternoon, had it not been for the interruption given by the rain.
The Rye at all the Plantations had been much beat down & tangled previous to the cutting any of it, and much loss will be sustained from this cause in addition to the defection in the head; but neither this grain nor the wheat have been so much layed by the late winds & rains, as might have been expected. — of the latter indeed, tho’ much was threatened, not a great deal fell.
Sunday — 9th
Mercury at 76 in the Morning, 79 at noon and 78 at night.
Mercury at — in the Morning, 82 at noon and 82 at night. Very warm all day, and calm till the evening, when a breeze from the Southward sprung up. — More appearances of rain in the morning than in the evening but none fell.
Rid to the Neck, Muddy hole & Dogue Plantations — Began harvest at the latter this Morning with the people belonging to the place; the Muddy hole hands finished their’s by breakfast, after wch (about half after eleven) the two gangs invited again. In the Neck the plows on Saturday finished running the furrow on each side the drilled corn, by way of hilling it; — and to day began to break or plow the intermediate spaces.
Doctr Stuart, Mrs Stuart & the two girls Betsey & Patsey Custis returned after breakfast.
Tuesday — 11th
Mercury at 77 in the Morning 83 at noon and 82 at night. Clear with the wind at S° Wt and pretty fresh.
Rid to the Ferry, Dogue run, & Muddy hole Plantations, and to the mill — At the first the plows had just finished plowing the drilled corn & Potatoes by the Fish House, at the second got into stacks all the Wheat in the meadow by the Overseers House.
Finished cutting the remainder of the Wheat in the great Field in the neck on the Creek.
Doctr Craik came here to breakfast and returned after it to Alexandria.
Wednesday — 12th
Mercury at 79 in the Morning — at noon — and — at night. Wind pretty fresh from the S° West all day, about noon a cloud arose in the West, from whence proceeded a shower of rain and severe lightning and loud thunder.
Visited all my Plantations and the Mill today. — Finished the Wheat harvest at the Ferry about noon, gave the people employed in it the remainder of the day for themselves, but ordered Boatswain & Joe (Cradlers) and the hands from the Home House to go into the neck tomorrow, and the other Cradler (Ceasar) with two or three rakers to go to Dogue run (being most convenient) having before ordered Isaac, & Cowper Tom (cradlers) the house people and 3 rakers from Muddy hole gang, to go into the neck to morrow Morning, supposing the people belonging to the plantation, with the aid above mentioned would be able to compleat the Harvest at Dogue run in the course of tomorrow.
On my return home found Mr Man Page of Mansfield, Mr Frans Corbin, and Doctr Stuart here, and after Dinner Mr Laue Washington & his son Laue came in, Doctr Stuart returned in the evening
Perceived as I rode thro’ my drilled corn at Muddy hole today that the alternate rows of early corn was Tassling and shooting.
Thursday — 13th
Mercury at 72 in the Morning — at noon and — at night. Cloudy all day, with the wind pretty fresh from the Eastward.
Mercury at — in the morning — at noon and — at night, cloudy more or less all day, with the wind pretty fresh from the S° West.
After Breakfast I rid to all my Plantations, found the Plows in the Neck after compleatly, that is after having broke the ground between the furrows that had been run on each side the corn for the purpose of hilling it had got into the Middle cut to do the like there in the Drilled corn. Perceived the Irish Potatoes were coming into blossom at this place, and that after the rain on Wednesday, whilst the Wheat was too wet to bind, the harvest People had pulled a little of the flax at this place also.
The Plows at Dogue run finished plowing the Cut they were in next the overseers House, & had begun to plow the drilled corn, on the East side of the field, leaving every other row untouched & turning the mould from the corn in these rows; by wch the middle between the rows where the cabbages, Potatoes, Peas &ca grow would be ridged, intending these ridges to be reduced at the last Plowing, & the rows of Corn to form them. At the same place the hands had begun to hoe Corn in the Cut including Barry’s houses, beginning next Wades old dwelling, some of the people belonging to this Plantation had come to Muddy hole for Rye, which they were thrashing there for their horses. — Muddy hole were hoing a small comer of Corn which was not finished before Harvest — at the Ferry the Plows finished about two O’clock Crossing the cut on the flat, and would begin to plow ye drilled wht by ye Meaw the rest of the People were preparing a yard to head out wheat.
After breakfast Mr Page & Mr Corbin, accompanied by Majr Washington, went up to Abingdon (taking Alexandria in their way) and before breakfast Mr Laus Washington & his son went up by water to the latter place, they all returned again in the Evening, when a Mr Hatfield of England came in.
Saturday — 15th
Mercury at 77 in the Morning 85 at noon, and 83 at Night. Clear, calm, and very warm all day.
After breakfast the company all going away, I rid to all the Plantations except that at the Ferry. — Compleated my wheat harvest in the neck about noon, which made a finish of the whole after wch I directed my people, engaged therein, to pull flax till dinner, & take the remainder of the day to themselves. Much wheat has been left in all the fields this year occasioned lst by the frequent rains and winds which proceeded and happened during harvest (which had laid down and tangled it in some degree) 2d by beginning my harvest too late. — and 3rd by the manner of cutting and gathering it into shocks. — It is unlucky that from several causes, I was prevented trying by experiment, this year, how early wheat, or Rye might be cut without injury to the grain; but satisfied I am that, this may be done with safety as soon as it is out of its Milky State, — at any rate, that the loss by shrinkage in the beginning of a harvest from this cause, is not equal to the loss by shattering at the latter end of it, or to the hazard of its being entangled, or laid down by winds and rain, which every year is the case in a greater, or lesser degree when harvest is long, & the grain ripe. — For these reasons the following method may, I think, be attempted with success in the future; and it will be found that many advantages will flow from it.
1st. To make every Plantation, or farm, take care of its own grain witht uniting their hands.
2d. To encrease the number of cradlers at each, to such a number only, as will give two rakers to each, and leave a sufficiency besides to gather and put the wheat into shocks. — and, generally speaking, with negro labourers, the following distribution may be found to come as near the mark in Wheat made in Corn ground, as any Viz: — for every two cradlers to allow 4 rakers, 1 shocker, and two carriers, for the last of which boys and girls are competent.
3d. To give the Cradlers a start of two days of the rakers & Shockers. — letting them begin to cut as soon as the milk leaves the grain, and before it becomes hard & flinty leaving the grain this time in the swarth, for the straw to cure, before it is raked, bound & put into shocks.
4th. To order & see that the Cradlers cut slow, & lay their grain regular & well; after it is cut low & clean; which will be found more advantages than to hurry over the grd in order to put an end to harvest, as is usual. By beginning early time will be allowed for these, especially as wheat cut in this state yields much easier, and pleasanter to the stroke, & can be laid much better than when the straw gets dry & harsh.
5th. By giving this start to the cradlers, the straw (as hath been observed before) will be sufficiently cured to bind and shock and it must be seen that the Rakers also do their work clean and well, which is more likely to be the case without particular attention, than when one half their time they are scampering after the cutters to keep up; and the other half are standing whilst the Cradlers are whetting their Scythes, drinking, or talking.
6th. Each raker must take a swarth & not two go in one that the authors of bad work may be more easily detected. — By this mode of proceeding the raking & binding will will be done with more ease, regularity and dispatch, because it becomes a sober settled work, there being no pretext for hurrying at one time, but standing at another. — but
7th. By this means, I am persuaded that the number of rakers which usually follow Cradlers, would, by the middle of harvest or by the time the grain is in condition to shock as it comes from the Cradle be fully up with them and then might go on together if it should be conceived best.
Admitting that the grain can be cut with safety as soon as it comes out of the Milky State the advantages here described added to the superior quality of the straw for fodder, and indeed for every other purpose, greatly over ballances any inconveniencies which may result from the practice, & which must lay chiefly if not wholly, in these 1st. The hazard of a heavy beating rain which may settle the swarth among the stubble so as to make it bad to rake, and difficult perhaps to get up clean, and 2d lighter rains and Dews which may interrupt the binding, the straw not drying so soon in swarth as it does standing nor can it be meddled with so early in the morning generally. But as neither rain, nor Dews will hurt the grain (on the contrary will make it thrash easier and do very little injury to the straw,) and as there is always work enough on the Plantations to employ the hands in (such as succouring & hoeing of corn, pulling flax, weeding of vines, Pease, &ct &cc) supposing the interruptions above mentioned to happen no labour need be lost because as each harvest will be managed by the hands belonging to the farm or Plantation they can without inconvenience (having their tools always at hand) shift from one kind of work to another without preparation or fitting themselves for it.
Sunday — 16th
Mercury at 78 in the Morning 86 at noon and 84 at Night. Very little wind at any time in the day but very hot.
Doctr Craik came here in the forenoon dined, and returned afterwards.
Monday — 17th
Mercury at 78 in the morning 85 at noon and 79 at at night. Exceedingly warm all day with but little wind. After noon a cloud arose out of which we had only a sprinkling of rain the body of the cloud passing above, i.e. to the Northward of this place.
Rid to the Plantations in the neck, Muddy hole, Dogue run & Ferry, at the first began to cut the ripest of the oats, but thinking them in general too green quitted after breakfast and sat all hands to pulling flax the doing of which was compleated about sundown. At Muddy hole the people were employed in clearing a yard to tread wheat in, and in getting in wheat & Rye — of the latter 6 shocks (got in by the Dogue run hands) yielded 11½ bushels of clear Rye, and 4 other shocks brought in by the hands of the Plantation & threshed by them 5 B1 of clear rye was produced. Dogue run people cut their oats in the upper Meadow, and the Ferry were employed as yesterday about their wheat.
Tuesday — 18th
Mercury at 77 in the morning — 87 at noon — and 84 at night, A heavy forenoon with much appearances of rain but none fell, very hot afternoon when the sun at intervals came out. a breeze from the S° West all day.
Rid to all the Plantations except that at the Ferry. — began to cut the meadow at the Neck plantation to day, and to clean & prepare at the yard for treading wheat there. Finished hilling with the plows all the corn at Muddy hole which was planted in the usual way, & ordered the plows to turn the ground in the drilled corn designed for turnips, & to plow it deep and well. Dogue run people (in part) cleaning and preparing their wheat yard and getting the oats to it. Finished a Hay rack at the House which contained all the Hay that was made at the upper meadow at Dogue run and all that came off the Ferry meadow.
Wednesday — 19th
Mercury at 82 in the Morning 89 at noon and 81 at Night. — Clear until about 2 O’clock when a cloud arose to the westward out of which proceeded a powerful rain.
Rid to all the Plantations today, at that in the neck, the Scythmen having cut (yesterday) the upper part of the Meadow, & to the cross fence: returned to the Oat-field to day at the old orchard fence which they cut down; but did not shock, the straw being too great for it. — At the same place the plows finished the middle cut of the drilled corn, & plowed in the same cut, the intervals between the Corn rows which were designed for Turnips. The Plows at Muddy hole began yesterday afternoon to give the middle cut (next and adjoining the drilled corn) another plowing from the road to the woods back. — 4 other shocks of Rye at this place from another part of the field, yielded about the same quantity of clean grain that the first did, viz. — five bushels from which their being 177 shocks in the field, it may be computed that not more than 220 or 225 will be obtained.
On my return home I found Mr Calvert of Maryland and his son, Col° Bland, Mr Geo. Digges, Mr Foster & Lund Washington here all of whom dined — The 3 first stayed the evening the other three returned.
Thursday — 20th
Mercury at 78 in the Morning 86 at noon and 80 at Night. Very warm all day, About 4 O’clock a cloud arose out of which proceeded a shower of rain after which it cleared, but towards Sundown it overcast and rained moderately for several hours.
Before the rain the Flax in the Neck was thrown into shocks as was part of the oats, another part was set on end (as much as could be of it) and the third part was caught on the ground in the Sheaf by the rain.
Finished cutting the meadows in the neck, this afternoon; & had begun to plow the ground designed for Turnips there, but the rain put a stop to it, the plows then went into the Corn adjoining thereto in the cut next the Barn.
Mr. Calvert & Son was prevented recrossing the river this Afternoon by the rain.
Friday — 21st
Mercury at 76 in the Morning 80 at noon — and 80 at night. A little Cloudy in the Morning but clear afterwards and not so warm as it had been.
Mr. Calvert and Son went away very early in the Morning. After breakfast Col° Bland and Myself road to My plantations at Muddy hole and in the neck, at the first found the grd was too wet for Plowing, and that 4 other shocks of Rye from another part of the field had been threshed which yielded rather better than 7½ bushels of clean grain.
At the other I examined the shocks of Flax wch seemed to be tolerably dry, and in good order, but I directed the Overseer to keep an attentive watch upon them, and the oats, & open & dry them if they appeared to need it, and to get both as soon as he could to the Barn.
Having finished Cutting the meadows in the neck, the farmer & two or three hands remained there to make the Hay, whilst six cutters came over & cut down the Orchard grass at the House which had been stripped of the head (for the seed) on or about the first instant. It may be remarked of this Grass and it adds to the value of it that it does not turn brown at the bottom after it heads, nor does the stubble appear dry, when it is cut, as that of Timothy. — Consequently the after math is more valuable, and the second growth quicker. Whether this effect is natural to the grass, or has been produced by having had the seed taken from it is not altogether certain, but, the first is much more probable, because Timothy would, before it should have approached the same state of maturity, have been quite brown and rusty at bottom, which was not the case with the Orchd grass when the seed was taken from it, nor at any time since and is an evidence that it will wait longer after it is fit for the Scythe than Timothy without injury. It also appeared by some that had been mixed, and grown near to the clover wch was cut about the 7th or 8th of June that it vegetates much quicker after cutting, than Timothy does.
Saturday — 22d
Mercury at 74 in the Morning 82 at noon and 80 at night. Clear all day with the wind at South but not very fresh.
An overseer of mine (at the ferry) informed me that the chintz bug was discovered in his corn and that he apprehended if the weather should turn dry, they would encrease and destroy it, he also informed me that the fly was discovered about the shocks of wheat in his field. At home all day with Col° Bland.
Sunday — 23d
Mercury at 74 in the Morning 80 at noon and 80 at night. Clear and pleasant until about 4 O’clock when the wind which had been pretty fresh from the S° West died away and it turned warm.
Mr Powell, Mr Porter, and Miss Ramsay & Miss Craik came here to breakfast (from Alexa) and returned again after dinner.
Monday — 24th
Mercury at 70 in the Morning 80 at noon and 77 at Night. Wind at N° West and day very pleasant.
After breakfast I accompanied Col° Bland to Mr. Lund Washingtons where he entered the stage on his return home. — Rid from hence to the Plantations, at Dogue run & Muddy hole, at the first I found that the plows had finished the alternate rows of drilled corn on Saturday afternoon, & were then plowing the intermediate rows which had been passed over. Examined the low and sickly looking corn in several parts of this field, and discovered more or less of the Chinch bug on every stalk between the lower blades & it. It is highly probable that the unpromising appearance of most of my corn & which I had been puzled to acct for and ascribing it to other causes may have proceeded from this, and that the calamity, especially, if a drought should follow, will be distressing to a great degree. The Hoes at this plantation will tomorrow have finished the cut they had begun on the West side the field, & would go into the one adjoining.
Muddy hole People were engaged in getting their wheat into shocks, at the barn, and threshing out what Rye they had put into the Barn which amounted to 12 shocks, & yielded 18 Bushels of Clean grain.
Tuesday — 25th
Mercury at 66 in the morning 81 at noon and 80 at night. Clear and pleasant all day, wind being northerly & Easterly.
After breakfast I rid round all my plantations, found my corn in the neck as much infested by the Chinch bug as I had perceived that to be at Dogue run yesterday. The rows of corn which were intermixed with Irish Potatoes, along the fence wch divides the wheatfield (or stubble) from it were perceived to be much better, and more uniform than than any other part of the field, but whether it has been occasioned by dunging it or otherwise I could get no distinct acct some of the negros ascribed it to this cause & it is more probable than that the Potatoes should have been the cause of it. Sowed about five acres of Turnips in brd cast, in the neck in that ground which originally was prepared for the Saint foin & other seeds, these seeds were sowed after a plowing which the ground had just received, and were harrowed in with a heavy harrow, which raked the grass very much into heaps (the ground) tho’ frequently plowed before, having got very grassy). Two hands at this place began yesterday to cut the drilled oats which they would abt accomplish tomorrow. This oats (24 rows) I ordered to be secured and threshed by itself. 5 plows only, were at work here, the waggon & two 64 carts being employed in getting in the grain, all hands except those at plow were engaged in this business, in stacking the Wheat, and threshing of Rye. At Muddy hole, except the three people at the plows, and those employed in drawing in & stacking the Wheat at the Barn all hands had begun to weed the drilled corn and the Plants between the rows — The oats at this place had been cut two or 3 days, & the wheat would be all drawn in & stacked today.
The Dogue run people did not finish the cut they were in yesterday till noon this day, when they entered the one adjoining.
The Ferry People wd nearly get the wheat at that Plantation into stack today.
Doctr Craik was sent for to visit Carpenter, James & Cowper Jack — he also prescribed for a child Nat, over the Creek who was brought here.
Wednesday — 26th
Mercury at 70 in the Morning at noon 80. — And 80 at night. Calm, clear & pleasant all day.
Mr Herbert, Col° Ramsay, Col° Allison and Mr Hunter dined here and returned in the afternoon.
One Edwd Moystan who, formerly lived with Mr Robt Morris as a Steward, & now keeps the city Tavern in Philadelphia came here to consult me on the propriety of his taking the coffee H° in Alexandria, i.e. on the prospect of its answering his purpose for keeping Tavern.
Having fixed a roller to the tale of my drill plow, and a bush harrow between it & the barrel I sent it by G. A. Washington to Muddy hole and had the intervals betwn the Corn which had been left for the purpose, sowed with Turnips in drills and with which it was done very well.
Thursday — 27th
Mercury at 74 in the Morning 84 at noon and 80 at night. Clear in the forenoon and pretty warm. Cloudy after wards with great appearances of a settled rain, little of which fell, what did was chiefly light and more a mist making little impression on the earth.
Rid to Muddy hole, Dogue run, & Ferry Plantations, and to the Mill. Found the wheat all got in and stacked at the first & last mentioned places, and that the Plows had finished plowing the drilled corn on Thursday evening last and were plowing the cut on the Hill, — the rest of the hands at this place, & cart were employed in getting in Rye. The drilled oats between the corn at Muddy hole, being threshed & cleaned, measured 18. bushl
In the evening Mr Thos Fairfax (son of Bryan Fairfax Esqr now Parson) came in and stayed all night.
Mercury at 75 in the Morning 74 at noon and 72 at night. Day very lowering & some times light rains or mists but not to wet the ground. Wind at N° Et
Mr Fairfax went away after Breakfast.
At home all day.
Saturday — 29th
Mercury at 68 in the Morning 74 at Noon, and 71 at night.
Wind Northwardly and pleasant. The Morning cloudy, but clear, about noon, and a little warm. Accompanied by Col° Humphrys I rid to Muddy hole, & Neck Plantations. — The Drilled Oats at the latter between the corn being threshed out & cleaned, measured 54 B. There being 24 rows of these each (allowing for the divisions between the cut & the bouting rows at the ends) about 1075 yards long amounts to 25,800 yards running measure, or 160 yds 19r which is better than 5¼ acres, the quantity to the acre therefore, cannot exceed 10 Bushels, which is less it is presumed than the same kind of land would have produced in broad cast, it is to be remarked however that the abundant wet which had fallen from the middle of May, or thereabouts, till Harvest had in most of the low places destroyed the grain either wholly, or in part by which the quantity growing was reduced but this would also have happened in any square piece of ground as there is scarce any that is not subject to the same accident.
Mercury at 67 in the Morning 78 at noon and 70 at night. Morning a little cloudy, the day upon the whole cool & pleasant with the wind at East.
Monday — 31st
Mercury at 67 in the Morning 73 at noon, and 70 at night. Morning lowering, with small sprinklings of rain but too light to wet anything. — about one O’clock it cleared, wind pretty fresh from the No. East & clear afterwards.
Mr Willm Craik who came here to dinner, afterwards went away for Alexandria on his journey to Hampshire.
Accompanied by Col° Humphreys rid to the plantations at the Ferry and Dogue run, at the first the plowing of the cut upon the hill was finished and the plows in the drilled corn by the fish house, the Hoes were at work in the other Drilled corn. At Dogue run the Hoes had just finished the cut they had been in; and the Plows the drilled corn; into which the Hoes had entered on the east side next the Swamp. The Plows would now cease till the Horses could be a little refreshed & get out wheat for sowing.
On behalf of Mr. Appleton P. C. Griffin, a Corresponding Member, and Chief Assistant Librarian of Congress, Mr. Henry H. Edes communicated two letters written in 1692 by Isaac Addington to William Blathwayt, and spoke as follows:
It will be remembered that at the time Volume II of our Publications went to press, five of the Massachusetts Royal Commissions were missing; and that at our meeting in December last Mr. Matthews announced the discovery of four of them, and communicated copies.454 The single commission which thus far has eluded our diligent search is that of Isaac Addington, the first Secretary of the Province, who was named in the Charter. Shortly after our December meeting, Mr. Griffin sent me the proof sheets of a list of manuscripts recently acquired by the Library of Congress. In it I noticed a letter written by Addington to Mr. Secretary Blathwayt in the summer of 1692. As this date is so near that of the arrival of the Charter it seemed possible that it might contain some reference to the long-sought Commission. I therefore asked for a copy of the document and in a few days received a photostat. The paper also contains a portion of another letter of Addington to Blathwayt, dated in October, 1692. The letters follow.455
I may not omit to render my hearty acknowledgment of Oblig[ation] and Gratitude unto your Self for your favour in the Honor confe[rred] upon me by their Majtys appointing me to be Secretary of th[e] Province of the Massachusetts Bay, In which Office I sha[ll] studiously Endeavour to approve my Self in all Loyalty, and i[n] fidelity unto their Majties Service. And in Obedience to His [Majesty’s] Commands signified to me in a Letter from the Right [Honourable] Lords of his Majties most Honble Privy Council the Co[mmittee for] Trade and forreigne Plantations. I have by Capne Joh[n Ware] Commander of the Friendship, Transmitted unto your Self [the] Acts made and passed by the Great and Generall Court or Assembly, the Copys of the Minutes or Journalls of the Council &c to be la[id] before their Lordships. And shall take care to forward Duplicates by the next succeeding Conveyance I am informed by a Letter fr[om] Mr Povey that your self was pleased to order a Box of Rul’d [Paper] for that purpose, but am not advised to whose care it was commi[tted] I have made Enquiry about it, but cannot hear of it; In want there[of] I have endeavoured to attend the best direction I could gather f[rom] Mr Poveys Letter for the forme of Transcribing of the Journalls [of the] Council, and hope you will please to have me excused if it do not exactly conforme to what was expected; what is wanting or amiss[ing] upon your Intimation shall readily be amended for fut[ure] Affaires of the Warr, together with the intending of [ ] settlement of the Government has putt upon those hurrys [ ] Render things done less digested and imperfect. His Excell[ency is] now setting forward an Expedition against the French and In[dian] Enemy and intends to go in person to Conduct that affair w[hich I] hope will be attended with good success for the giving Check to [the] Insolence of the Treacherous and Barbarous Enemies He purpose[es to] Imbarque within a few day’s And I understand is preparing be[fore] his departure to lay before his Majty an Account of the prese[nt] State of Affaires here by which you will be more fully informed. [With] the tenders of my most humble Service, praying the Continuance [of] your Favour, I subscribe —
Your most Humbl[e]
and obliged Servan[t]
July 16th 1692
The above is Copy of what went by Capne Ware I have n[ow by] Capne Beard, being the next Succeeding Conveyance forwarde[d] Duplicates of the Acts &c. then sent. About a month since [His] Excellency putt into my hand a Deputation from your self [for the] Office of Auditor Generall &c. which he had just then received from Mr Usher. I had no Letter nor Instructions therewith to direct in the management thereof Or what allowance is Expected, would gladly be Serviceable unto your Honour wherein I may be capeable, please to lett me understand what methods are proper in that affaire His Excellency is returned from the Eastward and has disbanded most part of the fforces, the Enemy were aware of an Expedition forming against them and so retired into the Wilderness, the Army visited their usuall places of Randevouz and planting grounds and cutt up and destroyed their Corn, but mist of them. His Excellency has erected a Stone Fort at Pemaquid, which is near finished, and Two Companys of Souldiers are Posted there. About a fortnight since was brought in here a French Prize456 taken near the River of Canada (being bound to Quebeck) by Two Vessells that were fitted out from hence, she is a Flyboat of about Three hundred Tun, the Report is that she is richly Laden, a Tryall and Condemnation passed upon her yesterday, so that now they will begin to unlade and see what is their purchase.457 Wee have had no direct Intelligence from Europe this Two months. The Victory obtained by their Majtys Fleet was received with all possible Demonstrations of Joy. And it is hoped there will be the like Occasion of rejoyceing for further success attending their Majties Arm’s both by Sea and Land, wch God grant. Our Generall Assembly are to meet the next week, what Acts shall then pass. I shall take care to Transmitt unto your Honor according to my Duty, Who am —
Your most humble
and obliged Servant
October 4th 1692
To the Honble William Blathwayt
Att the Plantation Office
4 October 1692
from Mr Addington
Recd 23 Dec 1692
In the earliest days of the Bay Colony the gathering of a church after the settlement of a plantation was the exception rather than the rule; and in the few shore towns at that time the congregations with their ministers were in existence at the beginning of the settlements. There were several such churches when Dedham was settled in 1636. The Dedham Society met in Watertown until August of that year, its whole attention being given to civil affairs; then followed the meetings in the new settlement on the Charles River, where the present village is. The town records show during those early months how busy the settlers were with such affairs, and the allotments of land by the proprietors. Early in 1637, church matters were taken up.
On July 18, 1637, John Allin and several others, “being ꝑpownded to sit downe wth vs,” were admitted as townsmen. This brings us to the contemporary record of the gathering of the church, in John Allin’s handwriting, in which he begins by saying that there were then about thirty families in the township, —
being cõe together by divine ꝑvidence from sev̄all ꝑts of England: few of them knowne to one another before: it was thought meete & agreed upon that all ye inhabitants yt affected church cõmunion or pleased to cõe, should meete ev̄y 5t day of ye weeke at severall houses in order.
Then followed nearly a year and a half of their trial of the spiritual temper and gifts of their number, using the Scriptures as the authority for their right among themselves to form an independent church. During this period, out of all their labors they set apart eight men for the immediate work of establishing their church, John Allin being the leader of the little group. But all this time they realized the “great waight of ye worke” and their “great weaknes & insufficiency thereto;” and they tried to find one who would be their pastor. Allin writes in 1638:
We did expect & much indeavoured ye guidance & helpe of mr Jo: Phillips who came ov̄ that summer wth some godly company & had bene invited to this plantation by letters formerly having therfore hopes from him of obtayning he was much desyred in ye 1t beginning, whereupon he delaying his resolution we were so delayed in our conclusion of this worke as yt ye summer passed away in expectation of his helpe.459
With many things yet to be cleared up, Allin a little later continues:
Whereunto we had ye longer time by ye delayes of Mr Phillips who being caled divers waies could not spedily resolue but at length upon waighty reasons cõcerning ye publike service of ye Church & foundation of ye colledge he was so far ꝑswaded to attend to ye call of Cambridge yt we saw no ꝑrsent hopes of him & so about ye beginning of October came to resolutions to cast ourselues upon ye lord . . .460
Though disappointed, they ventured on for more than another month “wth such help as he [the Lord] should afford rather than delay so great & needfull a worke any longer.”
The church was “gathered” on September 8, 1638; John Allin was asked to be pastor; and on April 24, 1639, he was ordained. Did Phillips take up his new work in Cambridge and for the College?
It is interesting to note in connection with the beginning of the College that before the General Court granted the £400 in October, 1636, the following action had been taken by Salem, as recorded in its book of grants:
At a genall court or Towne meeting of Salem, held the second of the third moneth called May, Ao. 1636.
Inprs after the reading of former orders; In the reading of an order for the division of Marble head neck; A motion was brought in by Cp. Endicott in behalfe of mr. John Humphries for some Land beyond fforest River, moved by spetiall argument one whereof was, Least yt should hinder the building of a Colledge wch would be manie [mens?] losse.
It was agreed upon his motion that six men should be nominated by the towne to view these lands, and to consider of the pmisses, and for that end was named
mr Roger Conant
mr Townsen Bishop
On June 6, 1639, the General Court took the following action, showing Mr. Peter’s connection with the desire for this early location of the College at Marblehead:
It was ordered, that a letter should bee sent to Mr Humfrey to send in the 100ƚ which is in his hand to further the colledge.
Mr Endecot, Mr Downing, & Mr Hauthorne are to dispose of the house wch Mr Peters bought as they can, & returne the money for the colledge.462
Following Mr. Peter’s early labors in behalf of the College was the arrival of Mrs. Ames in Salem bringing with her Dr. Ames’s valuable library, said to have been “the first furniture of this [the College] Library,”463 to whom the General Court gave soon afterward, in 1637, a gratuity of £40.
Then Nathaniel Eaton, a pupil of Dr. Ames at Franeker, came early the same summer to be the first head of the College. In the summer of 1638 John Phillips arrived here, with his wife Elizabeth, a sister of Dr. Ames, probably at the house of Mrs. Ames at Salem, soon for a brief time to assist in the Cambridge Church and in the first year’s work of the College.
Most of the graduates of English universities who came to our wilderness in the early days of the Colony were from the University of Cambridge. The earliest graduate, in seniority, after William Brewster, of Plymouth, to come to our shores was John Phillips, who was matriculated at Emmanuel as pensioner, Easter Term, 1594, graduated at St. Catharine’s College, 1596–7,464 received his A.M. from Clare College in 1600, and his S.T.B. from Clare in 1608. He became rector of Wrentham, in Suffolk, England, in 1609, and was married there on January 6, 1611–2, to Elizabeth, sister of Dr. William Ames. It was there, too, on October 22, 1622, that our John Allin was married to Margaret Morse, and on October 24, 1623, that his eldest son John Allin was baptized, both probably by Mr. Phillips; the Allin family at that time being residents of Denton, a village in Norfolk a few miles from Wrentham. It is thought that Dr. Ames had encouraged his brother-in-law to adopt the Congregational way. To whom should John Allin turn but to his old friend Phillips, the Wrentham rector, to be the pastor at Dedham, whose alma mater was also his own, though twenty years earlier?
In 1638 Phillips was deprived of his living, and ejected from his church and its ministry; and in the summer of that year we find him on this side of the water at first declining two calls of the Dedham Church, and about to take up the call of the Cambridge Church to assist Shepard and to enter into the work of the College, for both of which he was apparently much wanted.
Thomas Shepard, who came to Newtown with a company of about sixty persons in 1635, on February 1, 1636, became the pastor of the Cambridge Church, organized on that day, only a short time before Hooker and his company departed, whose places they soon filled.465 The General Court, in the fall of 1637, was sitting at Newtown in Shepard’s Church when the order was passed for the College to be begun there. In his valuable paper on Hints of Contemporary Life in the Writings of Thomas Shepard,466 our associate Mr. Davis says that it was Shepard’s strong influence, according to Cotton Mather, which secured the selection of that place as the site of a proposed college, and that “with the Court holding its sessions in his church, surrounded by his own people, and with himself in earnest in the work, he was able to accomplish his purpose.” Shepard looked upon the College as “an opportunity of doing good to many by doing good to students.” On November 20, of that year, 1637, he was appointed by the General Court on a committee, with ten others and Roger Harlakenden, who had come from England with him in 1635, and who in the old country had extended favor and protection to him. Shepard’s company at once entered into public affairs, and Harlakenden had been chosen first selectman. The call to the Cambridge church and to the foundation of the College was substantially one from Shepard himself to John Phillips, now over fifty years of age, while Shepard was about thirty-three, both of Cambridge University.
Agreed and voted that there should be a Village graunted to Mr Phillips & his company vppon such conditions as the 7 men appointed for the towne affairs should agree on.467
A little later, on March 13, 1638–9, the General Court entered on its records that —
Mr Ezechi: Rogers, Mr John Phillips, & their company had granted them 8 miles every way into the countrey, where it may not trench vpon other plantations already setled.468
This plantation on September 4, 1639, was called Rowley. Felt says that the earlier vote, on December 31, 1638, was the origin of Salem Village, and that Phillips was “received” there then as a townsman.
The following entries are taken from an old church book kept at Cambridge by one of the deacons, and tell of his coming to that place:
[January 4, 1638/39?] pd to my brother Cane for going to Salem with a message to mr Phillips (when he was about to come to us) 5.0.0
[After July 9, 1639?] paid the h[o]yman that brought Mr. Philips to us his goods bringing from Salem when he Removed to us469 [erased]
We [ ] this [the last charge] and took it out of that received for officer’s maintenance
payd my brother cane for helping Mr. Philips at his first coming to set up his goods & howsold, 5s 0.5.0
payd my brother cane for carying a leter to Salem (concerninge clearinge about Mr. Philips) to Mr. Hawthorne 0.5.0
payd my brother cane for his helpe in Mr Philips removing to Mr. Pellams house for 1 day and ½ 0.3.0
pd for a help of another to mend Mr Pelams house for Mr Philips470 0.1.6
Paige471 says Phillips removed to Cambridge in 1639, and remained about a year. He lived for a time in a house of Mr. Herbert Pelham, who married the widow of Roger Harlakenden; and while occupying this house built a house for himself on the northerly side of Kirkland Street, afterward the homestead of Deputy-Governor Thomas Danforth, and then of the Foxcrofts.472 The following entries from the Cambridge Records relate to this house:
Att a meeting of the Inhabitants of this Towne in May 1650:
It was voted and consented vnto by the Towne that the house wch mr Philips built annent Charlestowne lane, with the land adjoyneing & wood lott should be Sould to Thomas Danforth for fifty pounds to be payd by him to mr Philips or his assignes, in Current Country pay, vpon Demand at the said house. The said Tho: Danforth to Enjoy the said house & land to him his heyres & assignes for eur473
10–12–1655, Whereas this Towne about 5: years now past bargained with Thomas Danforth for that house wherein he now liveth, Vpon condiccõn that he should pay to the Assignes of mr Philips of Wrent. the Erector of the said house: the Sume of fifty pounds in Currant Country pay vpon demand in Cambr. And whereas the said money have hitherto neyther been payd nor demanded, but the said Thomas Danforth doth demand a deed of Sale to be made him by the Townsemen, pleading yt Mr Dunster hath recd forty pounds in part there of474
How Mr. Dunster came into the matter can only be surmised. He resigned the presidency of the College in 1654, and it may be that he represented some interest of the College in the property.
With a clear understanding, as appears by the Dedham Church records, Phillips, by the beginning of October, 1638, had accepted the call to the “publicke service of the Church & foundation of ye Colledge” at Cambridge. It is to be assumed that the call was urgent and that Shepard needed him in both of these important positions; and it hardly seems likely that he so far delayed accepting it that he did not remove from Salem to Cambridge until the early part of 1639, as Paige would have us believe. It is probable that on his arrival in the summer of 1638 he and his wife took up their abode with Mrs. Ames at Salem; and that it was not convenient to remove their belongings to Cambridge until 1639, although he might have been temporarily accommodated, from the beginning of his service in the fall of 1638, perhaps in a house of Mr. Pelham’s, in Cambridge. Moreover, it is not unlikely that in 1639 Mrs. Ames was ready to remove her goods, with her children, to Cambridge; for William, her son, who entered College in 1641, would need to spend some time in the “faire Grammar School” in preparation.
Just when Phillips gave up his position in Cambridge is uncertain, but toward the beginning of 1640, there was a further effort on the part of Salem to have him return to that plantation, as the following vote shows:
21–11–1639. Granted to Mr. Phillips to be an Inhabitant & to haue 80 acres of land.
Provided yt these 6 last grants from this mrke * is wth the condicion that they continew in the Plantation to vse the same.475
Then follows, in the course of events, an expression again of the warm interest of the Dedham plantation in Mr. Phillips by extending a third call in the following minute entered early in 1640:
Mention was made before of ye ernest desyre of ye church to enjoy ye helpe of mr Phillips wch thay expressed by yr invitations wth ye consent of ye whole Towne before yel joyned & after by a renued call of ye church. but ye lords time not being come he was drawne rather to attend ye call of other places till ye 1t month of ye yeare 1640. but ye lord ordering things so by a speciall ꝑvidence yt he no wher settled but was freed from all ingagemts, ye lord allso disapointing our indeavours to supply other wher. when we came to take notice of his liberty from all other places we found ye harts of all ye church desyrous to renew the former invitation wch was so suted wth many speciall ꝑvidences of god in respect of himselfe & us yt he saw ye lords hand clerely in it, & so cherfully accepted ye same, & after his coming to us & some more acquaintance wth ye church he was ꝑpounded: wth is wife allso 24th of ye 3m 1640. & admitted wth much rejoicg̃ of ye church both he & his wife 31 of ye 3dm 1640.476
On a leaf at the end of John Allin’s volume of records are several entries of intended departures to England, and of dismissions from the Church, from 1641 to 1645. Among these is the following entry:
Likewise our Rev̄d brother mr Joh: Philips wth his wife ꝑpounding divers reasons of yr intended departure & returne to England for ye satisfaction of ye church therin & further advise about ye same ye church though divers were unsatisfied in his reasons yet yeilded consent to his depture as appere in other notes to yt effect. & he tooke ship 26th 8mo 1641477
Two references to Phillips in contemporary writings may be mentioned: Lechford in his Plain Dealing, the preface of which was written in 1641, speaks of two ministers at Dedham, “master Phillips out of office” and “master Allen Pastor or Teacher;” we find his name signed to a “Declaration of Ministers of Massachusetts,” dated at Roxbury, September 23, 1640, with that of Allin, Shepard, Weld, and others.478
The reforms begun in England by the Long Parliament in 1640 stopped the immigration to our shores, and the tide set the other way. New England men, including many of the early graduates of Harvard College, in the following years sought service in the country which their fathers had long since left. Phillips returned to his old parish at Wrentham, now under new and more congenial conditions. On June 12, 1643, he was chosen a member of the famous Westminster Assembly, gathered to give advice to Parliament on matters of religion. Mrs. Ames’s son William, who graduated from Harvard in 1645, soon returned to England to become co-pastor with his uncle John Phillips; and the parish had the benefit of the pastorate of the uncle until his death on February 2, 1660.
Mr. Edes referred to the early setting apart by the Dedham Church of “every fifth day of the week” for a meeting of those who “affected church communion or pleased to come,”479 and remarked that the Thursday lecture, which for more than two centuries played a prominent part in the religious life of Boston, has been commemorated, and in a way continued, by the First Church in Boston, which annually holds a vesper service on Thursday afternoons from Thanksgiving until Easter.