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Sunday — 2814
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 - 296)
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 M' Tobias Lear 1 who had been previously engaged on a salary of 200 Dollars, to live with me as a private Secretary & precepter for Washington Custis? 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 Colo 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, 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.
1 Tobias Lear was born at Portsmouth and had graduated from Harvard College in 1783.
? See p. 180 note, below.
: An English farmer from Gloucestershire, who had arrived on April 21 (vii. 394).
Tuesday - 30%
Wind tho' not much of it was still at East — Morning misty and threatening till dinner time after which it cleared.
Accompanied by Colo 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 — 31% 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. Colo 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 — 18 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.
Doct" Craik was sent for to a negro man named Adam in the Neck & to a negro woman amy at Muddy hole — after visiting these People & dining here he returned home.
M' Shaw was sent to Alexandria on my business to day, and returned in the night.
Friday — 24
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 M: Sanderson at Alexandria, the other Gentleman returned to the ship. Sent to Doct" 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 - ga 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.
Sunday 4* 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's 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 - 500 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 DoctJenifer? came & returned in the after noon. — Soon after breakfast Miss's Sanderson, Wilson, Murray & M.Pherson came in, all of whom except the latter, went away before dinner M* 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
1 Dr. Daniel Jenifer.
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 apr? 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.
M: Shaw (with my newly purchased shoemaker to provide himself with Tools) went up to Town on my business & returned in the afternoon.
Wednesday — yea 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