Agriculture and Horticulture


Abednego Adams (1721–1809), a planter and one of GW's closest neighbors, lived on Little Hunting Creek, Virginia.

Alexander Cleveland was overseer of Muddy Hole farm in 1765, and was later an overseer at the River farm plantation.

In March 1762, GW bought from his brother Samuel the indenture of Robert Haims, a white servant, who worked for a time as a ditcher at Mount Vernon. Haims, whom GW employed again in 1763, 1766, ... Read More

John Alton (d. 1785) was GW’s body servant in Braddock’s campaign and remained in his service until his death in 1785. At different times Alton was overseer of one or another of the Mount Vernon ... Read More

In 1765 James Cleveland of Loudoun County, Va., began working as the overseer of GW’s River farm on Clifton’s Neck. He served in that capacity until before the Revolution, when Alexander Cleveland ... Read More

Thomas Hardin (Harden) appears to have been an overseer of a plantation near Mount Vernon, which had been part of the estate of James Steptoe.

Hardin ocasionally made use of the blacksmith ... Read More

Christopher Ayscough and his wife Anne ran a tavern in Williamsburg on Francis Street near the capitol. Christopher announced the opening of the tavern in the 6 Oct. 1768 issue of The Virginia ... Read More

Oliver Cleveland was one of the overseers at the Mount Vernon farms.

In December 1774, Cleveland owed GW for the cost the latter had incurred for the fabrication of a coat by a tailor. ... Read More

John Harvey was one of the ditchers who helped to dig GW's millrace in 1770. On 1 May of that year, GW recorded in his diary that "John Harvey went to Ditchg. on my Mill Race at 1/3 pr. Rod" ( ... Read More

Philip Babb (1731–1762) was a planter in Frederick County, Virginia. At the time of his death, Babb owned the plantation Great Marsh in the county and a house and lot in Winchester, Virginia.

By 1761 Josias Cook (Cooke) was serving as an overseer at Creek farm (also called Creek plantation), which consisted in a farm on Little Hunting Creek that had been turned into a Mount Vernon ... Read More

William Hunt worked as a ditcher at Mount Vernon in 1767. In GW's account with Hunt, he noted that in October 1767 Hunt was employed in "ditching—& cleansing the old Race at" GW ... Read More

John Banister (1734–1788) was a planter and lawyer whose estate Battersea was near Petersburg in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. He served in the Virginia House of Burgesses from 1765 to 1775 and in ... Read More

Hiland Crow was hired in 1790 as overseer of Ferry and French's farm.

Henry Jones of Fairfax County, Va., acted as overseer for the Dogue Run farm at Mount Vernon for one year, beginning in December 1791.  According to the agreement Jones had signed with George ... Read More

Abraham Barnes (d. 1785), a planter in Truro Parish, Fairfax County, Va., was married to Sarah Ball McCarty, widow of Denis McCarty of Cedar Grove, Fairfax County. GW made inquiries to Barnes ... Read More

Turner Crump was the overseer of GW’s slave carpenters. According to GW's account with Crump in Ledger A, 121, Crump was entitled to £30 for “your hire for looking after my Carpenters one ... Read More

Nelson Kelly rented from GW on 20 Feb. 1762 the 135–acre farm on Dogue Run at Mount Vernon that GW bought from George Ashford in January 1762. In September 1762 Kelly, a planter, agreed to serve ... Read More

Philip Bateman was a gardener at Mount Vernon for many years whose indenture GW purchased for £35 in 1773. Lund Washington wrote GW on 1 Oct. 1783: “As to Bateman (the Old Gardener) I have no ... Read More

John Parke Custis (1754–1781), called Jack or Jacky by his relatives and friends, was Martha Washington’s son by her first marriage and the principal heir to the large Custis estate. GW became ... Read More

Humphrey Knight was overseer of GW's farms at Mount Vernon in 1757 and 1758 until his death in the fall of 1758. When closing out his account with the deceased Knight, GW wrote: “Note, this ... Read More

Thomas Bishop (c.1705–1795) came to America with Edward Braddock’s forces in 1755, and became GW’s personal military servant in the army in the fall of that year. Bishop served in that capacity  ... Read More

John Christian Ehlers (died c.1820) agreed to work as a gardener for GW at Mount Vernon, and traveled from Bremen, Germany to New York in mid-September 1789, and proceeded to Mount Vernon shortly ... Read More

George Lee (1736–1807), a planter of Prince Georges and Charles counties in Maryland, was a son of Philip Lee (c.1681–1744) of Prince Georges County. He was married to Chloe Hanson Lee (1743–c. ... Read More

James Bloxham (died c.1793) came from England in April 1786 to serve as GW’s farm manager and was generally referred to by GW as “my Farmer.” Before coming to the United States Bloxham worked for ... Read More

Hezekiah Fairfax, overseer at the Ferry plantation for several years, was a son of William Fairfax (d. 1793) of Charles County, Md., and his first wife, Benedicta Blanchard Fairfax, and was a half ... Read More

Daniel McCarty (d. 1792), son of Daniel McCarty (d.1724), was a wealthy planter living at Mount Air on Accotink Creek in Fairfax County. He was married to Sinah Bell McCarty (d. 1798) with whom he ... Read More

Henry Boggess owned land in Fairfax County, Va., and across the line in Loudoun County. Boggess's name was listed among the vestrymen selected for Truro Parish in July 1765.

GW's account ... Read More

William Fitzhugh (1721–1798), a native of Stafford County, Va., served with Lawrence Washington during the Cartagena campaign and represented Stafford County in the House of Burgesses 1748–58. In ... Read More

In July 1768 Jonathan Palmer was hired by the day as a harvester of hay and grain. However, on 30 Aug. 1768 GW agreed with Palmer for him “to come and Work with my Carpenters; either at their ... Read More

Gerrard (Garrard) Bowling (Bolling), a merchant and planter in Fairfax County, Va., was an inspector of tobacco at one of the public warehouses in Fairfax County.

GW's account with ... Read More

William Fitzhugh (1741–1809), of Chatham in Stafford County, Va., was a planter and longtime friend of GW. Fitzhugh was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, 1772–75, the Virginia ... Read More

In the 1760s William Parker, a planter and justice of the peace, ran an ordinary in his house in Caroline County, Virginia.

William Bronaugh (1730-c.1800), a first cousin of George Mason, held the rank of ensign at Fort Necessity and after the capitulation was given the rank of lieutenant, dated 20 July 1754. He took ... Read More

John Foster was the overseer of GW’s Dogue Run farm at Mount Vernon. As compensation for his services, GW allowed Foster a share of the crops he raised at Dogue Run (see Ledger A, 127). In ... Read More

John Posey was a captain of the 2d company of artificers in the 2d Virginia Regiment in the latter 1750s. Posey, whose home, Rover’s Delight, stood near the Potomac River about a mile southwest of ... Read More

Holferd Burck (Buck, Burk) did some ditching work at GW's Dogue Run Farm and possibly at the other farms at Mount Vernon (see Ledger A, 187, 190).

William Garner of Charles County, Md., signed a contract in December 1788 in which he agreed to serve as overseer of River plantation in return for £36 a year. Garner was employed until 1792 when ... Read More

Nathaniel Littleton Savage (1723–1786) was a merchant, planter, and speculator of Northampton County, Virginia. Before the Revolutionary War he served as both a county sheriff and a justice of the ... Read More

James Butler of Ireland was hired by GW in Philadelphia in 1792 as overseer at the Home House, or Mansion House, plantation at Mount Vernon. Although Butler came with good references, GW had ... Read More

John Gist (d. 1778) was a planter who in 1745 leased 106 acres on the east side of Dogue Run from Sampson Darrell—land that came under GW’s ownership after his purchase of 500 acres from Darrell ... Read More

William Skilling, a laborer, worked for GW as early as 1767 (see Ledger A, 249). On 30 May 1767, GW paid Skilling £3, the amount GW owed him for "Sinking a Well 60 feet" (Ledger A, 249, ... Read More

Thomas Byrd (Bird) worked on GW's mill and millrace in 1770. He also mowed grass, helped to harvest GW's wheat, and produced and repaired agricultural implements such as cradles (see ... Read More

Thomas Gist (b. 1735), third son of Christopher Gist, was listed as an ensign on a return of the Virginia Regiment of 12 May 1758. Gist reached the rank of lieutenant before the Virginia Regiment ... Read More

On 8 Feb. 1773 GW signed a one-year agreement with Caleb Stone, of Prince William County, Va., as overseer of his slave carpenters. Stone worked as a carpenter at Mount Vernon until 1776.

William Byrd III (1728–1777) was appointed, in the mid-1750s, a member of the Virginia Council. He lived at his family’s James River plantation called Westover, located in Charles City County, ... Read More

GW's account with Patrick Grace shows that in 1760 GW owed Grace a total of £3 for threshing several bushels of rye, oats, and wheat. On 20 Dec. 1760, GW paid Grace the £3 in cash (see Ledger A, ... Read More

Edward Violet (Violette; d. 1773) was overseer at Muddy Hole until he moved to the Bullskin plantation in 1762.

Charles Carter (1732–1806) was the son of John Carter (1690–1743) of Corotoman and nephew of Charles Carter (1707–1764) of Cleve. He inherited Shirley plantation on the James River and Corotoman  ... Read More

William Gray (Grey), a mulatto, was hired for a brief time in 1772 as a ditcher on the Mount Vernon farms (see Ledger B, 58). 

Samuel Washington (1734–1781), the eldest of GW’s three younger brothers, left Ferry Farm in the mid–1750s and settled on a 600–acre plantation in the Chotank district of Stafford County, Va., ... Read More

Wilson Miles Cary (1734-1817), a brother of GW's friend Sarah Cary Fairfax, owned several estates, including Ceelys and Carysbrook in Elizabeth City County, Va., and Richneck in Warwick County, ... Read More

Peter Green came to work at Mount Vernon as a gardener in the spring of 1765. He remained for one year.

Anthony Whiting, a native of England, was an overseer of two of GW's farms - Ferry and French's.

See also: “Anthony Whiting.” The Digital Encyclopedia of George Washington.  ... Read More

Joseph Cash was a planter who resided in Fairfax County, Va., in the neighborhood of Mount Vernon.

Thomas Green worked at Mount Vernon at least since 1783. He was employed first as a joiner and later as overseer of the plantation carpenters. GW accused Green of misconduct, which included ... Read More

Thomas Williams was retained by GW as a harvester.

In 1763 John Chowning became overseer of the dower plantation called Bridge Quarter, located in York County, Virginia. The following year he began serving as overseer of River farm at Mount ... Read More

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