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Evans, near Brunswick, New Jersey, the only surviving child of General White. In one end of the silver pen-case is a sliding tube for a common black-lead pencil, the convenient
ever-pointed” pencil being unknown in Washington's time. That was invented by Isaac Hawkins, and patented by him, in London, in 1802.
WASHINGTON'S GOLD PEX WITH SILVER CASE.
From his youth Washington kept a diary. For many years these records of his daily experience were made on the blank leaves of the Virginia Almanac, “ Printed and sold by Purdie
Where o how - mytime is spent Remarks oecin april Acetof the weather - April
FAC-SIMILE OF PAGE-HEADINGS IN WASHINGTON's diary.
and Dixon, Williamsburg.” They are headed respectively, as seen in the engraving, which is a fac-simile from one of his early diaries after his marriage. Under similar headings in these almanacs, and in small blank pocket-books, this man of mighty labors kept such records, from day to day, for more than forty years; and he frequently noted therein minute particulars concerning his agricultural operations, in the style of the sentence on the next page, which was copied from his diary for March, 1771.
Thus minutely journalizing his agricultural proceedings, keeping his own accounts, making all his own surveys, and, even before the Revolution, having an extensive correspond
20 Begando manufactare me whest with the water of Pines Branch, which being unsuffice ere he keep the millconsrunely as worth, & County Custom com (.
FAC-SIMILE OF ENTRY IN WASHINGTON'S DIARY.
ence, Washington foupd much daily employment for his pen. The labors in his library, and a visit to his stables, usually occupied the hours before breakfast. After making a frugal meal of Indian cakes, honey, and tea or coffee, he would mount his horse and visit every part of his estate where the current operations seemed to require his presence, leaving his guests to enjoy themselves with books and papers, or otherwise, according to their choice. He rode upon his farms entirely unattended, opening the gates, pulling down and putting up the fences, and inspecting, with a careful eye, every agricultural operation, and personally directing the manner in which many should be performed. Sometimes the tour of his farms, in the course of the morning might average, in distance, twelve or fifteen miles; and on these occasions his appearance was exceedingly plain. The late Mr. Custis, his adopted son, has lt on record a description of him on one of these occasions, in
the latter years of his life, which he gave to a gentleman who was out in search of Washington:
“You will meet, sir," said young Custis to the inquirer, “with an old gentleman riding alone, in plain drab clothes, a broad-brimmed white hat, a hickory switch in his hand, and carrying an umbrella with a long staff which is attached to his saddle-bow—that, person, sir, is General Washington. The umbrella was used to shelter him from the sun, for his' skin was tender and easily affected by its rays.
His breakfast hour was seven o'clock in summer and eight in winter, and he dined at three. He always ate heartily, but was no epicure. His usual beverage was small beer or cider, and Madeira wine. Of the latter he often drank several small glasses at a sitting. He took tea and toast, or a little wellbaked bread, early in the evening, conversed with or read to his family, when there were no guests, and usually, whether there was company or not, retired for the night at about nine o'clock.
So carefully did Washington manage his farms, that they became very productive. His chief crops were wheat and tobacco, and these were very large—so large that vessels that came up
the Potomac, took the tobacco and flour directly from his own wharf, a little below his deer-park in front of his mansion, and carried them to England or the West Indies. So noted were these products for their quality, and so faithfully were they put up, that any barrel of flour bearing the brand of “GEORGE WASHINGTON, MOUNT VERNON,” was exempted from the customary inspection in the British West India ports.
* “Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington, by his Adopted Son,"
Upon the spot where that old wharf once stood, at the foot of a shaded ra
vine scooped from the high bank of the Potomac, through which flows a clear stream from a spring, is a rickety modern structure, placed there for the accommodation of visitors to Mount Vernon, who are conveyed thither by a steamboat twice a week. There may be seen the same ravine, the same broad river, the same pleasant shores of Maryland beyond; but, instead of the barrels of flour, the quintals of fish, and the hogsheads of tobacco which appeared there in Washington's time, well-dressed men and women-true pilgrims tu a hallowed shrine, or mere idle gazers upon the burial place of a great man—throng that wharf as they arrive and depart on their errands of patriotism or of curiosity.
And now the dawn of great events, in which Washington was to be a conspicuous actor, glowed in the eastern sky. From the Atlantic seaboard, where marts of commerce had begun to spread their meshes (then small and feeble) for the world's traffic, came a sound of tumult; and the red presages of a tempest appeared in that glowing orient. At first, that sound was like a low whisper upon the morning air, and, finally, it boomed like a thunder-peal over the hills and valleys of the interior, arousing the inhabitants to the defence of the immunities of freemen and the inalienable rights of man.
Time after time, for the space of a hundred years, the decree had
gone forth from British councils, that the Anglo-American colonists should be the commercial as well as political vassals of the crown; and chains of restrictions upon trade had been forged by an unwise and unrighteous policy, and fastened upon the lusty arms of the young giant of the West. And from time to time the giant, not all unconscious of his strength, yet docile because loyal, had spoken out mild remonstrances with deferential words. These had been heard with scorn, and answered by renewed offences.
An extravagant administration had exhausted the national exchequer, and the desperate spendthrift, too proud to borrow of itself by curtailing its expenditures, seemed to think nothing more honorable than a plea of bankruptcy, and sought to replenish its coffers by taking the money of the Americans without their consent, in the form of indirect taxation. This was in violation of the great republican postulate, that