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ential evidences that they spent much of their earlier years in the enjoyment of social pleasures.
Washington's Diaries bear still stronger, because positive testimony to the fact. During some months, two or three times a week he records the result of a day's sport thus: "Went a hunting with Jacky Custis, and catched a fox, after three hours chase. Found it in the creek:" or, "Mr. Bryan Fairfax, Mr. Grayson and Phil. Alexander came home by sunrise. Hunted and catched a fox with these, Lord Fairfax, his brother, and Colonel Fairfax-all of whom with Mr. Fairfax and Mr. Wilson of England, dined here." Afterward, two days in succession: "Hunted again with the same company."
Still more frequently he noted the arrival and departure of guests. One day the Fairfaxes, or Masons, or Thurstons, or Lees would be there; and the next day he and "Mrs. Washington, Mr. and Miss Custis" would "dine at Belvoir." And so the round of visiting went on. Mount Vernon was seldom without a guest. The hunting day, which occurred so frequently, generally ended in a dinner there or at Belvoir, a little lower on the Potomac-more frequently at the former; and the hospitalities of the house were kept up in a style which none but a wealthy planter could afford. "Would any one believe," Washington says in his diary of 1768, "that with a hundred and one cows, actually reported at a late enumeration of the cattle, I should still be obliged to buy butter for my family 2"
For Mrs. Washington and her lady visitors he kept a chariot and four horses, with black postillions in livery; and these were frequently seen and admired upon the road between
Mount Vernon and Alexandria, or the neighboring estates. He took great delight in horses. Those of his own stable were of the best blood, and their names, as well as those of his dogs, were registered in his household books. When abroad, he always appeared on horseback; and as he was one of the most superb men and skilful horsemen in Virginia, he must have made an imposing appearance, especially when fully equipped for the road, with the following articles, which were ordered by him from London, in one of his annual invoices:
"1 Man's Riding-Saddle, hogskin seat, large plated stirrups, and everything complete. Double-reined bridle and Pel ham Bit, plated.
A very neat and fashionable Newmarket Saddle-Cloth.
A Riding Waistcoat of superfine scarlet cloth and gold Lace
with Buttons like those of the Coat.
A blue Surtout Coat.
A neat Switch Whip, silver cap.
Black Velvet Cap for Servant.”
Thus attired, and accompanied by Bishop, his favorite body servant, in scarlet livery, Washington was frequently seen upon the road, except on Sunday morning, when he always rode in the chaise, with his family, to the church at Pohick or at Alexandria.
Like other gentlemen living near the Potomac. Washington was fond of aquatic sports. He kept a handsome barge, which,
on special occasions, was manned by black oarsmen in livery. Pleasant sailing-boats were frequently seen sweeping along the surface of the river, freighted with ladies and gentlemen going from mansion to mansion on its banks-Mount Vernon, Gunston Hall, Belvoir, and other places-on social visits.
Washington and his wife frequently visited Annapolis and Williamsburg, the respective capitals of Maryland and Virginia. For fifteen consecutive years he was a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, and Mrs. Washington spent much of her time with him at Williamsburg during the sessions. Both fond of amusements, they frequently attended the theatrical representations there and at Annapolis, that entertainment being then a recent importation from England, the first company of actors, under the direction of Lewis Hallam, having first performed in the Maryland capital in 1752. They also attended balls and parties given by the fashionable people of Williamsburg and Annapolis, and frequently joined in the dance. But after the Revolution Washington was never known to dance, his last performance being in a minuet, of which he was very fond, on the occasion of a ball given at Fredericksburg in honor of the French and American officers then there, on their way north, after the capture of Cornwallis, toward the close of 1781.
But it must not be supposed, that during these years of his earlier married life, Washington's time was wholly, or even chiefly, occupied in the pleasures of the chase and of social intercourse. Far from it. He was a man of great industry and method, and managed his large estates with signal industry and ability. He did not leave his farms to the entire care of his overseers. He was very active, and continually, even
when absent on public business, exercised a general supervision of his affairs, requiring a carefully prepared report of all oper ations to be transmitted to him weekly, for his inspection and suggestions.
He was very abstemious, and while his table always furnished his guests with ample and varied supplics for their appetites, he never indulged in the least excess, either in eating or drinking. He was an early riser, and might be found in his library from one to two hours before daylight in winter, and at dawn in summer. His toilet, plain and simple, was soon made. A single servant prepared his clothes, and laid them in a proper place at night for use in the morning. He also combed and tied his master's hair.
Washington always dressed and shaved himself. The implements he then used have been preserved, as interesting relics, in the family of Doctor Stuart, who, as we have observed, married the widow of John Parke Custis, the son of Mrs. Washington. Though neat in his dress and appearance, he never wasted precious moments upon his toilet, for he always regarded time, not as a gift but as a loan, for which he must account to the great Master.
Washington kept his own accounts most carefully and methodically, in handwriting remarkable for its extreme neatness and uniformity of stroke. This was produced by the constant use of a gold pen. One of these, with a silver case, used by Washington during a part of the old war for independence, he presented to his warm personal friend, General Anthony Walton White, of New Jersey, one of the most distinguished and patriotic of the cavalry officers of that war in the southern campaigns. It is now in the possession of Mrs. Eliza M.
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 PEN 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 & how - mytime is - spent Remarks & Occ. in April.. Acct of the Weather in 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.