Volume 8: June 1767 – Dec. 1771

In the late 1760s and early 1770s George Washington more and more was drawn from affairs of home and hearth by involvement in colonial resistance to British policy and by the lure of western lands. The correspondence in volume 8 of the Colonial Series documents the evolution of Washington’s ideas about economic and political relationships within the empire and helps to explain how he came to hold his particular vision of the West, both things that were to figure largely in his view of the new nation that he helped to create.

Most of the correspondence from these four years, however, has to do with matters both more personal and more local: the acquiring of new farms to enlarge the plantation of Mount Vernon, the management of the complex affairs within the plantation and the sale of its products, the construction of a house in Alexandria, a mill on Dogue Run, and a new church at Pohick, moving Mary Washington into Fredericksburg, arranging for the schooling of John Parke Custis, coping with the Colvill estate’s complexities, Mrs. Savage’s mistreatment, John Posey’s fecklessness, Bernard Moore’s bankruptcy, and the revival of the Dunbar suit, and taking the lead in a movement to improve navigation of the Potomac.

W.W. Abbot and Dorothy Twohig, eds., The Papers of George Washington: Colonial Series volume 8, June 1767 – December 1771. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1993.

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