GW: Kids

Questions — Farmer George

The original Farm Reports were handwritten by Washington's manager. We have transcribed them, which means to try to figure out what they say and then type them so others can read them more easily.

1. Nearly all of the Farm Reports begin the same way, with a chart like this. Use it to answer the questions below.

[12-18 February 1797]

A Meteorological account of the Weather Kept at Mount Vernon

Feby 1797      
12 In the Morning 47 N.W. clear 49 W. clear 50 S. clear
13 46 E. cloudy 48 E. raining 48 N.E. raining
14 45 N. raining 46 N. rainy 45 W. cloudy
15 45 S.w. clear 47 W. clear 45 W. clear
16 36 N.W. clear 42 W. clear & Blowing 40 W. clear
17 40 S. & cloudy some showers 42 S. cloudy 40 S. cloudy & raining
18 41 E. Rain 42 N.E. Rain 40 N.W. clear

*link here to see the real thing!*

  • What would have been the best day to take a long walk around Mount Vernon?
  • What would have been a good day to stay inside and read? To fly a kite?
  • What was the average temperature in the morning for this week (the second column)?
  • How does this weather compare to your weather now?
  • Why might Washington want this record of the temperatures?

2. Now look at this chart which lists the livestock at each of the five farms.

 
Cattle.
Calves
Total
Sheep
Lambs
Tot.
Mansion
15
 
15
8
 
8
Mudy hole
37
2
39
49
10
59
River Farm
84
6
90
203
67
270
Union Farm
81
2
83
118
 
118
Dogue run
69
1
70
138
1
139
 
 
286
11
297
518
78
594

*link here to see the real thing!*

  • Which of the five farms listed above seems to be the largest and why?
  • Now, check you answer by reading the legend to the map that Washington drew of his plantation. Link here.

3. Browse through the part of the Farm Report below, which is a list of the jobs performed at River Farm for the week. Look for answers to these two questions:

  • What type of work are the slaves doing at this farm?
  • What prevents slaves from working?
Dr. River Farm for the Work of 27 Hands Amot. per Week 162 days
Cr. By ploughing 28 days & fencing 15 days 43
  " hauling wheat & Corn to Mill 4
  " Loading Carts & Hauling Straw 8
  " Hauling wood 2 days & Manure 2 days 4
  " Spreading Manure 8
  " Grubing 26. And attending to Stock 12 days 38
  " Stoped by Rain 25
Sick John 1 day & Agnes in Child bed 6 days 7
  162

*link here to see the real thing!*


Chart #1: Meterological Report February 12-18 [back]

Chart #2: Livestock at the Five Farms [back]

Chart #3: Work at River Farm [back]