Farm Reports, 1789-1798

These previously unpublished farm reports in George Washington’s papers are an important source of information about the lives of the enslaved people at Mount Vernon. From 1786 until his death, George Washington received detailed, weekly reports from the managers of his five farms at Mount Vernon. The George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress contain approximately fifty of these, some whole, some fragmentary, ca. 1789-1798, covering the period when Washington was president of the United States. Each is headed by a daily weather report, then lists labor at each farm. Carpentry, spinning and weaving, output of the mill, and other industries are documented. The reports document the labor of Mount Vernon’s enslaved people, as well as their births, illnesses, deaths, travel, and more.

Curious to know more? Read the short essay that Julie Miller (Historian, Early America, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress) and Joseph Mitchell (Intern, Archives, History and Heritage Advanced Internship Program, Fall 2021) wrote to accompany the campaign.

Instructions: You may notice that the letters that accompany some of these farm reports have been left out of this transcription project. Since these have been published and are available on Founders Online, there is no need for you to transcribe them here. Read our FAQs to learn more about how to transcribe some of the common symbols, abbreviations, and formats you'll see in this project. Please respond to the thread if you have a question about something you see in the farm reports!