A miller who worked at Mount Vernon from 1797 until 1798, Callahan was hired in August of 1797 at a salary of fifty pounds per year. Against his account were charges for: cash advances, 107 pounds of beef, 2000 herrings, 50 pounds of flour, and whiskey.1 In March of the following year, Washington bought five turkeys from Callahan, who was still making fifty pounds per year and 500 pounds of pork. Charges against Callahan's account in 1798 included: cash advances, twenty-five pounds of flour, whiskey, 1000 herrings, salt, and a "Coffin for Your Brother John."2 The following year, Callahan was charged $2.00 for "One Coffin for Mrs. Callahan."3 Callahan may have done work for Washington before he was officially hired. In October of 1796, a Patrick Calehan was paid twelve pounds, nineteen shillings as "part of his wages."4
3. See entry dated "24 August 1799," in the Mount Vernon Distillery & Fishery Ledger, 1799-1801(manuscript, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association; photostat, RM-297/PS-2915, Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association), 8.