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A hired laborer for George Washington primarily in the late 1760s, William Skilling also worked for Washington in 1774 and was hired again in 1784 as a ditcher. On February 25, 1775, Skilling signed an agreement to take a group of Washington's enslaved workers and servants to Washington's lands located on the Ohio River.1

Skilling was initially hired by Washington in May 1767 and continued to work for him through Christmas 1769. On May 30, 1767, Washington paid Skilling three pounds for "Sinking a Well 60 feet. . ." He appeared on the tithables lists for Mount Vernon in June of 1767, 1768, 1769, July 1770, and July 1774. Among the things provided for Skilling between December 1774 and August 1776 were: a coat, five gallons of Jamaican rum, and more than twenty-four pounds in cash. In the fall of 1784, Skilling agreed to work for an annual salary of thirty pounds, plus two pairs of shoes.2


1. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series, Vol. 7, 508 & 509n.

2. Ibid., 515; Colonial Series, Vol. 8:104, 220, 356; 10:137 & 137n. 

"William Skilling and George Washington, February 25, 1775, Contract," George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: Series 4. General Correspondence, 1697-1799.