These two pages contain George Washington's handwritten notes on Charles Varlo's A New System of Husbandry, published in 1785. Revealing Washington's pioneering approach to agriculture, they record fascinating experiments including the soaking of seeds in a complex "pickle" of liquor and oil to enlarge the size of the seeds and prevent insects, rodents, and birds from preying upon them. This leaf was originally part of his notebook titled "Compend of Husbandry" in which he collected advice and techniques from modern agricultural writers whose reforms were called the "new husbandry."
AD (Autograph Document); unsigned. One sheet with handwritten text by George Washington on recto and verso. This manuscript leaf is from George Washington's notebook titled "Compend of Husbandry" in which he collected advice and techniques from modern agricultural writers whose reforms were called the "new husbandry." These two pages of text in Washington's hand are a section of his notes on Charles Varlo's A NEW SYSTEM OF HUSBANDRY published in 1785. They describe Chapters 10 and Chapter 12 of Varlo's book (Charles Varlo, A NEW SYSTEM OF HUSBANDRY, FROM MANY YEARS EXPERIENCE, WITH TABLES SHEWING THE EXPENCE AND PROFIT OF EACH CROP: ... ALSO MANY CHOSEN RECEIPTS IN PSYSIC AND SURGERY, FOR THE HUMAN SPECIES, AND OTHERS FOR THE CURE OF ALL SORTS OF CATTLE, TO WHICH ARE ANNEXED A FEW HINTS HUMBLY OFFERED FOR THE PERUSAL OF THE LEGISLATORS OF AMERICA, SHEWING HOW TO PUT A STOP TO RUNAWAY SERVANTS (Philadelphia: printed for the author, 1785), 119-127.) Washington carefully notes the chapter and page number of each passage he extracts or summarizes from Varlo's text. He notes experiments including the soaking of corn, wheat, and barley seeds in a complex "pickle" of liquor and oil to enlarge the size of the seeds, and how to prevent insects, rodents, and birds from preying upon them.
Small partial watermark, top left corner; unidentifiable.
c. 1785 - 1799
Ink, laid paper
Overall: 6 1/2 in. x 4 in. (16.51 cm x 10.16 cm)
Purchased by the A. Alfred Taubman Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2003
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