Back to: Plantation History
This is an excerpt from The Journal of John Harrower, an indentured servant in the Colony of Virginia, 1773-1776, by John Harrower, Edward M. Riley. Published by distributed by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York, 1963. Accessed online via GoogleBooks.
Munday, 2jd. This morning a great number of Gentlemen and Ladies driving into Town it being an annuall Fair day and tomorrow the day of the Horse races, at 11 AM Mf Anderson begged to settle as a schoolmaster with a friend of his one Colonel Daingerfield(1) and told me he was to be in Town tomorrow, or perhaps tonight, and how soon he came1 he shou’d aquant me. at same time all the rest of the servants were ordred ashore to a tent at Fredericksb? and severall of their Indentures were then sold, about 4 pm I was brought to Colonel Dainger- field, when we imediatly agreed and my Indenture for four years was then delivered him and he was to send for me the next day. at same time ordred to get all my dirty Cloaths of every kind washed at his expense in Toun; at night he sent me five shillings onb by Cap! Bowers to keep my pocket.
(1) Col. William Daingerfield of Belvidera was the son of Edwin Daingerfield and Mary Bassett, daughter of Col. William Bassett of Eltham. The Bassetts were near of kin to Martha Washington. Col. Daingerfield’s grandfather was William Daingerfield, who married Elizabeth Bathurst, daughter of Lancelot Bathurst of Virginia, fifth son of Sir Edward Bathurst of Sussex, England.
Tuesday, 241)1. This morning I left the Ship at 6 AM having been sixteen weeks and six days on board her. I hade for Breackfast after I came ashore one Chappin2 sweet milk for which I paid 3^- Curr. at 11 AM went to see a horse race about a mille from Toun, where there was a number of Genteel Company as well as others, here I met with the Colonel again and after some talk with him he gave me cash to pay for washing all my Cloaths and something over. The reace was gain’d by a Bay Mare, a white boy ridder. There was a gray Mare started with the Bay a black boy ridder but was far distant the last heat.’
Thursday, 26th. This day at noon the Colonel [Daingerfield] sent a Black with a cuple of Horses for me and soon after I set out on Horseback and aravied at his seat of Belvidera about 3 pm and after I hade dined the Colonel took me to a neat little house at the upper end of an Avenue of planting at 500 yd? from the Main house, where I was to keep the school, and Lodge myself in it.
This place is verry pleasantly situated on the Banks of the River Rappahannock about seven miles below the Toun of Fredericksburgh and the school’s right above the Warff so that I can stand in the door and pitch a stone onboard of any ship or Boat going up or coming doun the river.
Freiday, 2?th. This morning about 8 AM the Colonel delivered his three sons to my Charge to teach them to read write and figure, his oldest son Edwin 10 years of age, intred into two syllables in the spelling book, Bathourest [Bathurst] his second son six years of age in the Alpha- bete and William his third son 4 years of age does not know the letters.