Primary Resource

An excerpt from the diary of George Washington (January 28–31, 1760)

In these excerpts from his diary, dated January 28, 30, and 31, George Washington describes the illness and recovery of one of his slaves, known as Cupid.

Transcription from Original

[January 1760]

Monday Jany. 28th. The River close again & the ground very Knobby & hard. The wind got So. about [ ] and blew fresh which allmost cleard the River of Ice.

Visited my Plantation. Severely reprimanded young Stephens for his Indolence, & his father for suffering of it.

Found the new Negroe Cupid ill of a pleurisy at Dogue Run Quarter & had him brot. home in a Cart for better care of him.

Tuesday Jany. 29th. White Frost, and Wind at So. till 3 oclock then No. Wt. but not very cold—clear all day.

Darcus—daughter to Phillis died, which makes 4 Negroes lost this Winter viz. 3 Dower Negroes namely—

Beck—appraisd to £50–

Dolls Child born since—

Darcus appd. at

and Belinda a Wench of mine in Frederick.

Wednesday Jany. 30th. Very Cloudy. Wind at So. till 9 Oclock at Night when it instentaniously shifted to No. West & blew a mere hurricane.

Cupid was extreame Ill all this day and at Night when I went to Bed I thought him within a few hours of breathing his last.

Thursday Jany. 31st. He was somewhat better; The wind continued at No. West all day—very cold & clear.