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Jan
13

Washingtons in Barbados

By
When:
September 23, 2016 all-day
2016-09-23T00:00:00-04:00
2016-09-24T00:00:00-04:00
Where:
George Washington House

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Written 1/8/2017

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barbados-ship-at-seaRight about now 265 years ago, GW is on the Industry leaving Bridgetown Barbados hopping a stormy season on the Gulf Stream back to Williamsburg to have his first audience with Lt Gov Dinwiddie.

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From then on Winchester became launch headquarters.

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First for the Ohio Company for the Ohio Country.

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Then for the reason of taking away the French at Fort Duquesne.

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This was one local theatre in a world wide war.

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One that allowed the sun to never set on the British Empire until WWII.

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lawrence_washingtonGeorge Washington in Barbados

compiled by Jim Moyer 1/13/16, still under construction, updated 10/2/2016, 1/7/2017

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George Washington is 19.  His  older Brother by a different mother is Lawrence, 33, has tuberculosis.

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Portrait is thought to be of  Lawrence.

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hurricane-1024px-atlantic_hurricane_tracks

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So they leave for Barbados during the Hurricane Season .

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Lawrence can then recuperate in Barbados — maybe the richest city in the world at the time.

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See List of Atlantic Hurricanes in 18th Century.

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IMPACT?

Small Pox, World Economy, Military

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1.  Smallpox

GW gets smallpox.

  1. Probably causes him to have no children,

  2. Probably made him survive the future epidemics

  3. Taught him how to protect his family and troops when smallpox hit.

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‘…The disease barely touched Virginia between 1732 and 1751.”

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“Note from Gedney Clarke, an uncle of Lawrence Washington’s wife, inviting them to his house. They went, though George Washington confessed “some reluctance” on his part, because Mrs. Clarke was confined with smallpox, a dreaded disease he had so far avoided. It proved to be a fateful decision. Within two weeks he was stricken with the disease.”

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Source:

http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/washingtons-youth/journey-to-barbados

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2.  World Economy.

Visiting perhaps the wealthiest city in the world opened GW’s eyes to power and the mechanics of commerce.   Per Mount Vernon website:  “Washington paused in Williamsburg– which he now sarcastically dubbed “the great metropolis, “ upon arriving there from Barbados.

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Did Barbados show GW more than just the agrarian economy Jefferson envisioned?

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3.  Military.

Nearby was a fort GW investigated.

This fort was probably Needham’s Point, where St Ann’s Fort (1705) and Fort Charles was built.

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Mount Vernon website states:

“He [George Washington]  notes that Charles Fort was “pretty strongly fortifyed and mounts about 36 Gunes within the fortification” in addition to “2 facine Batterys” beyond the walls. Wherever he went along the west coast he found that the islanders “have large Intrenchments cast up wherever its possible for an enemy to Land.””

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More on Charles Fort:

PETRIE, CAPT. ———. Commander of Charles Fort, frequently called Needham’s Fort, on the southern point of the entrance to Carlisle Bay and Bridgetown. The many forts on the west coast of Barbados were garrisoned largely by the militia. Therefore, this Barbados captain may have been a militia officer, perhaps George John Petrie, who gave a power of attorney to Jonas and John Maynard 9 June 1753 and died in Middlesex, Eng., the same year.16  – source Founders Online Footnote

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bridgetown-barbados

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James Fort in actual manuscript of GW’s journal:

In 1751 George Washington and his half brother Lawrence rented Bush Hill house from the Commander of James Fort, Commander Croftan, for seven weeks on Washington’s only trip outside of the United States.”    – source Wayside Marking website

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More on James Fort:

CROFTAN (Crofton), CAPT. ———. The officer commanding James Fort who rented a house to the Washingtons. GW wrote his name “Crawford” twice, then corrected it. He was probably a militia officer. Although the Thirty-eighth Foot was the regiment assigned to the Leewards at this time, there are no extant records associating this unit with service on Barbados; no Captain Croftan or Crofton appears on the manuscript or printed army lists of the period in the Public Record Office, London.  – source Founders Online Footnote

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Chronology

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The Washington brothers sailed on the Success or on the Fredericksburg about September 23 – 28, 1751.  Read more on the ship info.

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See link on Why the ship might have been Success after all.

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Sighted the east coast of Barbados at 4am November 2.

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November 16 or 17, 1751, George Washington was stricken with smallpox.  STRONGLY ATTACKED WITH THE SMALL POX: On 16 Nov., GW suspended his diary entries for the duration of his illness. The wording indicates that he made the 16 Nov. entry after recovering on 12 Dec. 

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George Washington booked passage 19 December 1751 to sail for Virginia“He spent Christmas at sea, dining on beef and “Irish Goose,” and settled down to an uneventful though frequently stormy homeward voyage, content to maintain a terse diary rather than a ship’s log.”

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Industry docked in Yorktown on January 27, 1752.

As an aside the Industry  foundered in the Irish Sea before 27 February 1753

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Dinner with Dinwiddie in Williamsburg

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THE HOUSE – THE MYTH

barbados-house-georg-washington-1

“We pitched on the house of Captn Croftan,” Washington wrote.

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Although they thought it extravagant at £15 a month, they chose a house owned by Captain Croftan, or Crofton, overlooking Carlisle Bay.

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The little house which Barbadian taxi drivers now show to tourists as the Washington home is merely the object of a legend.

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Located on Bay Street at Chelsea Road not far from St. Ann’s Garrison, it bears no resemblance to the architecture of the mid–1700s.

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Even if it had been standing in GW’s time, it could not have survived the devastating hurricanes of 1780 and 1831, which nearly destroyed Bridgetown and brought havoc to the entire island.

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Some credence was given the legend when an official historic sites committee in 1910 referred to the building as Crofton’s House and associated it with GW.

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Tourist literature still designates the place “the Washington House,” but the question of its authenticity has been disposed of by local historians.1  

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Source is Founders Online:

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/01-01-02-0002-0004

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THE PEOPLE GW MET

See short biographies of the people GW met.

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barbados-house-georg-washington-2Another day he was the dinner guest of the “Beefsteak and Tripe Club,” a group of the island’s leading gentlemen. Some of these gentlemen visited the brothers at Crofton’s house and invited them to their homes.

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He indulged his emerging taste for the theater by attending a performance of George Lillo’s The London Merchant, or the History of George Barnwell, which was also playing in Drury Lane that season. Lillo’s play may have been the first stage production which GW had ever seen, other than amateur performances.  See more.

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See Washington’s Diary of this trip:

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/01-01-02-0002-0005

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LINKS

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Founders Online link:

http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/01-01-02-0002-0004

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Voyage to Barbados, 1751–52 list of 6 links of Founders Online site:

http://founders.archives.gov/ancestor/GEWN-01-01-02-0002

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Mount Vernon links:

http://www.mountvernon.org/research-collections/digital-encyclopedia/article/barbados/

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http://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/washingtons-youth/journey-to-barbados

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More Links:

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http://www.georgewashingtonbarbados.org/index.asp?pgid=1

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http://www.boston.com/travel/getaways/caribbean/articles/2008/02/17/new_take_on_george_slept_here/

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