Monday, February 15, 2010

George Washington and the deep snows of February 1772

George Washington and Thomas Jefferson documented the winter snows of Virginia in their day. Mr. Jefferson spoke of snow up to his horse's chest, and Mr. Washington also addressed the difficulty of travel in deep snow on horseback.

I addressed in a January post about how the mountain people would have been isolated in their cabins during a winter such as the one we have had.

The snow is deep and crusted as hard as ice on top. What would Mr. Washington have done in February 1772 when he was almost 40 years old?
On Feb. 7, 1772: "Attempted to ride to the mill, but the snow was so deep and crusty, even in the track that had been made, that I chose to tie my horse half way and walk there."

Feb. 8: "At home all day."

Feb. 9: "Ditto - Ditto."

Feb. 10: "Ditto - Ditto."

Feb. 11: "Went out … and was much fatigued by the deepness and toughness of the snow."

Feb. 12: "Attempted to ride out again but found the roads so disagreeable and unpleasant that I turned back…"
It fascinates me to read in history how those who went before us handled issues such as weather and snow. Mr. Washington did what many ended up doing when faced with the deep snows this year ... stayed home.

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