Journal of Dr GFW
Monday, 12 May, 1828
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Culpepper County, Virginia
Rose soon this morning in order to have our carriage repaired as soon as possible. Set the Negro at work; he is very slow and it is with much difficulty we can make him understand how it must e done, and with all the assistance we could give him, it took him until eleven o'clock to get it so it would do, when I believe a good workman would have done it in two hours. So much to recommend a Negro smith; however, we must not complain as it is well we procured a man to do it so readily without having to go some six or seven miles to have it done. We now reloaded our trunks and started as soon as we had discharged Wood's enormous bill, and was glad to leave the place so soon, for a few days expense at the rate paid for so short a time would have brought us to want and, not only so, the place was so much associated with our misfortunes and vexations that we rejoiced at the sound of the whip indicating our departure from Jefferson with feelings of disapprobation and disgust with Wood and all his dependents.
Our place of destination today is Fairfax in Culpepper County, Fifteen miles from Jefferson. The appearance of the land and soil are much the same as yesterday; however, if anything, a little hotter. i think, take it all, people, houses, land, timber, and roads, we find it better today. The country is more agreeably undulating, gentle hills and beautiful dales. Had they only been covered with rich soil, it would have been pleasant to have traveled over them.
Our stay in Fairfax was short. There are in the place two meeting houses, one Presbyterian and the other Episcopalian. Quite a number of Lawyers, three Doctors, and a school house ornament this place. It is quite a pleasantly situated village and must be agreeable in dry weather, but in wet it must be horrid. It appears to me there can be no traveling on foot in winter when the ground is soaked with water and the road much used by wagons. It is now raining. While we stopped at the tavern, the conversation in the company turned on the subject of Religion. An elderly man full of talk and an inhabitant of the place, intelligent and communicative, made this expression: You may preach anything to a Virginian and he will listen except the Gospel or divinity, and that he will not hear. This I think may be said of people in any State and to me it appears to be a very probable thing. And I cannot doubt the truth of the observation, for I cannot conceive that the requirements of the Gospel are much attended to when people are so fond of slavery.
After leaving this place, we missed our road and wandered about for some miles out of our way and then was directed to take across the country, through woods and plantations, instead of our retracing our steps in order to gain the proper road. In consequence of this mishap, we got no further than locust grove when we put up for the night. It is pleasant place and the private entertainment kept here is good and the family very agreeable.