Pat Shingleton: "His Birthday, His Diary..."
Today we recognize the birthday of our first president in 1732 with weather related excerpts from his diaries. As noted in a previous column, Washington was not a scientific weather observer as was Thomas Jefferson. His weather interests mirrored his agricultural interests and in writing to his farm manager, William Pearce on December 22, 1793, he recognized the importance of a thermometer at Mount Vernon. His diary noted the difficulties that he experienced, including his seasick days during a stormy voyage to Barbados and the cruel winter at Valley Forge. An ill-advised horseback ride in a December storm could have contributed to his death. His prized weather instrument? The weather vane; remaining in use atop the cupola at Mount Vernon.