Series Notes

Notes providing further information on the structure and content of six of the nine series into which the papers are organized.

  • Series 1. Exercise Books, Diaries, and Surveys, ca. 1745-1799 Three exercise books (school copy books), ca.1745-1747, kept by Washington between the ages of about thirteen and fifteen; thirty-six of the diaries kept by Washington from about the age of sixteen until his death in 1799; and notes and drawings documenting Washington’s early career as a surveyor, 1749-1752 and undated.
  • Series 2, Letterbooks, 1754-1799 Forty-one letterbooks dating from 1754, when Washington was a young colonial officer in the French and Indian War, to 1797, his last year as president of the United States.
  • Series 3, Varick Transcripts, 1775-1785 Forty-four letterbooks containing copies of the correspondence Washington accumulated as Commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. These were made by Richard Varick, at Washington’s direction, in 1781-1785.
  • Series 5, Financial Papers, 1750-1796 Ledgers, journals, account books, cash books, pocket books, receipts, invoices, and business correspondence filling thirty-four volumes. These document the finances of Washington’s public and private life; his plantation at Mount Vernon, including the slaves who lived and worked there; his military service during the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary War; his presidency, and his retirement.
  • Series 6, Military Papers, 1755-1798 A miscellaneous collection of twenty-six volumes dating from the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the Quasi-War with France.
  • Series 8, Miscellaneous Papers The items in Series 8 are not different in substance from items elsewhere in Washington's papers. They were filed separately only because they arrived at the Library separately from the bulk of Washington's papers. They include correspondence and miscellaneous notes, 1757-1799; military commissions, honorary degrees, and other certificates, 1775-1798; survey warrants, 1750-1752; and notes Washington made on his reading, ca. 1760-1799.