George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 8 March 1769]

8. Still there, dind at the same place, spending the Evening at Weedon’s at the Club.

George Weedon (c.1734–1793) kept a “large and commodious” tavern on the main street of Fredericksburg (now Caroline Street) “nearly opposite” the town hall and public market. Frequented “by the first gentlemen” of Virginia and “neighboring colonies,” it contained “a well accustomed billiard room” and was the place where local horse races were arranged (Va. Gaz., P&D, 12 Sept. 1766 and P, 15 Sept. 1775; Fredericksburg Va. Herald, 23 Oct. 1788). His fellow Freemasons sometimes adjourned there for food and entertainment after meeting at the town hall (goolrick description begins John T. Goolrick. Fredericksburg and The Cavalier Country, America’s Most Historic Section: Its Homes[,] Its People and Romances. Richmond, Va., 1935. description ends , 37). Born in Westmoreland County, Weedon served in the Virginia Regiment during the French and Indian War, being commissioned an ensign in 1755 and later rising to the rank of captain. Before April 1764 he married Catharine Gordon (d. 1797) of Fredericksburg, and by 1766 he was running the tavern on the main street, which her parents had previously owned and operated (king [2] description begins George H. S. King. “General George Weedon.” William and Mary Quarterly, 2d ser., 20 (1940): 237–52. description ends ).

the club: It was a common practice among Virginia gentlemen of this time, when dining or supping at a tavern, to do so in groups either at a private table or, at a large tavern like Weedon’s, in a private room. They would be served as a unit by the innkeeper and then would club for the cost of the food, drink, and room; that is, they would divide the total bill equally (gibbs description begins Patricia Ann Gibbs. “Taverns in Tidewater Virginia, 1700–1774.” Master’s thesis, College of William and Mary, 1968. description ends , 98–107). On this evening GW paid 2s. 6d. as his share of the club and lost 1s. 6d. at cards (ledger a description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 287).

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