George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 May 1775]

4. Set out for the Congress at Phila. Dind in Alexa. & lodgd at Marlborough.

GW left Mount Vernon in his chariot, probably accompanied by Richard Henry Lee. He may have met several of the other delegates on the road between Mount Vernon and Baltimore, because GW, Lee, Peyton Randolph, Edmund Pendleton, and Benjamin Harrison of Virginia and Joseph Hewes and Richard Caswell of North Carolina all arrived in Baltimore on the same day (SCHARF [2] description begins J. Thomas Scharf. The Chronicles of Baltimore; Being a Complete History of “Baltimore Town” and Baltimore City from the Earliest Period to the Present Time. Baltimore, 1874. description ends , 132; FREEMAN description begins Douglas Southall Freeman. George Washington: A Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1948–57. description ends , 3:418).

GW evidently dined with friends in Alexandria, for there are no expenses posted in his ledger for this date except 7s. 6d. for the ferry at Alexandria (LEDGER B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 195). On this trip to Philadelphia, GW tried a different route. He had on earlier trips north used either Posey’s ferry or Johnston’s ferry on Clifton’s Neck. The ferry crossing at Alexandria was probably located on West’s Point (Point West), at the foot of Oronoco Street, and terminated on Thomas Addison’s land just south of Oxon Creek in Prince George’s County, Md. Addison had run the ferry, but he had died the previous September and the ferry building and the land adjoining it were for rent (Md. Gaz., 1 June 1775). From the ferry, GW journeyed to Marlboro and from there across the Patapsco ferry to Baltimore. From Baltimore he followed the road across the Gunpowder River to Susquehanna Lower Ferry (now Havre de Grace), on the west bank of the Susquehanna River. He then crossed the Susquehanna to Perryville in Cecil County and continued on to Charlestown, and from there to Head of Elk and Wilmington, Del.

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