Wednesday 13th. Thermometer at 45 in the Morning—54 at Noon and 50 at Night. Clear and pleasant with the Wind at So. Wt. all day.
The Marqs. de Chappedelaine (introduced by letters from Genl. Knox, Mr. Bingham &ca.) Captn. Enys (a British Officer) Colo. Fitzgerald, Mr. Hunter, Mr. Nelson & Mr. Ingraham came here to Dinner—all of whom returned after it except the last.
I remained at home all day. The Plows at Muddy hole were usefully employed.
At Dogue run it seems the grds. were in bad order.
At the Ferry & Frenchs they cd. not work for the Frost and
In the Neck they were not set to work till late.
This party of visitors intended to come to Mount Vernon on 11 Feb. to congratulate GW on the occasion of his fifty-sixth birthday, but bad weather that morning and an Alexandria town election the next day forced postponement of their visit to this day (ENYS description begins Elizabeth Cometti, ed. The American Journals of Lt. John Enys. Syracuse, N.Y., 1976. description ends , 244–45).
The marquis de Chappedelaine, “a Captain in the first Regt of french Dragoons” who was touring the United States, had previously visited New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore (ENYS description begins Elizabeth Cometti, ed. The American Journals of Lt. John Enys. Syracuse, N.Y., 1976. description ends , 238–40). “The Marquis . . . ,” wrote Henry Knox in his letter of introduction to GW, “thinks that he should have come to America to little purpose were he to depart without having seen your Excellency” (Knox to GW, 2 Nov. 1787, DLC:GW). Julien-Joseph Hyacinth de Chappedelaine (c.1754-1794) was apparently a member of the noble Breton family of Chappedelaine, for in late 1790 or early 1791 he and several Breton nobles fleeing from the French Revolution landed on the island of Sapelo off the coast of Georgia, where they established an émigré colony for a time (ENYS description begins Elizabeth Cometti, ed. The American Journals of Lt. John Enys. Syracuse, N.Y., 1976. description ends , 341–42, n.81; Chappedelaine to GW, 9 Jan. 1791, DLC:GW; LOVELL description begins Caroline Couper Lovell. The Golden Isles of Georgia. Boston, 1933. description ends , 97).
John Enys (1757–1818) was commissioned an officer in the 29th Regiment of Foot in 1775 and served with that unit on garrison duty in Canada 1776–82 and 1784–87. Before returning to England, he made a tour of scenic and historical places in the United States, passing through Albany, N.Y., New York City, Princeton, N.J., Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Alexandria on his way to Norfolk where he took a ship for home. Letters of introduction to John Fitzgerald and William Hunter, Jr., enabled Enys to include Mount Vernon in his itinerary. “We had no sooner alighted,” Enys wrote of his visit, “than the Immortal General came to receive us at the door and conducted us into his Parlour.” After some conversation about the new federal Constitution and a tour of the grounds, dinner was served. “It was a very good one,” Enys reported, “but the part of the entertainment I liked best was the affable easy manners of the whole family. . . . The Ladies left the room soon after Dinner but the Gentlemen continued for some time longer. There were no public toasts of any kind given, the General himself introducing a round of Ladies as soon as the Cloath was removed, by saying he had always a very great esteem for the Ladies, and therefore drank them in preference to any thing else.” The visitors did not leave until “it was near dark” (ENYS description begins Elizabeth Cometti, ed. The American Journals of Lt. John Enys. Syracuse, N.Y., 1976. description ends , xviii-xxxv, 244–52).