Saturday 31st. Left Newbury-port a little after 8 Oclock (first breakfasting with Mr. Dalton) 1 and to avoid a wider ferry—more inconvenient boats—and a piece of heavy Sand, we crossed the River at Salisbury two Miles above; and near that further about—and in three Miles came to the Line wch. divides the State of Massachusetts from that of New Hampshire.2 Here I took leave of Mr. Dalton and many other private Gentlemen who accompanied me—also of Genl. Titcomb who had met me on the line between Middlesex & Essex Counties—Corps of light Horse and Many officers of Militia—And was recd. by the President of the State of New Hampshire—the Vice-President; some of the Council—Messrs. Langdon & Wingate of the Senate—Colo. Parker Marshall of the State, & many other respectable characters; 3 besides several Troops of well cloathed Horse in handsome Uniforms, and many Officers of the Militia also in handsome (white & red) uniforms of the Manufacture of the State. With this Cavalcade we proceeded and arrived before 3 Oclock at Portsmouth, where we were received with every token of respect and appearance of Cordiallity under a discharge of Artillery. The Streets—doors and windows were Crouded here, as at all the other Places—and, alighting at the Town House, odes were Sung & played in honor of the President. The same happened yesterday at my entrance into New-bury-port—Being stopped at my entrance to hear it. From the Town House I went to Colonel Brewsters Ta[ver]n 4 the place provided for my residence and asked the President, Vice-President, the two Senators, the Marshall and Majr. Gilman 5 to dine with me, which they did—after which I drank Tea at Mr. Langdons.6
1. Tristram Dalton’s farm, where he engaged in extensive experimental gardening, was five miles from Newburyport on the Merrimack River. A contemporary traveler noted that it “is one of the most beautiful spots imaginable and the view, one of the grandest I have ever seen, embraces a panorama stretching over more than seven leagues. His farm is well kept; I saw thirty cows, a good number of very fat pigs, some sheep, a well-stocked larder, and a big vegetable garden” (BRISSOT description begins J. P. Brissot de Warville. New Travels in the United States of America, 1788. Translated by Mara Soceanu Vamos and Durand Echeverria. Edited by Durand Echeverria. Cambridge, Mass., 1964. description ends , 368).
2. On his way from Newburyport to Portsmouth, GW “passed through the towns of Amesbury and Salisbury where several companies of Militia were paraded which saluted as he passed. The Marine Society of this town prepared and decorated a handsome Barge, for the purpose of carrying the President across Merrimack River, which was previously sent . . . opposite to Amesbury Ferry, where it waited his arrival. The Barge men were all dressed in white” (Essex Jl. and New Hampshire Packet, 4 Nov. 1789).
3. John Sullivan (1740–1795) had been president of New Hampshire in 1786 and 1787 and was reelected in 1789. Appointed major of the New Hampshire militia in 1772 and brigadier general in the Continental Army in 1775, he brought his brigade to join GW’s army outside Boston in 1775, where he served throughout the siege of the city. He was promoted to major general in Aug. 1776. His stormy military career during the Revolution included controversies with Congress and with the French command during the Rhode Island campaign in 1778 and command of the expedition against the Iroquois in western Pennsylvania and New York in 1779. Sullivan had served intermittently in the Continental Congress during the Revolution, and in Sept. 1789 GW appointed him federal judge for the district of New Hampshire (EXECUTIVE JOURNAL description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 1:29–30).
John Pickering (c.1738–1805), one of New Hampshire’s leading jurists, was now vice-president of the state. In 1790 he was appointed chief justice of the New Hampshire superior court and in 1795 GW named him to succeed Sullivan as federal judge for the district of New Hampshire (EXECUTIVE JOURNAL description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 1:172).
John Langdon (1741–1819) and Paine Wingate (1739–1838) were New Hampshire’s two United States senators. Langdon, a former Portsmouth merchant, had seen military service at Saratoga during the Revolution and was a member of the Continental Congress 1775–76, 1783. At this time he was president pro tempore of the Senate. Wingate lived at Stratham, N.H., had served in the Continental Congress 1787–88, and was a United States senator until 1795.
In Sept. 1789 GW had appointed John Parker United States marshal for the district of New Hampshire (EXECUTIVE JOURNAL description begins Journal of the Executive Proceedings of the Senate of the United States of America: From the commencement of the First, to the termination of the Nineteenth Congress. Vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1828. description ends , 1:29–30).
4. The tavern was kept by William Brewster.
5. Nicholas Gilman (1755–1814), of Exeter, N.H., was appointed as regimental adjutant to the 3d New Hampshire Regiment in 1776 and served with New Hampshire Continental regiments to the end of the Revolution. From 1786 to 1788 he was a member of the Continental Congress. At this time he was a United States congressman.
6. John Langdon’s mansion, built in 1784, was on Pleasant Street in Portsmouth.