George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 November 1789]

November 1st. Attended by the President of the State (Genl. Sullivan) Mr. Langdon, & the Marshall; I went in the fore Noon to the Episcopal Church under the incumbency of a Mr. Ogden and in the Afternoon to one of the Presbeterian or Congregational Churches in which a Mr. Buckminster Preached.1 Dined at home with the Marshall and spent the afternoon in my own room writing letters.2

1Rev. John Cosens Ogden was pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church from 1786 to 1793. Ogden had written GW, 30 Oct., extending an invitation to tea and mentioning, as an added inducement, that his mother-in-law was the widow of Brig. Gen. David Wooster and his sister the widow of Col. Francis Barber (DNA:PCC). GW attended services in Queen’s Chapel of the church (Pa. Packet, 25 Nov. 1789). Rev. Joseph Buckminster became pastor of the North Congregational Church in Portsmouth in 1779 and held the post for 33 years (GURNEY description begins C. S. Gurney. Portsmouth . . . Historic and Picturesque. Portsmouth, N.H., 1902. description ends , 140).

2Several newspaper accounts, including the Pennsylvania Packet, 19 Nov. 1789, state that on Sunday, 1 Nov., Tobias Lear was married in Portsmouth “to an amiable young lady of that town” and that GW attended the wedding. This is clearly in error since Lear did not marry Mary Long of Portsmouth until 18 April 1790. However, Lear family tradition holds that GW attended the engagement party on this day (DECATUR description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends , 128).

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