George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 5 November 1789]

Thursday 5th. About Sun rise I set out, crossing the Merimack River at the Town over to the Township of Bradford and in nine Miles came to Abbots Tavern in Andover where we breakfasted, and met with much attention from Mr. Philips President of the Senate of Massachusetts,1 who accompanied us thro’ Bellarika [Billerica] to Lexington, where I dined, and viewed the Spot on which the first blood was spilt in the dispute with great Britain on the 19th. of April 1775. Here I parted with Mr. Philips, and proceeded on to Watertown, intending (as I was disappointed by the Weather & bad Roads from travvelling through the Interior Country to Charlestown on Connecticut River) to take what is called the Middle Road from Boston. The Country from Haverhill to Andover is good, and well cultivated. In and about the latter (which stands high) it is beautiful. A Mile or two from it you descend into a pine level pretty Sandy, and mixed with Swamps; through which you ride several Miles till you begin to ascend the heights on which the Town of Bellarika stands, which is also pleasantly situated 10 Miles from Andover. From hence to Lexington—8 Miles and thence to Watertown 8 More the Country is very pleasant, and the roads in general good. We lodged in this place at the House of a Widow Coolidge near the Bridge, and a very indifferent one it is.2

1Abbot’s Tavern, at 70 Elm Street in Andover, was established by Isaac Abbot in 1776. Samuel Phillips (1752–1802), of Andover, Mass., a Harvard graduate, had served intermittently in the Massachusetts legislature since 1775. During the Revolution he had operated a powder mill at Andover, which was still in operation in 1789, and was also involved in the manufacture of paper. In 1778, in cooperation with his uncle John Phillips, he was a founder of what was later to become the Phillips Andover Academy. He served as president of the Massachusetts Senate 1775–1802 and as lieutenant governor of the state in 1802 (SIBLEY description begins J. L. Sibley et al. Sibley’s Harvard Graduates: Biographical Sketches of Those Who Attended Harvard College. 18 vols. to date. Boston, 1873—. description ends , 17:593–605).

2This tavern was kept by the widow of Nathaniel Coolidge (Fitzpatrick, Diaries description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Diaries of George Washington, 1748–1799. 4 vols. Boston and New York, 1925. description ends , 4:48).

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