George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McHenry, 9 November 1798

From James McHenry

Philad. 9th Novr 1798
half past 5 O Clock P.M.

My dear General

I reced about 2 o’clock P.M. Col. Lear’s letter, dated at Wilmington, and a few minutes since, his second letter, dated at Chester.1

I have engaged lodgings for you at Mrs Whites, in eighth Street near the corner of Market Street, and stabling for your horses at Dunwoody’s which is in its neighbourhood. There has been no fever in the house, and I think under all circumstances, it is the most elegible of any of those that have been suggested or that has occurred to my mind.2

The President is still at Quincy[,] Hamilton is here, and General Pinckney may be expected on Monday. I got to town yesterday evening, in tolerable health.

You mention coming in by the middle Ferry. We understand by the middle Ferry the Market Street Ferry. This is the best route for several reasons. It is the widest road and avoids all the late encamptments.

General McPherson intends to bring out a few of the volunteers so as to make your reception, a little military.3 Will you be good enough to inform me by the messenger who delivers this as near as may be the time which he may calculate upon your arrival at the Ferry. He laments his numbers will not be equal to the occasion and his wishes owing to the late sickness. Yours affectionately

James McHenry


1Letters not found.

2GW’s lodgings were in a boardinghouse kept by the widow Rosannah White at 9 North Eighth Street. Dunwoody’s tavern was on Market Street above Eighth Street.

3The following account of GW’s arrival in Philadelphia appeared in the Gazette of the United States (Philadelphia) on 10 Nov.: “This day about eleven o’clock, our beloved General arrived in town. Detachments from the different troops of horse met him on the road, at and from Chester, and escorted him to the city. Captains Wharton, McKean, Dunlap, Morrel, and Singer’s companies of cavalry—McPherson’s blues, and Captain Hozey’s company were drawn up in the centre square, and as he approached he alighted from his carriage, and with his secretary Mr. Lear, passed the line uncovered, to the usual salute of presented arms. He was justiy and universally received with presented hearts—never did more joy and confidence appear than his presence inspired. Having got into his carriage again, he was escorted to Mrs. White’s, in Eighth street, where a guard from McPherson’s blues was immediately mounted, to attend their friend and chief, which we understand, is to be regularly relieved during his continuance in this city. Major General Alexander HAMILTON and the Hon James McHENRY, Secretary at War, also arrived in town this day, and accompanied the Lieutenant General to his lodgings in Eighth street.” See also Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:323. William Macpherson (1756–1813) commanded a strongly Federalist battalion of cavalry, infantry, and artillery.

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