George Washington Papers
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[Diary entry: 15 March 1797]

15. Recd. the Compliments of the Citizens of George Town as I had done the day before of those of the City of Washington. Stopped in Alexa. & got to Mt. V. to dinner.

city of washington: The Washington Gazette on this day reported that “Yesterday George Washington (God bless him) passed through the city on his way to Mount Vernon. When he reached the Capitol the company of Artillery, under the command of Captain [James] Hoban, welcomed him by a discharge of cannon. After dining in the City, he was escorted to George Town by several of our most respectable Citizens. As he passed the President’s house, a salute of 16 guns was fired by the said company and followed by repeated huzzas, dictated by hearts sensibly alive to his merits” (Fitzpatrick, Diaries description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Diaries of George Washington, 1748–1799. 4 vols. Boston and New York, 1925. description ends , 4:255, n.1). Nelly Custis wrote a friend that “The gentlemen of George Town also attended us to the River, & four of them rowed us over in a barge” (Eleanor Parke Custis to Elizabeth Bordley, 18 Mar. 1797, ViMtvL). alexa.: “Yesterday General Washington accompanied by his Lady, the son of the Marquis de la Fayette, &c. passed through town on their way home. The General’s desire to reach Mount-Vernon that evening prevented the citizens of Alexandria from offering those public marks of their gratitude and esteem, which they were now more than ever solicitous of manifesting for their illustrious neighbour. . . . We are informed that Gen. Washington has accepted of an invitation to a public dinner, to be given in this town on Thursday” (Columbian Mirror [Alexandria], 16 Mar. 1797). mt. v.: They arrived at Mount Vernon at 4:00 P.M. (Eleanor Parke Custis to Elizabeth Bordley, 18 Mar. 1797, ViMtvL). Of the journey from Philadelphia and the conditions prevailing at Mount Vernon when he arrived, GW wrote: “We got home without accident. & found the Roads drier, & better than I ever travelled them at that Season of the year. The attentions we met with on our journey were very flattering, and to some whose minds are differently formed from mine would have been highly relished, but I avoided in every instance where I had any previous knowledge of the intention, and c[oul]d by the earnest entreaties prevail, all parade, or escorts. . . . I find myself in the situation, nearly, of a new beginner; for although I have no houses to build (except one, which I must erect for the accommodation & security of my Military, Civil & private Papers . . .) yet I have not one or scarcely anything else about me that does not require considerable repairs. In a word I am already surrounded by Joiners, Masons, Painters & ca.” (GW to James McHenry, 3 April 1797, NN: Washington Collection).

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