George Washington Papers
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[Diary entry: 2 October 1789]

Friday 2d. Dispatching Commissions &ca. as yesterday for the Judiciary.

The Visitors to Mrs. Washington this evening were not numerous.

Martha Washington held her levees, lasting about three hours, on Friday evenings at 8:00, and GW usually attended. “She gives Tea, Coffee, Cake, Lemonade & Ice Creams,” Abigail Adams noted. “The form of Reception is this, the servants announce & Col. Humphries or Mr. Lear, receives every Lady at the door, & Hands her up to Mrs. Washington to whom she makes a most Respectfull courtsey and then is seated without noticeing any of the rest of the company. The Pressident then comes up and speaks to the Lady, which he does with a grace dignity & ease, that leaves Royal George far behind him. The company are entertaind with Ice creems & Lemonade, and retire at their pleasure performing the same ceremony when they quit the Room.” Frequently the receptions were “as much crowded as a Birth Night at St. James, and with company as Briliantly drest, diamonds & great Hoops excepted” (Abigail Adams to Mary Cranch, 9 Aug. 1789, 5 Jan. and 27 July 1790, MITCHELL description begins Stewart Mitchell, ed. New Letters of Abigail Adams, 1788–1801. Boston, 1947. description ends , 18, 35, 55).

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