George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 2 May 1771]

2. Set out with Colo. Bassett for Williamsburg and reachd Town about 12 Oclock. Dined at Mrs. Dawson’s & went to the Play.

At the theater, GW saw a performance by the American Company of Comedians, which had been in Williamsburg for more than a month (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 335; RANKIN description begins Hugh F. Rankin. The Theater in Colonial America. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1960. description ends , 159). Mrs. Campbell, with whom he lodged as usual, had by this date moved down Duke of Gloucester Street to “the coffee-house . . . next the Capitol.” Owned by the heirs of Nathaniel Walthoe, late clerk of the General Assembly, it was soon to be offered for sale at public auction by the executor of the estate (Va. Gaz., P&D, 16 May 1771). Mrs. Campbell’s old place in the second block from the Capitol had been bought during the previous year by James Anderson, a blacksmith and gunsmith (GIBBS description begins Patricia Ann Gibbs. “Taverns in Tidewater Virginia, 1700–1774.” Master’s thesis, College of William and Mary, 1968. description ends , 152–54; WILLIAMSBURG description begins Colonial Williamsburg Official Guidebook: Containing a brief History of the City and Descriptions of more than One Hundred Dwelling-Houses, Shops & publick Buildings, fully illustrated. Also a large Guide-Map. Williamsburg, Va., 1970. description ends , 24–25).

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