George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 21 September 1771]

21. Set out with Mr. Wormeley for the Annapolis Races. Dind at Mr. Willm. Digges’s & lodgd at Mr. Ignatis Digges’s.

The fall racing at Annapolis was an annual highlight of both the sporting and social seasons for the Chesapeake gentry, being an occasion not only for indulging in “the pleasures of the turf” but for going to dinners, balls, and plays in the city (EDDIS description begins William Eddis. Letters from America. Edited by Aubrey C. Land. Cambridge, Mass., 1969. description ends , xxv—xxvi, 54–55). Sponsored by the prestigious Annapolis Jockey Club, the races attracted the finest thoroughbreds in the region to run for purses of up to 100 guineas. This year the jockey club had announced four days of racing to begin at 11:00 A.M. each day from 24 to 27 Sept. and three balls to be held on the nights of 24, 25, and 27 Sept. (Md. Gaz., 12 Sept. 1771).

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