George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 24 September 1771]

24. Dined with the Govr. and went to the Play & Ball afterwards.

GW probably attended the races before dinner on this and the following three days. The track adjoined the town on the west, and because of the beautiful autumn weather “there was a prodigious concourse of spectators and considerable sums were depending on the contest of each day” (EDDIS description begins William Eddis. Letters from America. Edited by Aubrey C. Land. Cambridge, Mass., 1969. description ends , 54). Gov. Robert Eden’s home stood on a small peninsula extending into the Severn River.

The play was performed by the American Company of Comedians, which had begun a run in town on 9 Sept., when a new theater was opened on West Street near St. Anne’s Church (EDDIS description begins William Eddis. Letters from America. Edited by Aubrey C. Land. Cambridge, Mass., 1969. description ends , 55). The balls were held at the Assembly House on Duke of Gloucester Street. There was a room for dancing in the front of the building, and in a chamber at the back gentlemen gathered to play cards and to drink wine (STEVENS [1] description begins William Oliver Stevens. Annapolis: Anne Arundel’s Town. New York, 1937. description ends , 111). GW recorded losing £13 4s. 3d. “By cards—[at] different times” (LEDGER A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 344).

Index Entries