George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 13 May 1773]

13. After Breakfast & abt. 8 Oclock set out for Rockhall where we arrivd in two hours & 25 Minutes. Dind on Board the Annapolis at Chester Town & Supped & lodgd at Mr. Ringolds.

rockhall: The route GW took from Annapolis to Philadelphia crossed the Chesapeake Bay by packet or ferryboat from Annapolis to Rock Hall in Kent County, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Another traveler who took the same route a year later in bad weather needed 4½ hours to make the same 25–mile crossing (FITHIAN description begins Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. Journal & Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773–1774: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion. Williamsburg, Va., 1943. description ends , 130).

The Annapolis was owned and commanded by Capt. Thomas Eden, Gov. Robert Eden’s brother. Thomas Eden’s mercantile firm, T. Eden & Co., was engaged in the tobacco trade between Maryland and England (EDEN description begins Rosamond Randall Beirne. “Portrait of a Colonial Governor: Robert Eden.” Maryland Historical Magazine 45 (1950): 153–75, 294–311. description ends , 155, 164). Governor Eden was accompaning GW and Jacky Custis to Philadelphia, where he had a horse entered in the races.

Chestertown, Kent County, Md., was on the Chester River. Although it was officially named New Town, the names Chester or Chestertown were more commonly used at this time and the name was officially changed in 1780 to Chestertown. The town had been a port of entry for Cecil, Kent, and Queen Anne’s counties on the Eastern Shore since 1708, and was a flourishing place during the eighteenth century, rivaling Annapolis in importance.

Thomas Ringgold (c.1744–1776), a merchant, lived with his wife, Mary Galloway Ringgold, in Chestertown (CLARK [2] description begins Raymond B. Clark, Jr. “The Abbey, or Ringgold House, at Chestertown, Maryland.” Maryland Historical Magazine 46 (1951): 81–92. description ends , 82; BEIRNE description begins Rosamond Randall Beirne and John Henry Scarff. William Buckland, 1734–1774: Architect of Virginia and Maryland. Baltimore, 1958. description ends , 79).

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