George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 18 May 1773]

18. Dined with sevl. Gentlemen at our own lodgings and went to the Assembly in the Evening.

our own lodgings: GW lodged at the same place both on his way to New York and on his return (see main entry for 2 June 1773). On 3 June he paid 10s. “By Board at Mrs. Greydon” (Cash Memoranda, DLC:GW). Rachel Marks Graydon, widow of Alexander Graydon, for many years ran a fashionable boardinghouse in Philadelphia. At the time of GW’s visit she was probably still at the famous old house known as the Slate House on Second Street at Norris’s Alley. The house had had a long history and several famous occupants before it became a boardinghouse. In later years Mrs. Graydon moved to a larger house on Front Street (GRAYDON description begins Alexander Graydon. Memoirs of His Own Time. With Reminiscences of the Men and Events of the Revolution. Edited by John Stockton Littell. Philadelphia, 1846. description ends , 62–63).

The Philadelphia Assemblies, or subscription balls, begun in the winter of 1748–49, are the oldest series of society balls in the country. The directors of the assembly laid down strict rules governing the dances, the refreshments, and the behavior of the participants. For those who did not wish to dance, there were other entertainments, such as cards (BALCH [1] description begins Thomas Willing Balch. The Philadelphia Assemblies. Philadelphia, 1916. description ends , 14, 39–42).

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