George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 14 July 1774]

14. Went up to Alexandria to the Election where I was Chosen, together with Majr. Broadwater, Burgess. Staid all Night to a Ball.

Governor Dunmore, who had dissolved the assembly upon its protest of the Boston Port Bill in May 1774, had issued the writs for new elections on 16 June (Va. Gaz., P&D, 16 June 1774, supp.).

Maj. Charles Broadwater (d. 1806) lived at Springfield, in northern Fairfax County. After serving for a number of years as a vestryman in Truro Parish, Broadwater was elected to the vestry of newly created Fairfax Parish in 1765. He served in the last session of the Virginia House of Burgesses and in the first four Virginia conventions of 1774–75 (SLAUGHTER [1] description begins Philip Slaughter. The History of Truro Parish in Virginia. Edited by Edward L. Goodwin. Philadelphia, 1908. description ends , 45, 120; STETSON [2] description begins Charles W. Stetson. Washington and His Neighbors. Richmond, Va., 1956. description ends , 236–38; stanard, 199, 201, 204).

An English visitor in Alexandria, who was present for the election, recorded in his diary: “Thursday, July 14th, 1774. An Election for Burgesses in town. . . . There were three Candidates, the Poll was over in about two hours and conducted with great order and regularity. The Members Col. George Washington and Major Bedwater. The Candidates gave the populace a Hogshead of Toddy (what we call Punch in England). In the evening the returned Member [GW] gave a Ball to the Freeholders and Gentlemen of the town. This was conducted with great harmony. Coffee and Chocolate, but no Tea. This Herb is in disgrace amongst them at present” (CRESSWELL description begins Lincoln MacVeagh, ed. The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774–1777. New York, 1924. description ends , 27–28).

In his accounts GW entered £8 5s. 6d. for “my p[ar]t of the Electn. Ball” (LEDGER B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 126).

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