2. Messrs. Hendks. Dalton & others Breakfasted here & Majr. Gates & Mr. B. Fairfax dind & lodgd here.
James Hendricks, an Alexandria merchant, was one of ten Alexandrians who formed a town committee of correspondence in May 1774; he later served in the Revolution as a major and colonel with the Virginia troops (VAN SCHREEVEN description begins William J. Van Schreeven et al., eds. Revolutionary Virginia: The Road to Independence. A Documentary Record. 7 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1973–83. description ends , 2:88; HEITMAN  description begins Francis B. Heitman. Historical Register of Officers of the Continental Army during the War of the Revolution, April, 1775, to December, 1783. 1893. Rev. ed. Washington, D.C., 1914. description ends , 217).
Horatio Gates (1727–1806) had been a captain in the British army in 1755 when he was wounded in Braddock’s Defeat. After serving in the French and Indian War he returned to Great Britain, where he subsequently retired on half pay with the rank of major. In 1772 he and his family moved to America and settled on a farm near Opequon Creek, about six miles northwest of Charles Town in the Shenandoah Valley. This home, which he named Traveller’s Rest, was situated in newly formed Berkeley County (now in Jefferson County, W.Va.), where he served with GW’s brother Samuel Washington as a county justice of the peace (NORRIS  description begins J. E. Norris, ed. History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley. 1890. Reprint. Berryville, Va., 1972. description ends , 292).
Gates probably used this visit at Mount Vernon to discuss with GW the recent battles of Lexington and Concord, the current siege of Boston by New England troops, and the prospects for the two serving in an American army against Lt. Gen. Thomas Gage, with whom they had both served in Braddock’s campaign, and who was now commander of the British troops in Boston.