George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 1 May 1785]

Sunday—First. Mercury 51 in the Morning—52 at Noon and 60 at Night.

Day cool, Wind at No. West & clear all the forenoon, with flying clouds afterwards.

Took a late breakfast at Hanover C[our]t House. Went from thence to Mr. Peter Lyon’s where I intended to dine, but neither he nor Mrs. Lyon being at home, I proceeded to, & arrived at Richmond about 5 oclock in the afternn.

Supped & lodged at the Governor’s.

Peter Lyons (1735–1809) was an Irish-born Virginia lawyer. In 1763 he was attorney for Rev. James Maury in the “Parson’s Cause.” In 1779 Lyons was made judge of the General Court; in 1789 he became a member of the Virginia Court of Appeals and in 1803 became its president (LYONS description begins “Judge Peter Lyons’ Letters to His Granddaughter.” Tyler’s Quarterly Historical and Genealogical Magazine 8 (1926–27): 184–94. description ends , 184–85). Lyons’s second wife, whom he married in 1773, was Judith Bassett of Williamsburg, an aunt of Mrs. Washington’s niece, Fanny Bassett (Va. Gaz., P&D, 30 Dec. 1773; MASON [1] description begins Frances Norton Mason, ed. John Norton & Sons, Merchants of London and Virginia, Being the Papers from Their Counting House for the Years 1750 to 1795. 1937. Reprint. New York, 1968. description ends , 295).

Patrick Henry (1736–1799) served his fourth and fifth terms as governor of Virginia from Nov. 1784 to Nov. 1786. The governor’s residence in Richmond impressed a visitor in 1782 as being “very plain but spacious,” and was later described as “a very plain wooden building of two stories, with only two moderate sized rooms on the first floor” (CHASTELLUX description begins Marquis de Chastellux. Travels in North America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782. Translated and edited by Howard C. Rice, Jr. 2 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1963. description ends , 2:428; MORDECAI description begins Samuel Mordecai. Virginia, Especially Richmond, in By-Gone Days; with a Glance at the Present: Being Reminiscences and Last Words of an Old Citizen. 2d ed. Richmond, 1860. description ends , 73; see DUMBAULD description begins Edward Dumbauld. Thomas Jefferson, American Tourist: Being an Account of His Journeys in the United States of America, England, France, Italy, the Low Countries, and Germany. Norman, Okla., 1946. description ends , 220–27). Governor Henry also kept a farm, Salisbury, in Chesterfield County about 12 miles west of the capital, to which his family often retired during the summer (MEADE [3] description begins Robert Douthat Meade. Patrick Henry. 2 vols. Philadelphia and New York, 1957-69. description ends , 302, 507).

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