George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 15 May 1785]

Sunday 15th. Mercury at 59 in the morning—63 at Noon and 65 at Night. General Cadwallader came here yesterday.

Today Colo. Fitzgerald—Mr. Murray,—Mr. Porter—Mr. Munser Mr. Darby & the Revd. Mr. Prince came here to dinner, & went away after it.

In the Afternoon Doctr. Stuart Mrs. Stuart & Miss Stuart came and stayed all Night.

Wind at So. East all day, with some appearances of Rain.

John Cadwalader served as a brigadier general of the Pennsylvania militia during the Revolution. In 1778 his admiration for GW led him to challenge Maj. Gen. Thomas Conway and seriously wound him in a duel, after Conway had made disparaging remarks about GW. In 1785 Cadwalader was living at his country seat in Kent County, Md., and was a member of the Maryland legislature.

Mr. Murray is probably John Murray, an Alexandria merchant. Murray’s store was at this time located on Fairfax Street, nearly opposite the courthouse, but shortly afterwards moved to the corner of Prince and Water streets (Va. Journal, 4 Nov. 1784 and 13 April 1786).

Thomas Porter (d. 1800) was a partner in the Alexandria firm of Porter & Ingraham which operated a store near the corner of Fairfax and King streets at this time (Va. Journal, 23 Dec. 1784). Porter was recommended to GW by Benjamin Lincoln (GW to Lincoln, 5 Feb. 1785, DLC:GW) and seems to have become a close friend of George A. Washington.

mr. munser: William Mounsher, “an intimate friend and confident” of Thomas Porter (Porter to Benjamin Lincoln, Jr., 19 July 1787, MHi: Benjamin Lincoln Papers), advertised a store, counting room, and cellar for rent on King Street in Alexandria (Va. Journal, 5 April 1787). A few months later he gave notice of his intended return to Europe (Va. Journal, 17 May 1787), but continued to visit Mount Vernon for another year. GW had difficulty with Mounsher’s name and spelled it various ways (Monshur, Munsher).

mr. darby: probably a son of Elias Hasket Derby, a wealthy merchant and shipowner of Salem, Mass. Rev. Mr. Prince is probably John Prince (1751–1836), minister of the First Church in Salem. Derby and Prince were traveling together with a letter of introduction from William Grayson (Grayson to GW, 5 May 1785, DLC:GW).

Miss Stuart is undoubtedly Dr. David Stuart’s sister Ann, who was living at Abingdon with her brother and sister-in-law at this time (TORBERT description begins Alice Coyle Torbert. Eleanor Calvert and Her Circle. New York, 1950. description ends , 49). She later became the second wife of William Mason, son of Col. George Mason of Gunston Hall.

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