George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 18 May 1787]

Friday 18th. The representation from New York appeared on the floor to day.

Dined at Greys ferry, and drank Tea at Mr. Morris’s—after which accompanied Mrs. [Morris] and some other Ladies to hear a Mrs. O’Connell read (a charity affair). The lady being reduced in circumstances had had recourse to this expedient to obtain a little money. Her performe. was tolerable—at the College-Hall.

greys ferry: The recently opened public gardens on the west bank of the Schuylkill at Gray’s ferry were an innovation in public amusement gardens for Philadelphia. Patterned after the public gardens of London, the Gray’s ferry gardens placed artificial grottoes and waterfalls among beds of flowers and exotic plants, set in several acres of the natural landscape along the Schuylkill River. Here concerts, illuminations, and fireworks were presented, especially on holidays. Refreshments and meals were served at the ferry inn, incorporated into the gardens (SCHARF [1] description begins J. Thomas Scharf and Thompson Westcott. History of Philadelphia. 1609–1884. 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1884. description ends , 2:942–44).

mrs. o’connell: On this day the Pennsylvania Packet reported: “the Lecture which was to have been read by a lady in the University last evening was postponed until tonight, at the particular desire of several ladies and gentlemen of distinction. The Lecture to be read this evening is a continuance of the Dissertation on Eloquence, which commenced in the first course.”

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