George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 July 1787]

Wednesday 4th. Visited Doctr. Shovats Anatomical figures and (the Convention having adjourned for the purpose) went to hear an Oration on the anniversary of Independance delivered by a Mr. Mitchell, a student of Law—After which I dined with the State Society of the Cincinnati at Epplees Tavern and drank Tea at Mr. Powells.

doctr. shovats anatomical figures: The surgeon and anatomist Abraham Chovet (1704–1790) was born in England, studied in France, practiced in England and the West Indies, and in 1774 opened his “Anatomical Museum” of wax human figures on Vidal’s Alley off Second Street in Philadelphia. Chastellux, impressed with Chovet’s work, was even more impressed with Chovet: “a real eccentric: his chief characteristic is contrary-mindedness; when the English were at Philadelphia he was a Whig, and since they left he has become a Tory” (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 , 1:146, 311). Chovet remained in Philadelphia, where he practiced medicine, taught anatomy, and helped found the College of Physicians (1787).

cincinnati: “Gen. Washington presents his Complts. to The honle. The Vice Presidt. of the Pensa. State Society of Cincinnati and will do himself the honor of dining with the society on the 4th of July agreeable to Invitation” (GW to Thomas McKean, 29 June [1787], PHi: McKean Papers). epplees tavern: Henry Epple (d. 1809) kept The Sign of the Rainbow, a popular tavern on the north side of Sassafras (Race) Street, above Third. Epple, who ran the tavern until 1794, had served as an officer in the army during the Revolution.

Index Entries