George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 19 October 1788]

Sunday 19th. Thermometer at 60 in the Morning—60 at Noon—and 58 at Night. Wind at No. Et. in the Morning & cloudy which it continued to be all day & at Night began to rain.

Mr. OKelly the Dancing Master Mr. O’Kelly the Lawyer, Mrs. O’Conner of Alexandria—Mrs. Peake & her Son Harry & her Nephew Eaglan Dined here, all of whom except Mrs. O’Conner went away after it.

Eliza Harriet O’Connor, wife of the John O’Connor who had visited GW 3 Feb. 1788, opened an academy for young ladies in Alexandria earlier this year and tried unsuccessfully to induce GW to serve as one of the school’s official visitors (Eliza H. O’Connor to GW, 17 June 1788, and GW to Eliza H. O’Connor, 20 June 1788, DLC:GW). She was now preparing to leave Alexandria to join her husband, who, she said, had obtained a public office and superintendency of an academy in Edenton, N.C. Wishing to reopen her own school in Edenton, Mrs. O’Connor asked GW to give her a letter of introduction to North Carolina’s governor, Samuel Johnston, a request that GW refused on grounds that he did not know Governor Johnston and had never corresponded with him (Eliza H. O’Connor to GW, 7 Oct. 1788, and GW to Eliza H. O’Connor, 17 Oct. 1788, DLC:GW). However, GW did permit her to come to Mount Vernon for “advice upon some matters of very material consequence” concerning her decision to leave town, a decision of which her students’ parents did not approve (Eliza H. O’Connor to GW, 18 Oct. 1788, DLC:GW). Mrs. O’Connor did soon leave Alexandria, but if she went to Edenton, she probably did not stay there long; her husband by the fall of 1789 was at Georgetown, Md., still professing his intention to publish his history of the Americas (John O’Connor to GW, 5 Oct. 1789, DNA:PCC, Item 78; O’BRIEN description begins Michael J. O’Brien. George Washington’s Associations with the Irish. New York, 1937. description ends , 45).

eaglan: apparently one of the several sons of Mrs. Peake’s sister Sarah Stonestreet Edelen of Prince George’s County, Md. (BRUMBAUGH description begins Gaius Marcus Brumbaugh. Maryland Records: Colonial, Revolutionary, County and Church, from Original Sources. 2 vols. 1915 and 1928. Reprint. Baltimore, 1975. description ends , 59; see main entry for 9 May 1770).

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