George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 7 January 1789]

Wednesday 7th. Thermometer at 32 in the Morning—39 at Noon and 39 at Night. Calm all day, but raw & chilly.

Went up to the Election of an Elector (for this district) of President & Vice President when the Candidates polled for being Doctr. Stuart and Colo. Blackburn the first recd. 216 votes from the Freeholders of this County and the second 16 Votes. Dined with a large company on venisen at Pages Tavn. and came home in the evening.

The Virginia General Assembly passed an act 17 Nov. 1788 authorizing election of the state’s 12 presidential electors by districts. Fairfax County was in the district which also included Prince William, Loudoun, and Fauquier counties. Voting in all districts occurred on this day at the courthouses with all voters qualified to vote for General Assembly members eligible to participate (HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 12:648–53). David Stuart won his district by a margin of 347 votes (Md. Journal, 20 Jan. 1789). Virginia’s electors met in Richmond on 4 Feb. and voted unanimously for GW for president as did electors of all the other ratifying states, who met that day also. GW was formally notified of his election on 14 April (FREEMAN description begins Douglas Southall Freeman. George Washington: A Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1948–57. description ends , 6:157–66).

William Page (d. 1790) ran a tavern in Alexandria apparently for only a few years. The local Freemasons met there in 1788 (BROCKETT description begins F. L. Brockett. The Lodge of Washington. A History of the Alexandria Washington Lodge, No. 22, A.F. and A.M. of Alexandria, Va., 1783-1876. Alexandria, Va., 1876. description ends , 34).

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