George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 8 October 1789]

Thursday 8th. Mr. Gardoqui took leave, proposing to embark to morrow for Spain.

The following Company dined with Me to day. viz.

The Vice-President his Lady & Son and her Niece with their Son in Law Colo. Smith & his Lady. Governor Clinton & his two eldest daughters—Mr. Dalton and his Lady their Son in law Mr. Dubois and his lady and their other three daughters.

In the Evening the Count de Moustier & Madam de Brehan came in and sat an hour.

Mr. Madison took his leave to day. He saw no impropriety in my proposed trip to the Eastward; but with respect to the private agent to ascertain the disposition of the British Court with respect to the Western Posts & Commercial treaty he thought if the necessity did not press it would be better to wait the arrival of Mr. Jefferson who might be able to give the information wanted on this head—and with me thought, that if Mr. Gouvr. Morris was employed in this business it would be a commitment for his appointment as Minister if one should be sent to that Court or wanted at Versailles in place of Mr. Jefferson—and Moreover if either of these was his Wish whether his representations might not be made with an eye to it. He thought with Colo. Hamilton, and as Mr. Jay also does, that Mr. Morris is a man of superior talents—but with the latter that his imagination sometimes runs a head of his judgment—that his Manners before he is known—and where known are oftentimes disgusting—and from that, and immoral & loose expressions had created opinions of himself that were not favourable to him and which he did not merit.

Don Diego de Gardoqui, Spanish representative in the United States, lived in the Kennedy House at No. 1 Broadway where he entertained lavishly. Accompanied by his son and one of his secretaries, Gardoqui sailed for Bilboa on 10 Oct. on board the snow San Nicholas (Gaz. of the U.S., 14 Oct. 1789).

Abigail Adams (1744–1818), born in Weymouth, Mass., married John Adams in 1764. From 1784 to 1787 she was in Europe with her husband during his diplomatic service at The Hague and in Paris and London. The Adams family had moved in the summer of 1789 from their home in Braintree to Richmond Hill in New York City (see entry for 7 Oct. 1789). Abigail quickly became Mrs. Washington’s staunch social ally in the new capital. “We live upon terms of much Friendship & visit each other often,” Abigail noted. “Mrs. Washington is a most friendly, good Lady, always pleasent and easy” (MITCHELL description begins Stewart Mitchell, ed. New Letters of Abigail Adams, 1788–1801. Boston, 1947. description ends , 30). The Adams’s son is either Charles Adams (1770–1800), who had accompanied the family to New York and was studying law with Alexander Hamilton, or John Quincy Adams (1767–1848), also living at Richmond Hill. her niece: Louisa Smith, the daughter of Abigail Adams’s brother William Smith, lived with the Adamses.

William Stephens Smith (1755–1816) had served as one of GW’s aides-de-camp 1781–83 and had married the Adamses’ daughter Abigail Amelia in London in 1786 while he was John Adams’s secretary of legation. After touring Europe he returned to America in 1788 where he soon became heavily involved in land speculation. GW appointed him marshal for the district of New York in 1789.

George Clinton (1739–1812) had been governor of New York since 1777. A vigorous Antifederalist, he led the fight against ratification of the Constitution in the New York Convention. In 1789 he was the victor in a bitterly contested campaign against the Federalist candidate Robert Yates for the governorship. Clinton’s two eldest daughters were Catharine Clinton (b.1770) and Cornelia Clinton (b.1774).

Tristram Dalton (1738–1817), merchant and farmer of Newburyport, Mass., graduated from Harvard in 1755, served in the Massachusetts legislature 1782–88, and was elected to the United States Senate in 1789. His wife was Ruth Hooper Dalton, daughter of Robert “King” Hooper, a wealthy Marblehead, Mass., merchant. mr. dubois: The Daltons’ daughter, Ruth Hooper Dalton, had married Lewis Deblois, a Boston merchant, 21 July 1789 (NEWBURYPORT VITAL RECORDS description begins Vital Records of Newbury, Massachusetts, to the End of the Year 1849. 2 vols. Salem, Mass., 1911. description ends , 2:125).

Index Entries