George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 27 October 1789]

Tuesday 27th. At 10 Oclock in the Morning received the Visits of the Clergy of the Town—at 11 went to an Oratorio1 and between that and 3 Oclock recd. the Addresses of the Governor and Council—of the Town of Boston; of the President &ca. of Harvard College; and of the Cincinnati of the State;2 after wch., at 3 Oclock, I dined at a large & elegant dinner at Fanuiel Hall, given by the Govr. and Council, and spent the evening at my lodgings.3 When the Committee from the Town presented their Address it was accompanied with a request (in behalf they said of the Ladies) that I would set to have my Picture taken for the Hall, that others might be copied from it for the use of their respective families. As all the next day was assigned to various purposes and I was engaged to leave town on Thursday early, I informed them of the impracticability of my doing this, but that I would have it drawn when I returned to New York, if there was a good Painter there—or by Mr. Trumbull when he should arrive; and would send it to them.4

1The oratorio was held at King’s Chapel (Stone Chapel) to raise money for an addition to the chapel (Mass. Centinel, 24 Oct. 1789). According to the Pennsylvania Packet, 5 Nov. 1789, “on account of the indisposition of several of the first performers, the music was postponed until Wednesday next. Several pieces were however given, which merited and received applause.”

2These addresses and GW’s replies, 27 Oct., are in DLC:GW.

3According to the Pennsylvania Packet, 5 Nov. 1789, Hancock “owing to severe indisposition,” did not attend the dinner at Faneuil Hall.

4In spite of GW’s refusal, Christian Güllager (1759–1826), a Danish artist living in Boston, apparently made some preliminary sketches in Boston which GW later approved. On 3 Nov., while in Portsmouth, N.H., he gave the artist a sitting for the Portsmouth Bust Portrait which Güllager probably completed from memory and which was eventually presented to the Massachusetts Historical Society (EISEN description begins Gustavus A. Eisen. Portraits of Washington. 3 vols. New York, 1932. description ends , 2:427–28). The painter John Trumbull (1756–1843) was in Europe at this time but planned to return to the United States at the end of 1789.

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