George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 10 December 1789]

Thursday 10th. Exercised on Horseback—between 10 and 12 Oclock.

The following Company dined here to day—viz.—Mrs. King and Mrs. Few—Mr. & Mrs. Harrison—Mr. & Mrs. Wolcot—Mr. Duer, his Lady and Miss Brown—Mr. Griffin & Lady and Lady Christiana and her daughter.

Catherine Few was the wife of Sen. William Few of Georgia and the daughter of Comdr. James Nicholson.

harrison: probably Richard Harison (1747–1829), a Federalist attorney and Columbia College graduate from New York City whom GW had appointed district attorney for New York in Sept. 1789. His wife was the former Frances Ludlow, daughter of Chief Justice George Duncan Ludlow of New Brunswick.

Elizabeth Stoughton, a daughter of Col. John Stoughton of Windsor, Conn., had married Oliver Wolcott, Jr., in 1785 when he was state comptroller for Connecticut. When GW appointed him auditor of the treasury in Sept. 1789 Wolcott accepted the offer only after repeated urgings from his friends; his reluctance stemmed not only from disappointment at not receiving the post of comptroller of the treasury but also from an apprehension that the salary was not adequate for living expenses in New York City. However, hoping that the “example of the President and his family, will render parade and expense improper and disreputable,” he accepted, and the Wolcotts arrived in New York early in November. They were unable to find a house and at this time were lodging at Mrs. Grinnell’s, No. 27 Queen Street (Wolcott to Elizabeth Wolcott, 24 Sept. 1789; Wolcott to Oliver Wolcott, Sr., 3 Nov. 1789, GIBBS [2] description begins George Gibbs. Memoirs of the Administrations of Washington and John Adams, Edited from the Papers of Oliver Wolcott, Secretary of the Treasury. 2 vols. New York, 1846. description ends , 1:22–23).

Mr. Griffin is Samuel Griffin of Williamsburg (see entry for 11 Sept. 1774). Mrs. Samuel Griffin is Betsy Braxton Griffin, daughter of Carter Braxton. Lady Christina (Christiana) Griffin’s daughter was either Mary Griffin (d. 1851), who later married her cousin Maj. Thomas Griffin, or, less likely, her younger sister Louise Griffin (d. 1859), who in 1799 married Col. Hugh Tenant Weeden Mercer (1776–1853) of Fredericksburg, the youngest son of Hugh Mercer.

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