George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 11 February 1790]

Thursday 11th. Exercised on horse-back in the forenoon.

The following Gentlemen dined here—viz.—Messrs. Leonard & Grout of Massachusetts—Huntington & Sturges of Connecticut—Silvester of New York Sinnickson of New Jersey—Gale of Maryland and Bland Parker and Moore of Virginia.

George Leonard (1729–1819) was born in Norton, Mass. After his graduation from Harvard in 1748 he held a number of judicial posts of increasing importance in his state and was judge of the common pleas court when he was elected to the First Congress. Jonathan Grout (1737–1807), a Petersham, Mass., lawyer, served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives 1781, 1784, 1787 and in the Senate 1788. An Antifederalist, he was elected to the First Congress in 1789. Benjamin Huntington (1736–1800), a Norwich, Conn., lawyer, graduated from Yale in 1761 and, before his election to the First Congress in 1789, served in the Massachusetts legislature and in the Continental Congress. From 1784 to 1796 he was mayor of Norwich. Jonathan Sturges (1740–1819), of Fairfield, Conn., graduated from Yale in 1759 and opened a law practice in Fairfield in 1772. He was a member of the state legislature 1772, 1773–84 and served in the Continental Congress 1774–87. Peter Silvester (1734–1808), a Kinderhook, N.Y., lawyer, was elected to the First Congress in 1789. Prior to his election he was a member of the First and Second Provincial Congresses 1775–76 and judge of the court of common pleas of Columbia County. Thomas Sinnickson (1744–1817), a Salem, N.J., merchant, held the rank of captain with New Jersey troops during the Revolution and was a member of the New Jersey legislature 1777, 1782, 1784–85, 1787–88.

George Gale (1756–1815), a native of Somerset County, Md., was a member of the Maryland Ratifying Convention in 1788. In Mar. 1791 GW appointed him supervisor of the revenue for Maryland. Josiah Parker (1751–1810) was a member of the 1775 Virginia Convention and served as colonel in the 5th Virginia Regiment during the Revolution. In 1780–81 he was in the Virginia House of Delegates, and he served as naval officer for Portsmouth, Va., in 1786. Andrew Moore (1752–1821) was born near Fairfield, Rockbridge County, Va., studied at Augusta Academy (Washington and Lee), and was admitted to the Virginia bar in 1774. During the Revolution he served in the Continental Army 1776–78, and as a brigadier general in the Virginia militia. In 1780–83 and again in 1785–88 he was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and in 1788 of the Virginia Ratifying Convention.

The New-York Journal, and Weekly Register, 18 Feb. 1790, noted that “the Birth-Day of the President of the United States was celebrated at Philadelphia the eleventh inst.” In New York City, however, the Society of St. Tammany held an elaborate celebration on 22 Feb. and “Resolved, unanimously, That the 22d day of February (corresponding with the 11th Feb. old stile) be this day, and ever hereafter, commemorated by this Society as the birth day of the Illustrious George Washington.” Apparently this year the president’s birthday was widely celebrated on 22 Feb. (New-York Journal, and Weekly Register, 25 Feb. 1790).

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