George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 3 May 1791]

Tuesday 3d. Breakfasted with Mrs. Rutledge (the Lady of the Chief justice of the State who was on the Circuits) and dined with the Citizens at a public dinr. given by them at the Exchange.

Was visited about 2 oclock, by a great number of the most respectable ladies of Charleston—the first honor of the kind I had ever experienced and it was flattering as it was singular.

John Rutledge’s wife was Elizabeth Grimké Rutledge (d. 1792). Their house stood on Broad Street between King and Legare. After the visit of the ladies, the events of the day followed a more familiar pattern. At 3:00 P.M. the city officials presented GW with a welcoming address, and half an hour later the merchants of Charleston “in a body” delivered another address. Both addresses and copies of GW’s replies are in DLC:GW. At the public dinner, which began at 4:00 P.M., GW ate sitting beneath “a beautiful triumphal arch” and afterwards heard 15 toasts, accompanied by cannonshots. “It is almost unnecessary to add,” observed the writer of the next day’s newspaper account, “that the day and evening were spent with all that hilarity, harmony, and happy festivity, which was suited to the occasion” (Md. Journal [Baltimore], 24 May 1791). The city council had repaired the bells and employed bellmen for GW’s visit (HENDERSON description begins Archibald Henderson. Washington’s Southern Tour, 1791. Boston and New York, 1923. description ends , 160, n.1).

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