George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 9 May 1791]

Monday 9th. At Six oclock I recommenced my journey for Savanna; attended by a Corps of the Cincinnati, and most of the principal Gentlemen of the City as far as the bridge over Ashly river, where we breakfasted and proceeded to Colo. W. Washington’s at Sandy-hill with a select party of particular friends—distant from Charleston 28 Miles.

To reach the Ashley River bridge GW and his escort traveled up Charleston neck, crossing the city boundary line, where they were met by Intendant Vanderhorst and the city wardens. Vanderhorst delivered a brief farewell address, to which GW replied with a few words of thanks. Then “the whole cavalcade, joined by the Intendant, moving on, they were saluted with a federal discharge from the field-pieces of the Charleston battalion of artillery, and a volley of musketry by the fusileer company, who were drawn up at some distance from the skirts of the city” (Md. Journal [Baltimore], 31 May 1791).

On the bridge, a wooden structure about three-fourths of a mile long with a draw in the middle, “a triumphal arch was constructed, adorned with flowers, laurel, &c.” Breakfast was provided by John Freazer (Frazer, Fraser) of St. Andrew’s Parish, who apparently kept a tavern near the south end of the bridge (Md. Journal [Baltimore], 31 May 1791; S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., 14 [1913], 203–6, 20 [1919], 83–84, 47 [1946], 211–13, 71 [1970–71], 172–73; HENDERSON description begins Archibald Henderson. Washington’s Southern Tour, 1791. Boston and New York, 1923. description ends , 201).

Sandy Hill plantation in St. Paul’s Parish, Charleston District, was inherited by William Washington’s wife, Jane Reiley Elliott Washington (c.1763–1830), from her father, Charles Elliott (1737–1781). In 1790 William Washington held 380 slaves in St. Paul’s Parish (S.C. Hist. and Geneal. Mag., 10 [1909], 245–46, 11 [1910], 60–61, 66; HEADS OF FAMILIES, S.C. description begins Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: South Carolina. 1908. Reprint. Salt Lake City, 1978. description ends , 37; SALLEY [2] description begins A. S. Salley. President Washington’s Tour Through South Carolina In 1791. Columbia, S.C., 1932. In Bulletins of the Historical Commission of South Carolina, no. 12. description ends , 22). The select party that accompanied GW to Sandy Hill consisted of Gov. Charles Pinckney, Sen. Pierce Butler, Sen. Ralph Izard, Gen. William Moultrie, and Gen. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (Md. Journal [Baltimore], 31 May 1791).

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