George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 3 July 1791]

Sunday 3d. Received, and answered an address from the Inhabitants of York town—& there being no Episcopal Minister present1 in the place, I went to hear morning Service performed2 in the Dutch reformed Church—which, being in that language3 not a word of which I understood I was in no danger of becoming4 a proselyte to its religion5 by the eloquence of the Preacher.

After Service, accompanied by Colo. Hartley & half a dozen other Gentlemen, I set off for Lancaster. Dined at Wrights Ferry where I was met by Genl. Hand6 & many of the principal characters of Lancaster7 & escorted to the town by them, arriving8 abt. 6 oclock.

The Country from York to Lancaster is9 very fine, thick settled, and well cultivated. About the ferry they are extremely10 rich. The river Susquehannah at this place is more than a mile wide and some pretty views on the banks of11 it.

The address from the citizens of York and a copy of GW’s reply are in DLC:GW. The church service was at the German Reformed Church on Market Street that burned six years later (jordan, 47).

Wright’s ferry, established by the Quaker settler John Wright after his arrival in 1726, crossed the Susquehanna River to Columbia, Pa., the town laid off by his grandson Samuel Wright in 1788. This area was one of several proposed in 1789 as the site of the new national capital (ESPENSHADE description begins A. Howry Espenshade. Pennsylvania Place Names. State College, Pa., 1925. description ends , 42, 210–11).

Edward Hand (1744–1802), physician, politician, and former major general in the Continental service, was appointed an inspector of revenue earlier this year by GW (Hand to GW, 18 April 1791, DNA: RG 59, Misc. Letters).

The time of GW’s arrival in Lancaster, according to one of the town’s residents, was 6:30 P.M. “The colors,” she reported, “were fixed in the cupola of the Court House, and all the Bells rung at his entrance” (LANDIS [2] description begins Charles I. Landis. “Jasper Yeates and His Times.” Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 46 (1922): 199–231. description ends , 222).

1present” inserted above line.

2“performed” added above line.

3“that language” substituted for “Dutch ⟨illegible⟩.”

4“becoming” substituted for “being ad.”

5“religion” added above line.

6“Genl. Hand” inserted above line.

7“Lancaster” substituted for “that place.”

8“arriving” substituted for “whence I arrived.”

9“in general” deleted.

10“extremely” inserted above line for “very.”

11“the banks of” added above line.

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