George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 17 February 1797]

17. Wind still westerly. Cloudy forenoon & rainy afternoon & Night. Mercury at 38. A very crouded drawing Room.

a very crouded drawing room: That the drawing room, or levee, was particularly crowded on this day was undoubtedly the result of a rumor that this was to be Mrs. Washington’s last levee before the Washingtons retired to Mount Vernon. John Adams was to be inaugurated as the new president on 4 Mar., and GW’s last weeks in office were marked by a hectic round of visits and addresses from various groups including congressmen, merchants, the Pennsylvania governor and legislature, the Society of the Cincinnati, and army officers. There were also elaborate dinners and entertainments given in his honor. The Washingtons themselves on 3 Mar. gave a farewell dinner followed by Mrs. Washington’s last drawing room. On 4 Mar. at noon GW attended the inauguration of the new president.

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