George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 5 November 1798]

5. Mr. White went away before breakfast. I set out on a journey to Phila. about 9 Oclock with Mr. Lear my Secretary—was met at the Turnpike by a party of horse & escorted to the Ferry at George Town where I was recd. with Military honors. Lodged at Mr. T. Peters.

GW was going to Philadelphia to make plans for the provisional army then being raised in case of an invasion by the French. The “military honors” began as he entered Alexandria where, at about 11 o’clock, “his Excellency Lieutenant-General George Washington, accompanied by his Secretary Colonel Lear . . . was met at West End and escorted into town by Colonel Fitzgerald’s and Captain Young’s troops of cavalry, and the company of Alexandria blues. . . . When the General alighted at Gadsby’s tavern, the blues fired a continental salute of 16 rounds. The troops of horse escorted the General to the ferry at George Town where . . . five gentlemen of George Town, in uniform, received him into a yawl and passed the river while the infantry and artillery on the Maryland side, by several discharges, honoured their illustrious chief. The George Town troop of horse and the other military companies then escorted him into the city of Washington and after firing a number of rounds, they and the whole assemblage of spectators retired” (Claypoole’s American Daily Adv. [Philadelphia], 10 Nov. 1798).

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