George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Otho Holland Williams, 8 January 1784

From Otho Holland Williams

Baltimore [Md.] 8th January 1784.


The inclosed Letter to Major Davidson, now one of the Council of this State, authenticates the address I had the honor to present at Annapolis.1 The County Tyrone has been remarkable for a spirit of patriotism ever since the commenc[e]ment of the American revolution. In 1775, Mr Patterson, a merchant of this Town, tho’ born in Ireland, traveled through that County and assures me that such was the admiration the Inhabitants had for the Americans that even common Innkeepers refused to be paid for his fare though they knew no more of him than that he was coming to this Country.2 I trouble you with this among many anecdotes of the same sort because I think it the truest way of coming at the real Character of the people in general.

The Yankee club in Stewartstown, from what I can collect, is not unlike the old Whigg Club of Baltimore only that they had not perhaps so much cause to trespass against the rules of good Government. I beg the Honor of my best compliments to Mrs Washington and am with the sincerest Esteem and attachment Your most obedient Humble Servant

O. H. Williams


Otho Holland Williams (1749–1794) grew up in Frederick, Md., and went into business there. He arrived in Boston in 1775 as a lieutenant and left the army at the end of the war a brigadier general, having reached that rank during Nathanael Greene’s southern campaign in 1781–82. He now was naval officer for the port of Baltimore, and he remained influential in Maryland politics until his death.

1On 20 Dec. 1783, writing from Baltimore that he was too ill to go to Annapolis, John Davidson asked Williams to give GW an enclosed address that had just come to him from Philadelphia (MdHi: Otho H. Williams Papers). For the address from the Yankee Club of Stewartstown in Ireland, see GW to John Davidson, 20 Jan. 1784, n.1.

2William Patterson (1752–1835), of county Donegal, Ireland, settled in Baltimore in 1778 where he soon became a leading merchant and, in 1803, the father-in-law of Jerome Bonaparte.

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