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Browsing: Diary of John Adams, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0006-0030

Author: Adams, John
Date: 1774-09-28

1774. Wednesday. Sept. 28.

Dined with Mr. R. Penn. A magnificent House, and a most splendid Feast, and a very large Company.1 Mr. Dickinson and General Lee were there, and Mr. Moiland [Moylan], besides a great Number of the Delegates.—Spent the Evening at Home, with Coll. Lee, Coll. Washington and Dr. Shippen who came in to consult with us.2
1. The house of Richard Penn, grandson of the founder of Pennsylvania, was on the south side of High (later Market) Street between Fifth and Sixth. It became the headquarters of Sir William Howe during the British occupation of Philadelphia and of Benedict Arnold while military governor of the city; after the Revolution it was the residence of Robert Morris, who largely rebuilt it after a fire. Considered “the best Single house in the City,” it was acquired by the City Corporation to serve as an executive mansion when Congress moved to Philadelphia in 1790, and was consequently the Philadelphia home of President and Mrs. Washington, 1790–1797, and of President and Mrs. Adams, 1797–1800. See an illustrated article by Harold D. Eberlein, “190, High Street (Market Street { 141 } below Sixth),” Amer. Philos. Soc, Trans., 43 (1953):161–178.
2. George Washington's Diary has the following entry under this day: “Dined at Mr. Edward Shippen's. Spent the afternn. with the Boston Gentn.” (The Diaries of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, Boston and N.Y., 1925, 2:165). To this first intimate contact between JA and his fellow delegates on the one hand, and the silent member from Virginia on the other, much has been attributed, probably justly. With little doubt it markedly influenced Washington's view of the conduct of the leaders of the patriotic movement in Massachusetts. See Washington's letter to Robert Mackenzie, a British officer in Boston, 9 Oct. 1774 ( Writings, ed., Fitzpatrick, 3:244–247), and a communication by CFA on the background of Washington's nomination as commander in chief, in MHS, Procs., 1st ser., 4 (1858–1860):68–75.