“George Washington Day-by-Day” Project Featured by Jefferson Trust

By Caitlin Conley

You may have heard about the exciting new project that began at The Papers of George Washington just this year. Associate Editor William Ferraro received a grant from the Jefferson Trust to create an online database of what Washington did every single day from his birth to his death. Several teams of talented undergraduate students are now working hard to write, proofread, and fact-check concise entries, to improve workflow, and to design the website. In writing these entries, Washington’s letters and other documents are of course invaluable, but other contemporary accounts and newspapers are also vital to consult, especially for his earlier years.

Featured Daily Entries

GW at Mount Vernon. GW wrote Battaile Muse, a Va. agent for collecting his land rents, that he might have to prove in court his reception of land on the Great Kanhawa River from Muse’s father, George. GW wrote John Brown, a clerk of the Va. general court, about this matter the same day.

In N.Y., GW travelled by carriage with his Cabinet to give his first State of the Union address to the House and Senate. In his diary, GW recorded how he entered the room and that he had worn a suit of clothes manufactured in the United States for the occasion.

GW in N.Y. GW wrote in his diary that he transmitted Secretary of War Henry Knox’s plan for a national militia system to Congress. GW wrote to Congress that the plan was “of the highest importance to the welfare of our Country.” That night, he he dined with a large group of Congressmen.

GW at Philadelphia. GW gave the elderly Mrs. Elizabeth Haynie nine pounds to alleviate her desperate financial situation. Former French tutor John I. Sonnet wrote asking for relief for his family, which GW later provided.

GW at Georgetown. GW submitted Knox’s 22 Jan. report on frontier skirmishes with Indians to Congress for discussion.

GW at Philadelphia.

GW at Philadelphia.  After considering his department heads’ advice, GW sent the House of Representatives his veto of the Apportionment bill, which would have proportionally increased the size of the House of Representatives. It was the first veto he had ever given.

GW in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress.  GW dined with Mr. Samuel Pleasants, a Philadelphia Quaker, and went to hear Mr. Piercy, likely the Methodist minister William Piercy, preach. GW recorded giving money to charity and paid a barber, presumably for a haircut.

GW at the State House in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress. In today’s proceedings, John Hancock, president of the Congress, officially informed GW that he had been unanimously chosen as General and Commander-in-Chief of the American military.

GW in Philadelphia for the Second Continental Congress. He had dinner at Vauxhall, a tavern owned by Thomas Mullen near the Schuylkill River.

GW left Philadelphia for the American camp in Cambridge, Massachusetts. GW was accompanied by Maj. Gen. Charles Lee, Maj. Gen. Philip Schuyler, one of his Aides-de-camp Maj. Thomas Mifflin, and his future secretary Lt. Col. Joseph Reed.