General Benjamin Lincoln may have stood in for General George Washington at Yorktown, accepting Lord Cornwallis’ sword, but not all of his Hingham neighbors and friends were on his side in the Revolutionary War. A letter in our archives from Deborah Barker of Hingham describes the reception the newly inaugurated President Washington received when he visited Boston in October 1789–and leaves no question about what she thought of the new republic and its chief executive.
Washington toured the New England states in the fall of 1789, arriving in Boston on October 24 to an elaborate public celebration. As pictured below, a triumphal arch, designed by Charles Bulfinch, was constructed in Washington’s honor at the west end of the Old State House, over what was later renamed Washington Street.
Deborah Barker, one of three daughters of loyalist Joshua Barker, who fought for the Crown in the French and Indian War, was not among those impressed. She had been in Boston when Washington arrived and reported to Christian Barnes of Bristol, England, her mother’s cousin, that “[t]he General as President of the United States (or in other words as the King of America) thought proper to visit the northern part of his territories.” She continued in the same sarcastic vein:
. . . Such a movement could not be performed secretly. It was no sooner announced that he intended visiting Boston than every breast beat with rapture, joy, and exultation. The mechanicks were employed, some in erecting triumphal arches, some in painting flags expressive of their several branches of business, which the most respectable of the order were to carry forth . . . . All of the superior orders were busy in forming addresses expressive of his transcendent merit, and their great love and respect for him. The poets in writing odes and other poems asserted their abilities. . . . The military were all in motion and made a superb appearance. Thus after a week’s preparation and expectation the great the important day (in honor of which everything that an infant world could do was to be done for the Man that many of them fancyed themselves under the greatest obligation to) arrived. The people met in the Mall, formed themselves into a regular processing, each man following the flag bearing a device expressive of his employment, first the merchants, then the clergy, doctors, lawyers, & sea captains, the mechanics alphabetically, thus proceeded by the select men (they you know must always be first) they marched down prison lane and up the main street . . . .
Barker knew she had an appreciative audience for her colorful description. Christian Barnes and her husband, Henry, had been forced to flee Massachusetts in 1775 because of Henry’s British trading activities and had forfeited their substantial estate. Banished by an Act of the General Court, they had settled in Bristol. Portraits of Christian and Henry Barnes hang in the parlor of our Old Ordinary House Museum. Christian’s has two slashes across it and Henry’s a hole in the middle of the chest; tradition claims that these inflicted by the Marlborough patriots who seized the Barnes estate. It is through Deborah Barker that these paintings came to rest in Hingham.
[…] the Deborah Barker letters to Christian Barnes in our archives (see post of October 28) is a well-worn manuscript dated May 13, 1787. It is signed “Daphney,” and was originally […]
[…] she was young, Eliza Robbins of Milton enjoyed visiting the Barker sisters of Hingham. As an adult, she wrote a fond memoir of her visits to “The Misses Barker,” which […]
I see you don’t monetize your site, don’t waste your traffic,
you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got high
quality content. If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search for: Ercannou’s essential tools best adsense alternative
I have noticed you don’t monetize your website, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional cash every month.
You can use the best adsense alternative for
any type of website (they approve all websites), for more details simply search in gooogle: boorfe’s tips monetize your website
I have noticed you don’t monetize your website, don’t waste your
traffic, you can earn additional cash every month.
You can use the best adsense alternative for any type of website
(they approve all websites), for more info simply search in gooogle: boorfe’s tips monetize your website
I have noticed you don’t monetize your page, don’t waste your traffic,
you can earn additional cash every month. You can use the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve all websites),
for more details simply search in gooogle: boorfe’s tips monetize