16 June through 30 June 1793

Sunday June 16 took an early breakfast and set out dined at Head [of] Elk at Holingsworth [1] a very good dinner then went to Christina and put up for the Night. – [2]

Monday [17 June] morning very warm left Christiana which is ^a^ pretty little Village went as far [as] Wilmington [3] found it so warm we put up till the Cool of the Day dined at the Inn with some Quakers who were a traveling in a Phaeton [4] their Manners were very pleasing. we had a shower, at 4 o clock ^set^ out for Chester [5] very agreeable riding we could see the River Deleware Vessells passing and repassing arrived in season put up at Mrs Withys [6] a very good House the Country appears in all its glory. –

Tuesday [18 June] morning sat out for Philadelphia arrived at 10 o clock went to private lodgings in Fourth Street [7] a spacious and Elegant City after Tea took a walk. –

Wednesday [19 June] rose at six took a walk in the Market [8] which is just by a profusion of good things. Mr & Mrs Dalton [9] Mr Deblois [10] & Mr Emory [11] calld we were out, then received a Billet to drink Tea their but was engaged to go and see the Equestrian Circus was astonished to see the various feats of activity and Horsemanship they cannot be described he concluded with riding two Horses standing one Foot on each, a little Boy four or five years old standing one Foot on his shoulder the other held out and one arm, he appeard quite at ease but it was painful to see him.[12] After it was over by Mr Debloises desire we went and took Tea at Mr Daltons had a fine view of the City returning as the Moon shone beautifuly. –

Thursday [20 June] extreme warm in the morning took a walk to the State House [13] garden an agreable retreat for a warm Day a gravel walk in the Center Trees and Grass on each side with seats to set under them, it is a publick walk much resorted to the weather was too tedious for to go out again for the Day was quite sick with the heat. –

Friday [21 June] morning more agreeable as we had a shower last Night Mr Smith took a Coach to Carry us round the Town which is 3 miles in length the Streets straight and wide with a number of Elegant buildings saw Mr Binghams [14] superb seat then went to Peal’s Museum [15] which is very curious and entertaining amongst which was the Dimon beetle [16] which came from South America it was beautiful to the Naked Eye but when saw through a Glass beyond description, saw a Coffee pot taken from the ruins of Hurcelanum [17] said to be made of the Lave [18], a paper curiously cut by a female born without arms and cut with her toes the person says he saw her cut it with great ease and dispatch in Hampton Court [19] a solid ball of Ivory cut into nine different balls in the most curious manner all inclosed within each other it would take a month to examine all that was curious their was a number of live animals a Cow with five legs a rattle Snake &c &c then we went to see the Waxwork [20] which was ingenious and pretty there was an old Man of this City in both places the first was paint taken at the age of an hundred and nine years.

Saturday [22 June] a fine Cool morning took a walk returnd and dined with a Number [of] Gentlemen PM went to see the Library [21] and the House that Congress sits in [22] then went into the public walk at the State House.

June Sunday 23 a fine agreeable Day morning went to Christs Church [23] heard Bishop White [24] preach a very good Sermon to the youth, saw the President & Lady [25] after Church Mr Dalton & Daughters call to see me PM went to the Catholic Chapel [26] a genteel society and handsom Church their mode of Worship was quite new after the service was over went to the Dutch Chapel [27] they were Catholic saw a most extraordinary piece of painting it represented the Trinity, the Alter was gayly decorated, returnd home by Mr Binghams House too much fatigued to go out again. –

Monday [24 June] an agreeable morning [28] sat out upon Journey home a fine road and the Country charming the appearance of a most plentiful harvest [29] dined at Trenton in the Jerseyes [30] then went on ^to^ Princeton & lodged at Hamiltons opposit the College. – [31]

Tuesday [25 June] a fine morning for traveling set out after breakfast delighted with the appearance of the Country clad in the most beautiful verdure much alteration in many places had been paid in many places to the setting out of Trees and large fields on each side of the road of Cows & Grain their is the appearance [of] high Cultivation. Arrived at Brunswick [32] to dine considerable of a Town streets paved came on rain put up for the Night.

Wednesday [26 June] morning set out again an agreeable Day for traveling roads rather wet arrived at Elizabeth Town [33] to dine PM proceeded towards New York when we arrived at the Ferry the[y] could not bring us over that Night was obliged to put at the Inn their which was a good House. – [34]

Thursday [27 June] morning a fine Day could not get over the ferry till 11 o clock then was two Hours in passing put up in Maiden Lane at Mr Stouts [35] a Number of Lodgers Mr Robertson calld upon me and took Tea. –

Friday [28 June] morning lowery spent the morning at home Mr Robertson calld engaged to walk with us PM at six o’clock he came went and shew[ed] us the State House an Elegant Building [36] saw three very fine pictures taken by Trumbull [37] the Presidents Governor Clintons [38] and Mr Hamblinlton [39] then walkd upon the Battery [40] a most beautiful walk went to a Hotel and eat Ice-cream then returnd home much pleased with the City Broad Street [41] is very handsome.

Saturday [29 June] a very warm Day went out a shoping in the morning PM took a ride a few miles into the Country found it very pleasant a fine road and a number of handsom Seats in view went and saw Belview. – [42]

Sunday [30 June] a fine morning went to Trinity Church [43] heard Mr Bissett PM [44] went to St Pauls Church [45] heard Mr Beach [46] saw Montgomery Monument.[47] Mr Robertson calld to see us the appearance [of a] shower prevented our walking, we have a large party in the House eight lodgers and a large family. –


[1] Head of Elk (the name was changed to Elkton in 1787, a year after it became the county seat), is located along the Elk River in Cecil County, Maryland, on the Old Post Road about 47 miles from Philadelphia. Several Hollingsworths were prominent citizens of Elkton at the time of the Smith’s journey, and probably relations of the Samuel Hollingsworth Dorothy Smith met in Baltimore. Henry Hollingsworth (1737–1803) was a successful mill owner, manufacturing munitions during the Revolutionary War while serving as Commissary for that region of Maryland for the Continental Army. Since the Smiths were traveling by coach with other passengers, it seems unlikely they would have stopped for a visit at the home of any of these gentlemen, even if carrying an invitation from Baltimore. It seems more likely that the reference here is to the Hollingsworth Tavern, built c. 1750 and located on West Main Street just west of Bridge Street. It was probably operated by Mary Hollingsworth, the widow of either Stephen or Peter Hollingsworth, for she appeared as a head of household in the 1790 census. See Maryland: A Guide to the Old Line State, 320; also George Johnston, History of Cecil County, Maryland (Baltimore, MD, 1967), 230, 325, 410.

[2] Christiana is some twelve miles from Elkton, just inside Delaware.

[3] Wilmington, Delaware’s capital city, was situated between the Christiana and Brandywine Creeks, three miles from the Delaware River and about ten miles from Christiana along the Philadelphia Post Road. The city had a population of approximately 5000 in 1790.

[4] A light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage designed to carry two to four persons.

[5] Chester, Pennsylvania (pop. 673 in 1790), was situated on the banks of the Delaware River, twelve miles from Wilmington and fifteen from Philadelphia.

[6] Mary Withy, most likely a widow, operated an inn along the Philadelphia Post Road in Chester, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.​

[7] The Smiths’ lodgings were probably in North Fourth Street, for she mentions at one point returning home from Society Hill (on the south side of town) by way of Mr. Bingham’s home, which was just on the north of Market Street in North Second Street. North Fourth Street abounded with inns and boarding houses. According to the Philadelphia Directory for 1793, no less than eight inns and boardinghouses were operating in North Fourth Street that year.

[8] Established in 1745, the “Market,” located in High Street, extended from Front Street to Fourth Street and was the city’s primary shopping area. It was open on Wednesday (the day Mrs. Smith visited) and Saturday mornings, and Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Johann Schoepf, visiting Philadelphia in 1783, described the Market as having an “extraordinary store of provisions” marked by “cleanliness and good order in which the stock is exposed for sale. The Market-house proper consists of two open halls which extend from First to Third-street, and additional space, on both sides of Market-street and along adjoining streets, swarms with buyers and sellers. On the evenings before the chief market days (these are Wednesdays and Saturdays) all the bells in the city are rung. People from a distance, especially the Germans, come into Philadelphia in great covered wagons, loaded with all manner of provender, bringing with them rations for themselves and feed for their horses – for they sleep in the wagons. Besides, numerous carts and horses bring in from all directions the rich surplus of the country; everything is full of life and action.” See Schoepf, Travels, 1:122.

[9] Tristram Dalton, Esq. (1738–1817) lived on the corner of Tenth and Chesnut Streets, according to the Philadelphia Directory for 1793 (32, 181). At the time of the Smiths’ visit, Dalton was serving as one of the Directors of the Bank of the United States, located at Carpenter’s Hall in Chesnut Street between Third and Fourth Streets. Dalton was originally from Newburyport, where he most likely knew the Smiths. Like Josiah Smith, Dalton was active in politics, serving as a leader of the Whig party of Essex County. He became one of Massachusetts’s first senators but failed to win re-election in 1790. In 1796, when Washington, D.C., was selected as the nation’s new capital, he sold his properties in Newburyport and Essex County and purchased a home in Georgetown. Economic losses forced him to return to Boston in 1814, where he became a surveyor for the port of Boston.

[10] Lewis D. Deblois, originally from Boston, was at that time a merchant located on the corner of Tenth and Chesnut Streets. He was Tristram Dalton’s son-in-law, having married Ruth Dalton on July 21, 1789. See Philadelphia Directory for 1793, 34; Currier, “Ould Newbury,” 482.

[11] Possibly Jabez Emmery [Emery] was a tax collector located at the corner of Eighth and Chesnut Streets (Philadelphia Directory for 1793, p. 41). He may have been a descendant of the many Emerys of Newburyport, or possibly one of the Newburyport Emerys. The Smiths and the Emerys would later be bound by family ties; Josiah Smith’s daughter, Caroline, would marry Capt. Moses Emery of Newburyport on December 15, 1814. See Russell C. Farnham, The New England Descendants of the Immigrant Ralph Farnum of Rochester, Kent County, England and Ipswich, Massachusetts, 3 vols (Portsouth {NH}: Peter Randall, 1999), 1:410.

[12] The Circus, an open-air arena located on the corner of Twelfth and Market Streets, opened in April 1793 and gained immediate notoriety for staging the daring performances of the Englishman, John Bill Ricketts (176?–99), “the celebrated equestrian, whose dexterity in horsemanship far exceeds any thing of the kind hitherto exhibited in America” (Philadelphia Directory for 1793, 213). George Washington attended on April 22, 1793, and quickly became one of Ricketts’s biggest fans. The program for the night that Washington attended provides a detailed description of Ricketts’s equestrian tricks, a program that would have differed little from the one Dorothy Smith witnessed two months later: “He rides a single horse in full gallop, standing on the saddle at the same time; he will perform a hornpipe on a single horse, with and without the bridle, likewise leaps from his horse to the ground and with the same spring leaps from the ground with one foot on the saddle in the attitude of Mercury, the horse being in full gallop; he rides a single horse, springs from the seat erect without touching the saddle with his hands, then forms the attitude of Mercury without the assistance of the reins; he leaps from the horse to the ground and with the same spring re-mounts with his face towards the horse’s tail and throws a somerset backward; the whole to conclude with Mr. Ricketts carrying his young pupil on his shoulders in the attitude of Mercury, standing on two horses in full gallop.” See Wilton Eckley, The American Circus (Boston, 1984), 2.

[13] The State House, situated on the south side of Chesnut Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, was opened in 1735 and served as the provincial State House of Pennsylvania until the convening of the Second Continental Congress in 1775–76. The Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the Constitution were all created and signed in this building.

[14] William Bingham (1752–1804) lived at 32 North Second Street in Philadelphia. As a result of his service to the Continental Congress while stationed in Martinique, which included receiving proceeds from captured British ships, he returned to Philadelphia in 1780 as one of the richest men in America. Shortly thereafter he founded the Pennsylvania Bank, which later became the Bank of North America, of which he served for many years as a Director. In 1793 Bingham became vice-president of the Abolition Society; he was already a trustee of the University of Pennsylvania and the newly formed Dickinson College. After serving one term as a United States senator for Pennsylvania (1795–1801), Bingham retired to Bath, England, where he died in 1804. See Philadelphia Directory for 1793, 11, 181, and 194.

[15] Originating in the 1770s in the home of Charles Willson Peale (1741–1827), Peale’s Museum was located at the corner of Third and Lombard Streets; later it became known as the Philadelphia Museum, one of the city’s major attractions and the first popular museum of natural science and art in America. It grew out of Peale’s collection of portraits of American heroes (all four of Peale’s sons – Raphaelle, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Titian Ramsay – would become well-known artists). By 1794, the museum had grown to such an extent that Peale moved his exhibits to new quarters in the recently completed Philosophical Hall in the State House Yard. In 1802 the museum moved to the upper floors of the State House, and in 1827 to the Arcade Building, where the Museum remained until it ceased operations in 1854.

[16] Diamond.

[17] Herculaneum was an ancient Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. Archeologists discovered the city’s ruins in 1709 and excavated the site between 1749 and 1765.

[18] Lava.

[19] The Royal Palace of Henry VIII. By 1793 the Palace was no longer a royal residence and was on its way to becoming a palace for public display.

[20] Daniel Bowen’s exhibition of American wax-work was located on the corner of Eighth and Market Streets. The Philadelphia Directory for 1793 noted that the wax-works had for some time been attracting “a retine of fashionable company, and still continues to be the resort of numbers, particularly in the evening, when, it is thought that the figures appear to most advantage,” reflecting an “animation far beyond what can easily be conceived from inanimate figures” (213). Bowen (1760–1856), a close friend of Charles Willson Peale, opened another wax museum in Boston in 1791 (what later became the Columbian Museum), exhibiting figures of Washington, Franklin, and Adams, among others.

[21] Benjamin Franklin, along with several other leading citizens of Philadelphia, founded the Library Company of Philadelphia (the oldest lending library in America) in 1731. At the time of Dorothy Smith’s visit, the library was located in Fifth Street, between Chesnut and Walnut Streets, adjacent to the State House Square and opposite the Philosophical Society. Above the entrance to the building was a life size marble statue of Benjamin Franklin wearing a Roman robe, his left arm resting on some books piled upon a column, presented to the library in 1793 by William Bingham. See de St. Mery, American Journey, 352.

[22] By 1793, Congress [Independence] Hall and the nearby State House, with its surrounding gardens and gravel walks, had become the headquarters of the new federal government, and would remain so until its removal to Washington, D.C., in 1800. Located at the corner of Sixth and Chesnut, Congress Hall formerly housed the Philadelphia County Courthouse. The House of Representatives occupied the first floor, and the Senate chamber the second floor.

[23] Located on the west side of Second Street, between Market and Arch Streets, Christ Church, the oldest Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, was one of the city’s leading congregations in the 1790s. Organized in 1695, numerous leaders of the American government attended, including George Washington, Robert Morris, Betsy Ross, and occasionally Benjamin Franklin.

[24] William White (1746–1836), who lived at 309 Walnut Street, was rector of Christ Church, Chaplain to the Continental Army, the first Episcopal bishop of Pennsylvania, and the spiritual leader of Philadelphia for 57 years.

[25] George Washington (1732–99) and his wife, Martha (1731–1802). Washington had been re-elected in March 1793 to a second term as President of the United States. This would have been Dorothy Smith’s last opportunity to see Washington during her stay in Philadelphia, for on Monday, June 24, he left for Mt. Vernon. See National Gazette, Philadelphia, June 26, 1793.

​[26] During the eighteenth century, two Catholic churches were located near Society Hill: St. Joseph’s in Willings Alley, between Third and Fourth Streets, and St. Mary’s in Fourth Street, between Walnut and Spruce Streets.

[27] Holy Trinity Church was a German Catholic congregation located in Spruce Street at the corner of South Sixth Street. According to the Philadelphia Directory for 1793 (209), an English sermon was preached every Sunday afternoon by the Rev. Lawrence Phelan.

[28] Dorothy Smith left Philadelphia at a fortuitous time, for in August a yellow fever epidemic erupted as a result of the extreme heat and mosquito infestation, killing over 5000 people in the next few months, about one-tenth of the city’s population. By September over half the population of Philadelphia had vacated the city, including President Washington, suspending most of the governmental operations that resided in Philadelphia.

[29] The journey from Philadelphia to New York comprised about 95 miles, the stage traveling first through Frankfort, Red Lion, and Bristol, in Pennsylvania, then Trenton, Princeton, Six Mile Run, Brunswick, Woodbridge, and Elizabethtown, New Jersey, before taking the ferry to New York.

[30] The town of Trenton, New Jersey (pop. 2000 in 1790), was situated along the banks of the Delaware River, about one mile from the ferry​

[31] Princeton was about ten miles from Trenton. David Hamilton’s inn (also known as the Washington Tavern) was the preferred place for travelers to stay when passing through Princeton. The College of New Jersey moved from Newark to Princeton in 1756 upon the completion of Nassau Hall, the building Dorothy Smith would have seen opposite Hamilton’s inn. From June to November 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall, with Princeton serving briefly as the nation’s capital. Nassau Hall burned to the ground in 1802.

[32] New Brunswick was 58 miles from Philadelphia. It was situated along the Rariton River and boasted a population of approximately 4000 in 1790. The Smiths crossed the river by ferry at this time; an impressive bridge (950 feet long) was built across the Rariton River in 1802.

[33] The distance from Brunswick to Elizabethtown is about 21 miles. At Elizabethtown, stage passengers would board the ferry for New York.

[34] Most likely the Smith’s coach had arrived at Paulus Hook, on the west bank of the Hudson River, opposite New York City, where the primary ferry to Manhattan was located. See The Traveller’s Directory (Philadelphia, 1802), 30​

[35] Benjamin Stout’s boarding house was located at 19 Maiden Lane, two blocks from Wall Street, near the East River in Lower Manhattan. See New York Directory and Register for the year 1793 (New York, 1793), 147.

[36] New York City, with a population of 33,000 in 1790 (second only to Philadelphia), served as the capital of the United States from January 1785 until August 1790, when the government returned to Philadelphia. Dorothy Smith is referring here to Federal Hall, formerly the Old City Hall, which had been rebuilt after the Revolutionary War by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who would later create the layout for the District of Columbia. This building, located at the intersection of Broad and Wall Streets, housed the United States Congress from 1785 to 1790.

[37] Within the State House was the Court of Justice. Three paintings by John Trumbull (1756-1843), who gained considerable reputation for his historical depictions of scenes of the American Revolution, graced the Court’s committee room. Trumbull’s most famous work was The Declaration of Independence, completed in 1794. De St. Mery, when visiting the room in October 1794, also noticed the paintings: “In the committee room, at the right as you enter, is a portrait of General Washington. Its background is the evacuation of New York by the British forces and the pedestal . . . so that the effect is expressive and beautiful. Facing this portrait is one of Governor Clinton with a background of the capture of Fort Montgomery and a burning frigate . . . It is easy to see that the same artist painted the two pieces,” which would seem to confirm Dorothy Smith’s assertion that they were the work of Trumbull. De St. Mery then notes that the third painting, “not yet completed, is of Colonel Hamilton, Minster of Finance, his hand on a ledger.” Trumbull painted a portrait of Hamilton, but it was not completed until after Hamilton’s death in 1804. Smith may be correct in assigning all three to Trumbull, however, for this “not yet completed” painting of Hamilton is probably Trumbull’s initial attempt. See de St. Mery, American Journey, 154.

[38] George Clinton (1739–1812), governor of New York from 1777–1795 and 1801–1804, lived in Greenwich Street (New York Directory and Register for the year 1793, 35). Like Josiah Smith, Clinton was a determined anti-federalist who opposed the ratification of the U. S. Constitution in 1788. His republican ideals led to his serving two terms as vice-president under Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. His nephew, De Witt Clinton (1769–1818), a New York lawyer and politician, served as secretary to his uncle before running unsuccessfully for President against James Madison in 1812.

[39] Alexander Hamilton (1757–1804), former member of the Continental Congress, was an ardent Federalist and one of New York’s leading citizens. At the time of the Smiths’ visit, he was serving as secretary of the United States Treasury (1789–1795).

[40] The Battery (now Battery Park) is located at the southern end of Manhattan, offering access to the Hudson River and New York harbor. It was originally named for the gun batteries that were housed there. After the American Revolution, the batteries were removed, the old fort demolished, and a popular walking promenade was built alongside the Bay. By the early 1790s the area was well on its way to becoming a fashionable commercial and residential district.​

[41] Located in the financial district of Manhattan, Broad Street runs from Wall Street to South Street on the East River. At the time of the Smiths’ visit, Broad Street, along with Dock Street and Bowling Green, boasted some of New York City’s finest homes. See Oscar T. Barck, New York City during the War for Independence (Port Washington, NY, 1966), 12.​

[42] Bellevue was a large tract of land located about two miles north of the Battery along the East River. The estate was purchased in 1794 by the old New York Infirmary, then located in lower Broadway, primarily for the purpose of housing patients with contagious diseases. In 1816 the Infirmary changed its name to Bellevue Hospital, which it has retained to this day.

[43] Trinity Episcopal Church was formed in 1697 and in 1705 moved to its present location at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street. Destroyed by a fire in 1776, the church was rebuilt and dedicated in 1790. The present building, however, dates from the 1840s.

[44] The Rev. John Bissett (1761–1810) was originally from Breechin, Scotland. After earning an M.A. at Marischal College, Aberdeen, in 1779, he became an Episcopal clergyman. He emigrated to Canada in 1786, serving for a time as a rector in St. John, New Brunswick, and in Shrewsbury, Maryland. In October 1792 he became assistant rector of Trinity Parish, New York, serving also as Professor of Letters at Columbia College. He resigned his position at Trinity in March 1800 and returned to England, where he died in 1810.

[45] St. Paul’s Chapel, located at Broadway and Fulton Streets, was completed in 1766 for the convenience of Episcopalians who disliked the longer walk to Trinity Church. It was often used for special ceremonies, including a thanksgiving service in honor of Washington’s inauguration in April 1789. St. Paul’s Chapel is the oldest public building in continuous use in Manhattan and still holds daily services.

[46] The Rev. Abraham Beach, D. D. (1740–1828) was the leading minister of the Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City (New York Directory for 1796, 13). A graduate of Yale (1757), he was ordained an Episcopal priest in England in 1767. In 1784 he became assistant minister of Trinity Church in New York City, and continued as a minister with the diocese of New York until 1813.

[47] Richard Montgomery (1736–75) was originally from Ireland. After taking a degree at Trinity College, Dublin, he entered the British army, distinguishing himself in campaigns in Canada and the West Indies while rising to the rank of Captain. In 1762 he spent some time in New York, then returned to England where he became friends with a number of Whig politicians, including Edmund Burke. He left the military in 1773 and returned to New York, where he purchased a farm in what is now a part of New York City. In 1775 he was appointed a delegate to the 1st Provincial Congress and in June of that year became a brigadier general in the Continental Army. He was killed while leading General Schuyler’s troops on an assault of Quebec in late 1775. The Continental Congress provided funds for a monument (the one mentioned by Dorothy Smith), ordered in France by Benjamin Franklin, to be erected in his honor in front of St. Paul’s Church in New York City, where it still remains.