While cannons fired and church bells pealed, George Washington was overwhelmed by the citizens of Philadelphia, the numbers of whom '' ... filled the doors, windows and ' streets [and were] greater than on any other occasion we ever remember," according to the Pennsylvania Gazette.

On April 20, 1789, Washington crossed the Pennsylvania border and was greeted by a contingent of Philadelphians, mostly Revolutionary veterans. Among these delegates were Thomas Mifflin and Richard Peters, two former members of the Board of War.

Arriving in Chester, Pennsylvania, at 7 a.m., Washington enjoyed breakfast among the crowd of early risers. At this time, the General was presented with a fine white horse in order to ride in plain view into the streets of Philadelphia. Washington headed the ever increasing column of well­-wishers, turning his steed coward the Schuylkill River. At Gray's Ferry bridge, Washington was surprised by the span "which was highly decorated with laurel and other evergreens, by Mr. Gray himself, the ingenious [Charles Willson] Peale and others ... At each end there were erected magnificent arches, composed of laurel, emblematic of the ancient triumphal arches used by the Romans ..." As Washington passed under the first arch, a young boy dressed in garlands, "let drop, above the Hero's head, unperceived by him, a civic crown of laurel."

Moving on, Washington led the procession into the city. While cannons fired and church bells pealed, he was overwhelmed by the citizens of Philadelphia, the numbers of whom '' ... filled the doors, windows and ' streets ( and were] greater than on any other occasion we ever remember," according to the Pennsylvania Gazette.

An elegant dinner was prepared at The City Tavern, complete with a band and 14 toasts, each followed by a booming of artillery and a quaffing of wine. The Federal Gazette reported that Washington stayed until the end of the festivities, and "as usual, captivated every heart."

He spent the night at the home of his long­time friend Robert Morris but, before retiring, wrote Senate President Langdon that he would continue his "journey with as much dispatch as possible."

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