tv George Washington in the South CSPAN January 1, 2017 8:00pm-9:20pm EST
all here this evening to this book talk. we have a great topic for tonight. the washington library is proud to offer three monthly book talks as part of our mission to disseminate knowledge as part of -- about the american revolutionary founding eras. [applause] includes his career nearly 25 years of success in
sales and marketing and philanthropic services. --has a special history in interest in the history of south and north carolina. he is the creator of carolina color, a series of live radio ettes, and hisgn column has appeared in the raleigh times and observer. i hope you brought some hush puppies or barbecue or something with you. person myself, i ren because he has a very active twitter account. he will discuss his latest book, "george washington's 1791 southern tour."
this is a book that considers the history and lore of the presidents -- president's visit to the south. work onopportunity to here a fewive map years ago. it has more than 1000 places where washington visited during his lifetime. if you are into washington geography, i highly recommend it. you can see the different he visited. paths it is remarkable seeing things in an 18th century context, how far washington moved from north to south, and east to west. if you are looking for that, you can find it on our homepage. also, mountver
non.org/washingtonsworld. while washington never visited europe, i do contend that he was one of the most well-traveled founding fathers when it comes to north america. when you consider his journey across the wilderness to confront the french and the beginning of the french and indian war. this is a man who, throughout his life, was on the move. he was a man who wanted to see the world with his own two eyes. he accomplished so much in that arerd, and his journeys really true ethics. -- epics. discoveredlized you a more human washington when you study washington on the move, and i think mr. being him agrees -- mr. bingham agrees.
without much further and do, please welcome mr. warren bin gham. [applause] mr. bingham: thank you, rob, and thank you everyone. who are all of you anyway? [laughter] mr. bingham: i need to get a list of everyone's name, i can't believe you're all here to hear me talk. it is thrilling for me to be in mount vernon, and they have a it.t audience to hear that is very special for me. i have been sharing this topic for over 20 years. the book as a capstone of my long-time interest in this study. travels,years in my
people sometimes are confused as to what is george washington's southern tour? it is not a military campaign. it wasn't a fine wine or one of washington's with d's -- whiskeys he distilled here. , and someiteral trip folks have a hard time believing that. the southern tour, unlike the other troubles washington took, --travels washington took the others were a little bit more routine. this was one of three major trips he took to visit the major state -- the southern states during his first term as president. it is nearly three and a half
months. the capital was in philadelphia, and washington held this trip to the last because he knew it was the most challenging, and one of is because north carolina, my home state, was reluctant to join the union. we are not ones to commit to anything. didn't want to commit to the union, or the confederacy. want to be offns to themselves. with the shadow of virginia and not -- south carolina surrounding us, those states would poke fun of it. -- us. we were fairly slow to move, but we signed the constitution in november 1789. washington was cleared to come down south and see the southern states. those states would be virginia, the carolinas, and georgia.
visit the 13ngton states, and make the southern tour? salesman in chief. he was selling the new federal government, which was not especially something a lot of people were in love with from the get-go, just like they are today. things don't change. and he was selling the new constitution. washington was a strong federalist. south were rat -- that strongly in favor of that, except in certain pockets. plus, that was the fourth largest city in the united states at the time. washington wanted to get to charleston in particular during his southern tour. observer. was a keen
he had learned a lot. as rob said, he was learning all his life, and trouble -- travel really informed him. you can tell from his diaries how he got more of a cake -- river,t of observing a field, or industry rather than meeting with people. so that was a thing that was going on on the stores, especially the southern tour. as my mother would say, that does not constitute proper visit to north carolina. important knew it was to use his presence to influence people. --was the hero the american
of the american revolution, and 6'2".exposed to -- that when a long way. he was beloved at the time. he was like elvis and the pope combined. with that influence, he wanted to get among people and impress the importance of it stronger federal government, the new and thent, constitution. washington enjoyed being out of the office. farmer, soldier, surveyor, he liked to be out. it was thought at the time it was good to be out in the fresh air and ride horseback in particular. that is why they created all those quirky machines and exercise the body in the strange ways in the 1950's. george washington was an
excellent horseman, and wanted to be out. those were the reasons why washington, a man of action, and in his early days as president he wanted to visit all 13 states. thoughts for john adams' on that, and his cabinet's opinion. butnot sure what they said, washington was going to go regardless. he didn't waste much time. 91, after three years in office, washington had visited all 13 states. pretty remarkable, considering the challenges of the time. i have was interested -- i was interested in the subject since hearing about it in my senior year of college. for the first time, it dawned on me that george washington -- and i was 22, but i had figured out
that he was not like paul bunyan, but a real man. flesh and blood. washington, for the first time, seemed real, and that meant a lot to me. 15 years after the class, i started doing some public , and this- speaking became one of my primary topics. i have been doing it for 20 years and wrote a book as well. it has been a treat to share this topic, because it is a way -- a device, a way to bring george washington to life and make it more interesting and relatable to any of us, to average people. he seems so much like a man in bronze or marble. he lived his whole life in the 1700s. 1800.d two weeks shy of
he is harder to relate to for the average person, so i think this is a wonderful way to look at washington. to read his diaries, and find out the challenges he had in travel and what he stood for. think -- i also think looking at his trips make for good interdisciplinary study. the architecture of the time, art of the time, pop culture, travel, so many ways to look at the tour's, and that is what i have been doing for so long. southernshington's tour took himself from philadelphia. -- him south from philadelphia. he was a man of detail. he liked to make his own decisions and advise himself,
but liked to get advice from a vast array of people. who else would bring john adams and alexander hamilton together? --wanted to be advise by advised by these like minds. he would bring in his secretaries, all-male in this era, and friends, congressman, people he knew in the south. most folks were going somewhere to stay, settle, and the people traveling were gentlemen who had roles that took them from their homes and back. these men would compare notes about where to cross water, what the best or worst roads were, and so on. one of the things the south
really stood out with in that era were how bad the roads were. on the southern tour, there were several instances on water that put the president in harms way. but washington selected this route, and as you can he, -- see, he's going from philadelphia down to charleston. eventually, savannah. he came along the fall line in the coastal plain, and there were places he could have chosen to go differently here and there, but wanted to take expeditious route to charleston because this was key to get to charleston, but wanted a representative visit overland to these other places. one thing it liked to point out thatlike to point out is
george washington was the only one who made an effort to tour the state, and especially to go south. thomas jefferson never put a foot in north carolina, and i am personally affronted by that. [laughter] adams never john came south. he barely got virginia. james monroe came and visited the south, but mainly along the coast. andrew jackson became president so this wasn't a prominent thing. when washington got to charleston, it was down to savannah and up to augustine, georgia, and back to the people augusustine, georgia -- georgia, and back up to the
piedmont of the time. all his years as president, i believe -- mary thompson has been a wonderful help to me on the staff here at the library at 12nt vernon told me that times did he get to mount vernon as president. to the times were on the of then tour -- two times were on the southern tour. so that was a treat for him as well. march,ed it his line of the military command. he was patrolling and wanted to get everything just right. but more importantly, as he was traveling south in particular, went the line of the mail. g's highway wasn
the main line of the mail, so he knew of someone from his cabinet needed him, they would have a shot at reaching him if he went south. when he was leaving augusta, they would been challenging to get him letters when he was moving through the piedmont. in lateefferson wrote may, that there is nothing of note to report. evidently different time in our history. president obama would like to disappear for a few months and have nothing to report? so george washington selected this route, and also wanted to see the governors in these eight.
-- states. he arranged ahead to do that. he didn't go to certain places that many people assumed he did. he didn't go to the northeastern north carolina, which was one of the most prominent places of the time, probably just trying to to charleston as efficiently as possible. georgia,issed atlanta, which didn't even exist in 1791. those people were really upset. [laughter]
presidentm: washington kept a diary, often his entire life. unfortunately, -- fortunately, the diary for the southern tour exist. over the years, many people have studied it, transcribed it, and given good footnotes about what it means. to mounter here vernon, they have done a great job, but all of washington papers,- washington's including the diary. a diary entry every day of the trip, except when he was at mount vernon. it is like mrs. clinton, i don't know why these were missing, but he didn't write anything at mount vernon. but other than that, he kept of
a diary every day. his entries are not exciting, but somewhat telling. high the you about how water was on a river, or what soil he was being, or commerce. those are fascinating things that you can compare then and now two, and learn a lot from it. washington -- but washington's diaries did exist, but they did get chopped up. somehow, they wound up with his done -- son. shortly before the civil war, jimmy marshall gave at least a portion of these diaries to the fledgling virginia historical society in richland -- richmond.
portion wound up at the library of congress. i am not sure how this happened, but they all exist. i was able to visit and get within a few feet of that part of the diary. it was a real treat to see president washington's hand. we are thankful for his journaling talents. here about the weather, how many miles he traveled, and the gist of the activities. you don't get any deed, and to thoughts from george washington in his diaries. he doesn't talk about what he thinks of certain people. but you get a feel for what he did, what he was living through, how he got across the river or how hot the day was. that means a lot to a traveler.
and must have stood out on the road. he would have preferred to use pull theses to carriage, to strike an image. a lot of stock into striking a good image, putting on your breasts, and showing all the best you had. andutting on your best, showing all the best you had. this carriage was built by the clark others carriage makers -- brothers carriage makers in philadelphia. thomas jefferson, quite a traveler himself, said washington may need to lower the hang of the carriage with the rough southern road so it would not tip over.
washington knew what he wanted to do, and didn't do it that way. he kept the carriage high, and to our writers -- outriders keep it stable. horses on the southern tour, knowing it was more practical than white horses. washington called this vehicle a chariot. i have reacher's -- research and it's a little confusing, but apparently that was the term for the luxury ride of the time -- a chariot. he had the brown horses pulling the sequel -- this vehicle, brown horses pulling a baggage wagon, and other worse is what a
led along,rses including his white charger, prescott. there were eight men who accompanied him. there were supposed to be nine, but one fell ill in mount vernon and didn't go the rest of the way. he was in his early 30's, he was single, and from south carolina. born in england, but raised in charleston. he had been a hero in the revolution. jackson made all of the he was great along for the tour. ides were to help with the
giles ands -- bags, paris. vernon,ok ill at mount not sure what happened there. they picked up two more horses on the way back. this particular george washington reenactor is an north carolina -- in north carolina, -- from when they bent celebrated his visit there. this is him making his entrance, as washington did in 1791. man in newamerican bern somehow knew washington from the revolution, and greeted
him. find -- i find going to communities, you find things that you can't find written that they say that happened there. i'm sure some of it is true, and i am sure in some versions none of it is true. occasionally, something but he put on the dog a year ago, i am not sure why he didn't year ago because the spring marked the 225th anniversary of the southern tour which seemed a great time to commemorate it. washington loved horses and he worried about his horses on the southern for all the time. they were his transportation. he cared a lot about them in general but bottom line was they were his transportation and staff had to constantly work
with the horses. when you traveled in 1791, you had to worry about it in and feeding your horses. had bad food for horses, good food for people, and sometimes vice versa. these were presidential horses so they got better care than most. near 80 and, north carolina, they spent a night and the horses had to stay out of doors. in a stable. i don't think washington slipped a wink that night, worrying about his horses being out in the open. in addition to visiting his post in virginia, carolina and
georgia, something important happen on the southern port. he made stops in georgetown, maryland. has anyone ever heard of that place? it is now a section of the federal district. there, and he was a real estate broker on this trip. you are trying to bring the locals together to agree to a combination of selling their land and donating their land to create this new federal city. here just announced in january of 1791, congress had given him the authority to select a , and it was always thought that washington would select somewhere around georgetown and indeed he did. the specific corners had not been figured out but it was going to be around there. on the southern tour, washington solidified that this would be
our new nations capital. he had what i call town hall georgetown, calling in community minded folks to discuss the idea appeared they were already good, typical americans and were asking what was in it for them. they were also concerned about what it would mean. what would this create? it really is an interesting thing when you look at it that way. people were getting a little greedy and they wanted more money and so forth. washington much threatened that the capital could just as easily stay in philadelphia, and that is the way the law was written, if i am not mistaken. the residence law is what it was called. it said it would revert to city washia if the new not open for business. washington opened -- held that
over their head. in june,me he got back folks were up in the air again and they had to long to think about it. there were a lot of issues and questions once again, but he was able to bring everyone together and the capital city was on its way. for the rest of his presidency, george washington was kind of the ceo of the federal city project to make sure it opened on time. buteft office before 1800, indeed his work got it on course. a lot of that kicked off on the southern port. this particular spot is on m street in rock creek. it is near the old stone house, any ofof you nosy old -- you know the old stone house.
he passed right by their on the stops. on the stops. it is a pretty spot. washington on the return trip north after everything seemed settled in the federal district, one of the last things there is he went to select the sites for the executive mansion, what we now have as the white house, and pick the site for the capital, which would be jenkins hill. we call it capitol hill. he was picking the sites for those prominent buildings. well. after he left georgetown and he went to mount vernon for a week, and there is much evidence we
have an correspondence where he would be at mount vernon in addition to enjoying time and catching up with important vernon, he did a lot of official correspondence. we have all of these letters he was cranking out in his stops. the president was busy, he was not on vacation at all. he left mount vernon and started his march south. he was in fredericksburg, but before he got there he nearly .ad a big calamity three of his horses went into what he called swimming water, and it could've been much worse and there was concern they would pull his carriage into the river. fredericksburg and there was some family time. he had tea with a
nice. in fredericksburg, he spent a night with his sister. kenmore, if called you're interested in that. we know the bedroom where washington always stayed. he also called up some old masonic buddies in fredericksburg. ,hat is where he became a mason in fredericksburg. throughout this trip, there were many similar things that happened in the different communities. masons would be involved, members of the society of cincinnati, the officers of the revolution would have affairs and dinners. there would be parades, there were be special dinners, there dances andas and balls. this would get a little tedious for washington. -- would go from this to rolling through desolate
land. -- had this being and yang ying and yang. escorts would come to the group, and it would stir up monstrous dust. hetold a law, i have to -- told a lie, i have to tell you. he was so annoyed by the dust that the evening before he left petersburg, they asked him when he would be leaving in the morning and he said he was tried to leave i 8:00. indeed he did, i think he left at 5:00. [laughter] mr. bingham: he was getting out of town ahead of the well-meaning escort. .e was honored by it he was trying to unite the country, bring people together and make them feel good, so there was a line he had to walk.
he visited richmond. this would be his last ever visit to richmond. there he met with edmund carrington, who was appointed as a u.s. marshall and a new tax collector. we had a new tax in 1791. congress passed a federal tax and washington was in favor of it. it was a tax on domestic distilled spirits. whiskey made in the states. washington liked it and congress obviously liked it. the whiskey rebellion people a couple of years later did not like it. however, it seemed to go really well. he would quiz people on the southern tour, and most people told him, as best we can tell, that the intelligence was people were receiving it well. so it went. obviously there was some concern
in pennsylvania couple of years later but it all worked out in the long run. washington was taking the temperature about these details of the government, the constitution, the new tax and so forth. he would meet with the people in the different cities. another thing that happened in petersburg, by the way, another thing that happened in many towns is what was called a general illumination. you know the phrase light of the town. but when he would come to town, cities would actually light up. they would have bonfires and porches and candles. say, we likeould we have toosident, many wooden buildings here. that was what they said in petersburg. when washington got to north
carolina, he stopped in halifax. it had served as our colonial capital occasionally and prominent meetings have been held there. it had several prominent citizens including william r davie, a prominent friend and federalist, and a friend of washington's. the most prominent citizen was someone else. jones.e was wiley he was north carolina's leading opponent to the u.s. constitution. he lived in halifax. he sent word that he would receive george washington and dineith him only as -- and with him, but only as a great man and not as a president. washington was working hard to bring people together, he understood people have a lot of issues about the new government, the constitution, the way things would work.
it is a great reminder how, we had won the revolution, i think it is easy for the average person to think we were united and happy, we had one hour -- won our independence. here is someone in 1791, not really accepting the president of the united states. he was one of north carolina's leading citizens, and the general assembly is on jones street, named for him. defeat theed to constitution, but it finally passed in north carolina. theas there and it tempered reception for washington in halifax. most folks in halifax were thrilled washington was coming, they were supporters, but washington was there for two days. jonesad to live with
after he left. washington liked pulp and ceremony. pomp and ceremony. carrboro -- tarboro much of he received as a welcome as a single cannon. washington saw tar being made and sold the longleaf pine forests and could not quite understand them. he wondered what useful crops could be grown there. but he learned a lot as he went to different places. he learned about pine trees. in north carolina, he learned about rice and indigo. he would write about these things in his diary.
largest city in north , at a dance, bern washington begin a pattern he would do for the rest of the southern tour. dances and teas where women attended, he would associate with coed groups. he would write specifically how many ladies were in attendance. i think william jackson had to help them count. in new bern, there were 70 ladies. he would go on and on throughout manyrip, noting how women there were and how beautifully they were dressed. i think people made special efforts on these presidential visits but george washington.
-- by george washington. sashes, womenrms, did their hair in different ways. it was a big deal when the president would come. washington worked his way to wilmington, north carolina, where the guy who was hosting him said do not drink the water. they still tell you that in wilmington. [laughter] mr. bingham: myrtle beach, that famous beach resort did not exist as such then. at thecalled long bay time. the kings highway would divert over about 30 some miles of what is now myrtle beach. you had to find locals to guide you across the inlets. this was a more direct way to get to charleston. you would go straight down the beach for 30 miles at low tide. it made the best road of the entire southern tour.
this was quite a scene, i am sure, as washington's carriage and his entourage, and his staff dressed in red and white every. it must've been quite a scene going down myrtle beach. plantation. at a as i mentioned, washington enjoyed learning about the new agriculture. he had never seen flora quite like this other than his trip to our beta's -- barbados. this was special for him. carolina parakeets, the color for bird that is now extinct, was flying overhead. it was quite a different place for him to be. washington threat these trips did not want to accept private hospitality if he could avoid it. he wanted to pay his way. it was challenging at times to
get to a place where you could evenis, or is an inn existed. on the coast, this was particularly challenging because it was not greatly settled except for large plantations. he often stayed at plantations. i am not sure whether his i am not sure where his entourage would sleep. i think sometimes they literally slept out of doors and in the baggage wagon. but accommodations were made in they had some better accommodations than others. washington got to charleston. let me back up. hampton plantation, before he got to charleston. this is about 40 miles north of charleston and this is a recent picture. this tree was a little smaller when president washington was there, but it was there. the legend is that it is there on account of him.
this is called the washington plantation, ion think it was mostly rice when he stayed there in 1791. the lady of the house said, i apologize for that tree, i have been meaning to remove it. apparently he thought -- she thought it was improperly located. i don't know much about how these things grow, this must be 250-300 years old. washington said, that will be a wonderful tree, let it eat. and it is -- let it be. and it is still there. it is a very large and impressive tree. the plantation is owned by the state of north carolina and is a wonderful place to visit. in charleston, he got to the royal treatment. he crossed the cooper river.
wrote to the exchange building, where a parade ensued. there were barges of people singing and playing instruments. the parade started, and at the exchange building, which is still there, and he would later visit there to dance, he reviewed the parade. occasions in some this trip would ride into a smaller town and would be leading the parade. he had all eyes on him all the time. this had to get tough. the trip was tough, it was dusty, it was uncertain about where he was staying, he was worried about his horses, but in charleston, they put him up in a nice home on church street. you can visit it. it was a fine home. this was a city home.
he stayed for a week courtesy of the city of charleston. and it was staffed. i think even washington's staff caught a break on this week. washington enjoyed seeing sights of the american revolution that he had never seen before on the southern tour. places he had only read about in reports. in trials and he enjoyed seeing ltrie. tree -- fort mou he had some free time in charleston, was able to ride horseback and get around the city some i'm a meet the for kinds of people -- city some, and meet al qaeda people. --meet all kinds of people.
some 30 women gathered to greet him at the house and he received them. i don't know what they resolved that day, but that gives you a good feel for some of the different things that happen. in savannah, georgia, there is very little left that washington would have seen. for whatever reason, charleston has withstood the wars and better thannd fires savannah. there are not very many buildings from the 1800s in savannah. he called on a widow as he arrived in savannah and as he left.
he wanted to check on the widow green. eli whitney was a tutor there at that plantation, but he had not arrived there yet in 1791. washington turned to augusta, georgia from savannah, and had to go up here -- uphill. he worried about his horses going through loose soil. he would write about that on a regular basis. there were not any large communities on the way and the celebratory step was low-key. he had time to write about the horses and he did. he was relieved to finally get to augusta, which was then the capital of georgia. just for a few years. he met with the governor there. he also gave the locals some
ideas about how they could remove some rocks from the river to make better use of the channel. washington was very practical. he was very interested in commerce and he wanted to come up with ways to move trade on the water. and he left canals. he would take note of these places in river city's like augusta. north.gusta, he turned he turned north and he had to get on a roll. he started leaving earlier. he already been to charleston, a focal point, he had already had a representative visit to some degree in all states and was headed back to mount vernon and philadelphia. he started leaving frequently at 4:00 a.m. and was doing by and large one night stands in communities. they were not a lot of large cities left on his southern tour.
he crossed the bridge over the savannah river and went to columbia, south carolina, which was the new capital of the state, and spent two nights there. he only wanted to spend one but he had a lame horse, so he let the horse rest another day. it was up to camden, south today,a, horse country and from there it was too upstate south carolina and back into north carolina. he entered charlotte. he spent one night in charlotte. he was hosted by general thomas pope. grandfather oft a general. spent one night there and called charlotte the trifling place it was.
today it is quite cosmopolitan but it was a dusty little courthouse time -- town at the time. followed what is pretty much i-85 today. salisbury. then he went to old salem. bush is called salem then. -- it wasn't just called salem then. he spent tonight because the governor of north carolina had said he wanted to receive the president that was running a day late. i don't think washington was happy about him running late, but he spent an action night there and he enjoyed it. they put on the feedback for him , they escorted him across the community, they gave him
liked theand he industrious of the arabians and admired their community. book,s the cover of my washington arriving in salem, north carolina. washington -- and i need to mention this. the washington building in salisbury. here is my anecdote from salisbury. salisbury was right before salem. the washington building is on the site on mean straight in salisbury where washington launch. .t was there that -- lodged it was there that he came out thethe washington's -- locals say, please, give us a story. eyes and said, i offer, i amg to
just a great man. -- gray man. wereshows you how things at the time. the end of the trip and he was tired. washington continued north back through the south side of virginia. his last night in north carolina was just shy of present-day danville. the home he stayed at was moved in the 1970's to a site near hillsboro called daniel boone village, a collection of old buildings. it is now a mexican restaurant. [laughter] mr. bingham: his last night in north carolina is in that building that is now a mexican restaurant.
you can go have some mexican food on george. [laughter] this is am: commemorative marker in greenville, north carolina. this is the 225th anniversary of the southern tour, but folks in the carolinas and georgia have been commemorating it and celebrating it routinely and regularly for many years, particularly since the civil war. mostly in the 20th century. the daughters of the american revolution have done much to remember the tour. this is one of their markers they placed in 1920 something. virginia, on the other hand, has not commemorated the southern tour very much that i could find. deal that he big a was in the commonwealth. it was a huge shield that he was in the carolinas and georgia.
there were many reenactments of his visits. many people try to figure out the road he took. they have coaching days with able spend a day following the route through a county where he was in 1791. particularly the spring, salisbury had a daylong commemoration. this is an a question memorial. it is a site that has a crypt. a crypt door right there. 1858s built between 1850, in the capital enrichment in hopes that they could move the generals remains from here to richmond. i don't know the political details of that but it never happened. [laughter] mr. bingham: but a security guard took me into the crypt. no one is in there. [laughter]
mr. bingham: it took eight years to construct and it is fabulous on the capital grounds. reminder on the southern tour, it is something that reflects to me, washington's last visit to richmond. he saw that capital before it even had the stucco put on, it was just regular brick. george still has not gone back to richmond. he is not there in the crypt. the southern tour was nearly 1900 miles. he was gone 3.5 months. when he got back to philadelphia, bells were ringing and cannons were roaring. he thought it was worth it. he traveled from sea level to in the piedmont in north carolina. he met with five governors, drank hundreds of toast, danced with dozens of ladies.
hewrote in his diary that gained flesh while his horses lost flesh. some existing artifacts are wedgwood china from hampton plantation. some of it is here and the rest is it the -- at the charleston museum. inewter plate and cup greensboro. a bed in southside virginia, where he slept. the family still has the bed and land and etc., and the family has determined it is uranium rich land. you may hear about them on the news. george washington was hosted about that family 225 years ago. carolina says -- amstead, north carolina, says
they chose their name because washington decided to go with of and set of -- instead oysters. he left his powder box in charlotte. it was here powder. -- hair powder. if you see it on ebay, get in touch with me. think his was a heroic and visionary effort to pay a price to try and unite the country. to be present, to be seen, to bring us all together. i think it was vital in keeping the republic going during his presidency and after. i will close with a variation of a toast that washington would
occasionally use on the tour. its residents, thank you very much. [applause] mr. bingham: we take some questions. yes, sir? we will get a microphone to you. >> did he dressed as a military officer or as a civilian when he came into these towns? definitely put on his uniform from time to time, and i believe he was the last president, and the first and only president we had to put on the commander-in-chief uniform. during the southern tour, he
would occasionally wear the uniform. i don't know how often. i don't think it was that often, but for some of the formal occasions he probably did. he put it on a lot in charleston , because it have to be proud as a peacock when you get to charleston, so i think he wore it a lot there. just howeally say much, but it was definitely not uncommon, i would say is probably true. in the front row. >> mechanical question. those carriages went a long distance. they have wheel bearings? mr. bingham: he is asking insecurity had wheel bearings. i don't know the answer and i am so mechanically unminded i have never thought to think of that. i will work on that. aboutt did he do
air-conditioning in the carriage, and did they leave at 4:00 a.m. because of the humidity? and he left before the last frost and came back before hurricane season. was that part of his intent? mr. bingham: he had a clear intent to get to the furthest part of the south and be heading north before what he called the warm and sickly season. there was always a concern of diseases that were prominent in the warm and wet weather. yes, he wanted in fact to leave as soon as possible in mid-march. georgia byof mid-may. he achieved that. that was a concern. i don't know much about how they dressed day-to-day, how people keptneral cap cool then --
cool then. they were more used to the weather. your money is something i like to point out. in his diary, there are probably many things that happened on the trip that he does not mention that we would be going bonkers about. some of the challenges he would have had traveling. it was just so difficult, the roads were bad, they were probably things -- trees fallen over the road. he had to be careful crossing over water. these are things that would be a huge deal. we would be talking about it around the dinner table for years and they were routine then. we don't know what he didn't tell us. some of the things that is hard to say. whether -- weather was a concern. there were not many storms, and
that was helpful. shall i select someone? next. >> you talked about the purpose of the trip was to unite the country, and particularly the southern states. what was the net effect of his trip in the south? what was the reaction of the citizens in the different states to the long-term impact of his trip? a littleam: it is difficult to truly measure appeared it is mostly a matter of reading between the lines, reading between the newspaper accounts and diaries and other documents, letters from merely between people of the era. it was generally very successful. washington was so popular and so revered, that example being willie jones in north carolina
who was an opponent but wanted to reach out to him. uprisings aired some people complained about washington being a little too royal in appearance and english in his style. went very well. there's not much evidence that there was a lot of pushback. it seemed his presidents -- presence went a long way toward people being satisfied to give it a chance. leased. was p i think he made everybody feel good. he reached out to people. earlier he had assured folks of religious freedom, for example. he was a big believer in that. he was pretty inclusive for a guy in 1791.
i think this was conveyed on a routine basis as he made these trips and through the south. this gentleman. time did evilee in these towns have to know he was coming? we had another speaker who mentioned of one place where he rider writer ahead to -- had to let them know. was it planned? mr. bingham: his itinerary was well planned. as he went further south, i believe word more and more got to the communities where he was going. it also allowed more time or people from philadelphia and other places to get the word out. there are a mix of people being totally ready for him to, and the small communities and along the road, having no clue he was
coming. it was really a mixed thing. in the larger community, particularly charleston he was coming. think wilmington, north carolina new because he was in new bern enough to make sure were got there. it was a mixed thing as to the notice of him coming. regardless of whether it was spontaneous or planned, he usually got a good reception. someone right there. thank you. ofdid you find any evidence action directed to the rest of the government as a result of his trip? i don't believe so. i don't know of anything good or bad that occurred related to the government as a result of the trip. it was more personal connections that he made.
for example, he sent a meal, or to the low country in south carolina to be read becauseof the -- bred of his connections there. insaid a plow to a gentleman camden, south carolina. he followed up a lot with those sort of things but as far as the government as a result of the trip, i think some people were apealing to make so-and-so tax collector and things like that, but as far as broader government, i cannot think of an example. anyone on the side? we have someone right there. here we go. era werepers of the very different than what they are today, even 75 years later.
how much were you able to find as far as contemporaneous accounts rented -- written at the time of his visit that account for his activities in various communities? mr. bingham: there are a number of newspapers and i reference, not citations to particular articles, but i continue which newspapers you can check. there are a number of papers in of thedle states northeast that covered his exploits of the southern poor. but it would be weeks and sometimes it months later when the article would appear and they are very flowery and their description. i don't recall seeing anything that was critical. it was more an accounting. something it would be more on page, an accounting of what the president was doing and who was there. nothing analytical about it. there was no discussion i have seen about issues.
it was more just affected the president was there and hugh -- here is who else was there and that sort of thing. he was not often attacked on these travels, more that came later. not too much in the southern poor. -- tour. did anything significant a court in waynesboro, georgia? mr. bingham: waynesboro, georgia. route goings through there. mr. bingham: he spent one night they're getting ready to go to augusta and i'm struggling to recall anything specific that i know of that happened in waynesboro. i will probably -- i am going
down there in the fall to make a presentation and i will probably find out then. [laughter] mr. bingham: unless you tell me tonight. it was one of the places that was thrilled to have them because it was not a special stop, it was that he could not quite get to a gust of that day. anyone else? this gentleman on the front row. and back there. evidence thaty government couriers or dispatches were sent to him or me with him in any place, so that he had make government decisions on the tour? mr. bingham: his cabinet members will write him from time to time but there was nothing that i recall controversial. it were a few decisions made that were not that big a deal in the grand scheme and washington endorse anything a cap member was thinking of doing. it was a pretty quiet time by
june and thomas jefferson and ,ames madison went to new york doing some nature seeking and a political trip at the same time. left by made to return to massachusetts. -- henryenry mocks knox was one of the few members to state. his cabinet did write him regularly during the trip, but nothing of particular note comes to mind. you are at the most difficult place to reach. you are going to be worth it. >> thank you. how was the tour financed? also, did towards washington it out of his carriage prior to entering a town to make an
entrance? mr. bingham: now why do you want to know that? [laughter] mr. bingham: we don't want any washington detractors. how was it financed? washington was paid a salary of point $5,000 as the first u.s. $25,000 as the first u.s. president. that was a whopping salary at the time. i think he may have gotten a little help but generally i think he paid his way. yes, he would alight from his carriage. he liked to ride horseback anyway, so some days he would already be on the horse. but yes, he would be on prescott back, riding high on the saddle. and on a white
horse, you look good. he wanted to look the part and look special. of the ettrick atrics.emony -- the one more. last question. -- >> when he was making the stops, did he have any contact with any of the members of congress who were from those cities? mr. bingham: you are asking did he see some of them on his stops? yes, sir. he did definitely see some of the members of congress along the way. he saw all of the governors. i think he saw a variety of congressman and senators in all of the states.
in north carolina and south carolina, and he saw several in virginia. he stopped at the coles plantation, and his term had just ended. so indeed he did. that all went very well. i'm sorry i cannot recall specific examples. there were some people who had been and try federalist in their leanings who did see him very well. i believe a congressman in wilmington, north carolina is an example. another example is how washington was treated a little bit above the partisan is him of the time. when you win over the people who are not your best friends and fans, it goes a long way to unite the country. i think he helped shape the opinion when these people like
that received him so well. that was important. ok, thanks very much. [applause] you.ingham: thank book includes a list of where president washington slept every night during the trip. i know you want to know about that, i have not revealed that yet. thank you guys. >> interested in american history tv? visit our website. you can see our upcoming schedule or watch a recent program here at -- program. c-span.org/history.