The Maryland Federalist

Parades, Huzzas, and Thirteen Toasts: May 1788

As soon as the Convention's vote in favor of the ratification was assured, Baltimore City businessmen met at William Evan's tavern to plan the grandest celebration their city had ever seen. Similar preparations were made in Annapolis, where, immediately after the signing, members of the convention proceeded from the State House to Mann's Tavern for a ceremonial dinner. Across the Bay, residents of Cambridge picnicked on the town commons and illuminated their homes and public buildings. Other states cheered Maryland's ratification as well. In Portsmouth, New Hampshire, toasts were drunk to the Maryland convention and to the hope that New Hampshire's convention would follow it lead.

  • REPORTS OF THE CELEBRATIONS IN ANNAPOLIS, BALTIMORE, AND CAMBRIDGE

  • Maryland Journal (Baltimore), May 2, 1788
    Enoch Pratt Free Library
Pennsylvania Packet (Philadelphia), May 10, 1788
Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1906-3

A Present for Washington

One month after the ratification parade in Baltimore City, Capt. Joshua Barney set sail in the ship Federalist bound for Mount Vernon. The voyage down the Chesapeake and up the Potomac River took him only a week, and on June 9 Barney presented the miniature ship to George Washington from a group of Baltimore merchants as a token of their esteem. Washington's thank you letter expressed his delight with the gift and his hope that Virginia would join her sister state in ratification.

The Federalist remained at Mount Vernon only six weeks before Washington noted in his diary that she "broke from her moorings and sank" in a major hurricane.
  • LETTER OF JAMES MCHENRY TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, June 1, 1788

  • Cornell University, Facsimile, Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1796-A-160
  • LETTER OF GEORGE WASHINGTON TO WILLIAM SMITH, ESQ., ET AL., June 8, 1788

  • Anonymous collection on deposit at the John Carter Brown Library, Brown University. Facsimile, Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1796-A-161
JOSHUA BARNEY (1759-1817) by Robert Templeton, after Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827. Maryland State Archives, MSA SC 1545-1038
Captain in the Continental Navy and commander of the ship Federalist. Also hero of the War of 1812.

Related Links

Maryland Federalist: A Flagship for Maryland
The transom of the Maryland Federalist