Felize Navidade with the Washingtons, 1781

The victorious general, soon to be President, and his gracious wife were the most sought after guests for the December 1781 holidays in Philadelphia. The smoke of battle had cleared, and General George Washington and his wife, Martha, were settling in for the winter.  Although the power couple received invitations from every leading socialite in the city, they accepted that of the Spanish envoy to the colonies, Francisco Rendon. Rendon was thrilled by their acceptance, as he wrote in his correspondence to the Minister in Havana.  On the day that the Washingtons arrived at his home, Rendon hosted a large dinner party for them, with many prominent leaders of the Revolution in attendance with their wives. Rendon wrote that the party started at 4 PM, and lasted until 10 PM, as his guests “dined and amused themselves copiously.”  His house guests stayed through the Christmas holidays and New Year.  (Please visit www.OurAmericanHistory.com for more on the role of the Spanish in the American Revolutionary War.)

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