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Birthday Ball at New York

From Diary of the American Revolution, Vol II.  Compiled by Frank Moore and published in 1859.

January 19.—Yesterday, the anniversary of her Majesty’s birthday was celebrated at New York with uncommon splendor and magnificence. At noon, a royal salute-was fired from Fort George, and repeated by his Majesty’s ships-of-war at one o’clock. The public rooms were, on this occasion, entirely new painted and decorated in a style which reflects honor on the taste of the managers. A Doric pediment was erected over the principal entrance, enclosing a transparent painting of their Majesties, at full length, in their royal robes, over which was an emblematical piece, encircled with the motto of “Britons Strike Home”—the whole illuminated with a beautiful variety of different colored lamps. In the evening, a most splendid ball was given by the general, field, and staff-officers of the army, to the garrison and principal ladies and gentlemen of the city. The ball was opened at eight o’clock by the Baroness de Riedesel and Major-General Pattison, commandant of the city and garrison. Country dances commenced at half-past nine, and at twelve the company adjourned to supper, prepared in the two long rooms. The tables exhibited a most delightful appearance, being ornamented with parterres and arbors, displaying an elegant assemblage of natural and artificial flowers, china images, &c. The company retired about three o’clock this morning, highly satisfied with the evening’s entertainment, which abounded with so many scenes equally new and agreeable.1


1 Rivington’s Gazette, January 19.