George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 10 May 1787]

Thursday 10th. Very great appearances of rain in the morning, & a little falling, induced me, tho’ well recovered, to wait till abt. 8 Oclock before I set off. At one Oclock I arrived at Baltimore. Dined at the Fountain, & Supped & lodged at Doctr. McHenrys. Slow rain in the Evening.

The Fountain Inn, which GW had visited several times before, was now in its new location on Light Lane (Md. Journal, 3 Dec. 1782). The inn was probably copied after the old George Inn at Southwark, Eng., with balconies surrounding an open courtyard, and was considered one of the outstanding public houses in the United States. Daniel Grant, the builder and first proprietor, advertised the business for sale in 1795, and the description in the advertisement reveals something of the size and appearance of the house. “The House is 100 feet front, and 44 deep, and laid out in the following manner, viz. Excellent Cellars, floored and properly divided, under the whole House, six Parlours, or Rooms of different sizes, for company to meet in. Twenty-four Bed-Rooms, eight Garrets for servants, three kitchens with Garrets over them, a Laundry, Spring-House, and Larder, Ice-House, and Barber’s Shop, four Brick Stables containing 84 Stalls. . . . The principal part of the inside work of the House, is finished with Mahogany” (ANDREWS description begins Matthew Page Andrews. The Fountain Inn Diary. New York, 1948. description ends , 17, 44, 62–63, 67).

James McHenry (1753–1816) immigrated in 1771 from Ireland to Philadelphia, where he studied medicine with Benjamin Rush. During the Revolutionary War he was an aide to GW and later to Lafayette. After the war he settled in Baltimore and served several years as a Maryland delegate to the Continental Congress, and was chosen one of the five Maryland delegates to the Constitutional Convention. McHenry had a town house at the corner of Baltimore and Fremont streets and a country estate, Fayetteville, near the city.

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