The Stairwell Room:
18th Century State House Wall

General George Washington Resigning His Commission

John Trumbull (1756-1843), 1824
Oil on canvas
Architect of the Capitol

State House - Stairwell Room   

The Gallery Full of Ladies

In the 18th century, women were not permitted on the floor of the Old Senate Chamber and had to watch events from the balcony, or gallery. Molly Ridout and Delaware Congressman James Tilton both described the presence of women in the gallery on the day of George Washington’s resignation. As Ridout wrote, the gallery was “full of ladies.”

John Trumbull's painting, displayed in the rotunda of the United States Capitol, best illustrates the descriptions provided by Ridout and Tilton. Trumbull showed Martha Washington in the center of the gallery among the spectators. In fact, she was not in Annapolis, but was waiting at Mount Vernon for her husband’s return home.

 

 



KEy Images on the
Wall

Apprentice cabinetmakers Francis Pavlak (l) and Brian Weldy(r) work in the 
Anthony Hay Cabinetmaker's Shop, 2011
Front Elevation of the State House
General George Washington Resigning His Commission

The Ground Plan of the STATE-HOUSE at ANNAPOLIS
View of Annapolis
Advertisement, Maryland Gazette, December 17, 1783

Key Documents on the Wall

Washington's Resignation Speech
Payment to Negro Cardy
Inovice of Johhn Shaw
Letter from Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer to David Stewart

Exhibits in the Stairwell Room

John Shaw # 1 Des