The front entrance of the State House facing the Annapolis harbor opens onto the Rotunda of the 1772-1779 State House. This beautiful Rotunda is capped by the spectacular dome which still retains some of its original 18th century plasterwork.
On the walls of the Rotunda there are a number of commemorative plaques, including the Matthew Alexander Henson Plaque
, co-discoverer of the North Pole.
Under the dome is the case displaying George Washington's personal copy of the speech he gave resigning his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the Old Senate Chamber on December 23, 1783. Considered by historians to be the fourth most important document in American history, Washington's resignation from power set the important precedent of the military being under civilian authority.