Stairwell Room:
18th Century State House Wall

Letter, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723-1790)to David Stewart

October 27, 1785
Ink on paper


Letter, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer to David Stewart   

Who Built the Dome?

Faced with high labor costs, Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, Maryland’s intendant of the revenue, explored the possibility of importing "from Europe 15 or 20 Carpenters," indentured servants who would help construct the present dome. Jenifer proposed that the architect of the dome, Joseph Clark, hire these men for one year, after which they would be freed from their indentures.

Several collateral documents suggest that Jenifer carried out this plan, along with hiring artisans from Annapolis and Baltimore. In 1786, the auditor general paid passage for "sundry carpenters from Ireland to work on the State House."

It is thought that enslaved individuals also worked on the construction of the State House but there is no evidence of this yet discovered in private or public records.





KEy Images on the

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