Stairwell Room:
18th Century State House Wall

Invoice of John Shaw (1745-1829)

December 23, 1783
Ink on Paper

MSA S 1005-11773

Invoice of John Shaw   

Getting Ready for Washington’s Resignation

The task of readying the State House for George Washington’s resignation, like many other events during the 18th and 19th centuries, was fulfilled by local artisans. The events during Congress’s stay in Annapolis were overseen by John Shaw, the city's leading cabinetmaker and caretaker for the State House.

John Shaw and five of his workmen prepared the State House for the "entertainment to Genl Washington" by buying 95 pounds of candles to illuminate the building on the evening of December 22, 1783. Shaw provided 100 feet of plank and 1000 nails, although scholars have not identified their purpose. At the conclusion of the festivities, 17 Continental soldiers fired a celebratory salute.



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

Payment to Negro Cardy
Invoice of John Shaw
Letter from Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer to David Stewart

Exhibits in the Stairwell Room

John Shaw # 1 Des