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.