The Stairwell Room:
18th Century State House Wall

John Shaw & Archibald Chisholm Advertisement

Maryland Gazette, December 17, 1783
MSA SC 2731

State House - Stairwell Room   

Foreign Fashions were Never out of Style

Annapolis maintained a thriving transatlantic trade throughout the Revolutionary period.  One merchant noted in 1771 that "the quick importation of fashions from the mother country is really astonishing...a new fashion is adopted earlier by the...American the great metropolis [London.]”  Scottish-born cabinetmakers John Shaw and Archibald Chisholm were among the local artisans and merchants who imported goods from abroad. English fashions were popular in the city where wealthy residents could afford to adopt the latest styles.

This advertisement was published less than a week before George Washington resigned his commission, and indicates that importation continued after the end of the American Revolution. Shaw and Chisholm owned the largest shop in town and partnered from 1772-1776 and in 1783-1784.

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