Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library Research Report Series - 1711
John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
At the end of last week Kevin Kelly and graduate student Heather Wainwright, who is analyzing the Anne Pattison account book, shared information that may relate to the occupancy of structures on Lot 58. The additional documentary evidence fits into the "most likely" rather than "absolutely certain" category. I appreciate them calling the information to my attention and happily pass it on to all of you.
While reading the Philadelphia portion of Daniel Fisher's journal, this passage caught Kelly's attention:
… on August the 7th  I received a most kind letter from mr. Walthoe informing me that Mr. Mitchelson, the Person who rented his store was become a Bankrupt, and that as it was unlikely I should ever remain in quiet under Mr. Wetherburn [Fisher was renting Shields Tavern from Wetherburn], If I thought his House would be of service to me, I should have the preference to any Person whatever, and that I might rest assured of any other friendly aid in his Power… The uncertainty of my situation… brought me to a resolution of Seeing my Family and Mr. Walthoe at Williamsburg before I came to any Certain determination of a settlement… I fixed upon Sunday the 10th for setting out on my journey to Williamsburg. ["The Fisher History," in Louise Pecquet du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families (Lynchburg: J. P. Bell, 1907), II, 807-808]Fisher's journal ends several days later, shortly after he passed through Bladensburg, Maryland. After he returned to Williamsburg, Fisher placed a notice in the 5 September 1755 issue of the Virginia Gazette stating that he had been robbed just after he left Bladensburg. Fisher continued to live in the Williamsburg area until about 1764 but whether he ever rented Walthoe's store is unknown.
"Mr. Mitchelson" was probably the Yorktown merchant John Mitchelson who was in partnership with Patrick Barklay in 1746. By 1750 John Mitchelson, presumably the same man, was a resident of Williamsburg. On 21 January 1750/1751 Mitchelson obtained an attachment against the estate of Robert Crichton, from whom Walthoe had purchased the storehouse 4 August 1750. On 5 September 1751 Mitchelson advertised for sale, presumably at a store in Williamsburg [possibly Walthoe's storehouse but the notice does not give a location], "Great Variety of Houshold Furniture, of the newest Fashions, London Make" - mahogany chests of drawers, dressing card, and claw tables, chairs, bedstead, tea boards, tea chests, a dumb waiter, gilt, carved, and plain sconce glasses, a chimney glass, a dressing glass, turkey carpets, a spinet, sundry pictures "done by good Hands," linens, iron, brass, and pewter wares [Virginia Gazette, 21 August 1746, 5 September 1751; York County judgments and Orders, Book 1, pp. 363 and 412, Deed Book 5, pp. 388-392,].
During the early 1750s Mitchelson was frequently the defendant in debt suits. A suite recorded in February 1754 identifies him as then residing in Yorktown. In August 1755 Charles Stewart advertised for sale the grist mill and large house about a mile from Williamsburg "lately belonging" to John Mitchelson. By October 1755 John Mitchelson had conveyed the above described property and "sundry Household Furniture … at his Store in Williamsburg" in trust to John Mercer, George Riddel, Charles Stewart, and James Anderson [York County Judgments and Orders, Book 1, passim, and Book 2, p. 390 and passim; Virginia Gazette, 15 August and 10 October 1755].
These references suggest that John Mitchelson might well have rented Walthoe's storehouse and sold household furniture there between 1751 and 1755. He was clearly the renter by 1755. Many references point to his financial problems. Mitchelson probably moved out of the area shortly after going bankrupt since the last references to him in this area date form 1755.
Wainwright has found evidence in Anne Pattison's account book that shows an interruption in the operation of her business that begins about the time Burdett died. Account book entries for 1746 [pp. 84-113] begin 1 January 1745/46 and end 17 August 1746. Entries resume [p. 114] with the entry for 7 April 1747 and continue through 13 June 1749. The only entry in the account book between what appears to be the break in her business operations appears on page 1 and indicates that 6 November 1746 "was the first day that hir new shais ever was in use…"
The first paragraph of page 28 of my historical report raises the possibility that Anne Pattison moved her tavern business to the western portion of Lot 58 after Burdett dies. The apparent break in business with no break in pagination of her account book could simply indicate that for some reason she ceased keeping records in that book and continued in another, now lost. But the correlation with the approximate time Burdett dies suggests that she stopped operating the tavern that first her husband and later she, after his death, ran in a rented building and moved her business to the tavern [Burdett's Ordinary] that her husband had bought sometime before October 1742.
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Department of Historical Research
Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
|Colonial Lot 58: Summary of Owners, Occupants, and Uses of Buildings Facing Duke of Gloucester Street|
|Lot 58 East, 1717-1995||1|
|Lot 58 West, 1717-1928||3|
|Focus of Report||6|
|Bounds of the Property||7|
|Part I. Eastern Side of Lot 58 and Encroached Land to the East, 1717-1995 (Site of Cary Peyton Armistead House, 1890-1995)|
|Early Owners -- Francis Sharp and His Sons, 1717-c.1740||12|
|Store and Residence, 1771-c.1789||18|
|Uncertain Use, c.1789-1803||19|
|Morrison House, 1804-1889||20|
|Cary Peyton Armistead House, 1890-1995||24|
|Part II. Western Side of Lot 58, 1717-1928 (Burdett's Ordinary, Reconstructed 1941-1942)|
|Early Owners -- Francis Sharp and His Sons, 1717-c.1740||26|
|David Meade, by 1782-1809||32|
|Morrison Family, 1830-1853||34|
|1. Brief Biographical Sketches of Eighteenth-Century Owners and Selected Occupants|
|Charlotte and Beverley Dickson||45|
|Thomas and Anne Pattison||46|
|Francis Sharp and His Sons: Francis, Jr., Jacob, William||52|
|John Pearson Webb, Frances Webb, and John Webb||53|
|2. Brief Biographical Sketch of George Morrison and His Family||54|
|3. Brief Biographical Sketch of Cary Peyton Armistead and His Family||56|
|4. Coffeehouse Locations and the Location of the Exchange||57|
|5. Land Tax Records||61|
|6. Mutual Assurance Society Plats for Western Side of Lot 58||65|
|7. Maps, Town Plans, and Drawings||66|
|1717 FRANCIS SHARP (d. 1740) from TRUSTEES, Lot 58 [also 57]||------|
|1740 WILLIAM SHARP, via father's will, 35 foot square at southeast corner of lot||------|
|[Gap in records between 1740 and about 1750]|
|Before Aug. 1750 JOHN LIDDERDALE sold to ROBERT CRICHTON who built storehouse||?||Storehouse|
|1750 ROBERT CRICHTON to NATHANIEL WALTHOE||?||Storehouse ?|
|1759 NATHANIEL WALTHOE to BENJAMIN BAYLEY||?||Storehouse ?|
|1762 BENJAMIN BAYLEY to NATHANIEL WALTHOE||?||By 1765 Coffeehouse|
|By 1767 Richard Charlton||Tavern|
|By May to October 1771 Christiana Campbell||Tavern|
|By Oct. 1771 Charlotte Dickson and son Beverley||Store/Residence|
|1772 BENJAMIN WALLER for heirs of NATHANIEL WALTHOE (d. 1770) to CHARLOTTE DICKSON||After Beverley Dickson married in 1776, he and his wife probably lived elsewhere in town. How long Charlotte Dickson lived here is uncertain.||Store/Residence|
|1801-1802 estate of CHARLOTTE DICKSON||?||?|
|1804 Estate of CHARLOTTE DICKSON to GEORGE MORRISON||C. 1803-1834 George Morrison, wife Charlotte, and their children||Residence|
|1834-1889 Estate of GEORGE MORRISON||1834-? Charlotte Morrison, and children, including George F. Morrison and Emily Morrison||Residence|
|By 1874, Emily Morrison (d. 1887)||Residence|
|1889-1901 Estate of GEORGE MORRISON to CARY PEYTON ARMISTEAD (b. 1857, d. 1901)||1890 Cary Peyton Armistead, his wife Eudora Esther, and their children: Robert Gregory, Rowland Cara, Dora Travis, Cary Champion, and Meriwether Irving||Residence/Law Office|
|1902-1984 Widow and Children of CARY PEYTON ARMISTEAD||Eudora Armistead (b. 1859, d. 1940) and her children||Residence/Tourist Home, 1940s-1970s|
|1984 ROBERT A. ARMISTEAD, his wife SARAH, and his sister LETITIA HANSON via will of DORA TRAVIS ARMISTEAD|
|1986-1993, leased to Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities||House Museum|
|1994-present, property leased to [and house given to] Colonial Williamsburg Foundation||Future site of reconstructed building|
|1717 FRANCIS SHARP (d. 1739) from Trustees, Lots 57 and 58||Before 1739-d.1746 John Burdett and his family||Tavern|
|1740 FRANCIS SHARP, Jr.,via father's will, Lot 58 (except 35 foot square at southeast corner given to William Sharp)||Burdett and his family||Tavern|
|Sometime before October 1742 JACOB SHARP TO THOMAS PATTISON (d. late 1742 or early 1743)||Burdett and his family||Tavern|
|1743-1754 PATTISON estate||Burdett to d. 1746; after 1746 ?||Tavern|
|1754 THOMAS PATTISON, JR. to BENJAMIN WALLER||?||?|
|1757 BENJAMIN WALLER to JOHN PEARSON WEBB (d. before Aug. 1764)||J.P. Webb?||Store ?|
|1764-66 FRANCES WEBB (d. 1766), widow of J. P. Webb||1764[-71?] James Hunter||store &/or residence?|
|c.1766-sometime before 1782 JOHN WEBB of Halifax, NC [probably son of J.P. and F. Webb]||?||By Jan. 1772 Coffeehouse/lodginghouse|
|By 1774, lot for sale "where the Coffeehouse is now kept"|
|By 1777 "at present the COFFEE HOUSE"|
|[Gap in records between 1777 and 1782]|
|By 1782-1809 DAVID MEADE||?||?|
|1809 DAVID MEADE to ROBERT ANDERSON||?||?|
|1813 ROBERT ANDERSON to JAMES THOMSON||?||?|
|Between 1813 and 1817 JAMES THOMSON to JOSEPH HAGUE||?||Residence|
|1817 JOSEPH HAGUE to DAVID CHALMERS||David Chalmers||Residence/store|
|1830 DAVID CHALMERS to GEORGE MORRISON||By 1830 William Lee||Residence/store|
|1834-1853 GEORGE MORRISON'S estate||By 1839 Peter H. A. Bellett||Residence/store|
|By 1846 John M. King||Residence/store|
|1853 GEORGE MORRISON'S estate to ROBERT BLASSINGHAM||1853-1859 Robert Blassingham||Residence/store|
|1865, August R. BLASSINGHAM to freeman GEORGE WASHINGTON north part of lot||?||?|
|1865, October 18 GEORGE WASHINGTON to BLASSINGHAM north part of lot||?||?|
|1872 JOHN C. TIMBERLAKE bought at auction lot formerly owned by BLASSINGHAM||John C. and Missouri F. Timberlake||Residence|
|1888-1893 MISSOURI F. TIMBERLAKE via will of her husband JOHN C. TIMBERLAKE||Missouri F. Timberlake||Residence|
|1893 MISSOURI F. TIMBERLAKE to S. E. S. BAKER north part of west portion of Lot 58||?||?|
|1896 MISSOURI F. TIMBERLAKE to EUDOXIE and ROBERT E. DONEGAN south part of west portion of Lot 58 facing Duke of Gloucester Street||Eudoxie and Robert E. Donegan||Residence|
|1900 S. E. S. BAKER to E. W. MAYNARD north part of west portion of Lot 58||?||?|
|1916 E. W. MAYNARD to CHESTER EVANS north part of west portion of Lot 58||?||?|
|1916 CHESTER EVANS to PENINSULA REALTY CORPORATION north part of west portion of Lot 58||?||?|
|1921 PENINSULA REALTY CORPORATION to ROBERT E. DONEGAN north part of west portion of Lot 58||?||?|
|1928 DONEGAN and other heirs entire west portion of Lot 58 to W. A. R. Goodwin, representing Williamsburg Restoration||?||?|
Colonial Lot 58 is bounded as follows: Duke of Gloucester Street to the south; Capitol Square (and the Public Records Office by 1748) to the east; Nicholson Street to the north; and Lot 57, where the Richard Crump House has been reconstructed, to the west. On early nineteenth-century plans of Williamsburg, Lot 58 is marked "Meade".1
This report is concerned with what the documentary evidence reveals about the owners, occupants, and the use of major buildings on Colonial Lot 58 and encroached land east of the original bounds of the lot.
Part I documents the history of the eastern portion of Colonial Lot 58 and encroached land east of the original eighteenth-century lot line. Until November 1995, the frame dwelling that Cary Peyton Armistead had built in 1890 as a family residence and law office occupied this site. In September 1994 the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation obtained a seventy-five year lease on this property at 467 East Duke of Gloucester Street from owners Judge Robert T. Armistead, his wife Sarah Armistead, and his sister Mrs. Letitia Hanson. The agreement gave the Cary Peyton Armistead House to Colonial Williamsburg, stipulated that the structure be moved to other land in Williamsburg owned by the Foundation, and allowed for archaeological excavations on the property and the reconstruction of eighteenth-century structures.2 Colonial Williamsburg moved the house to 320 North Henry Street in November 1995.
Part II documents the history of the western side of Colonial Lot 58 where Colonial Williamsburg reconstructed Burdett's Ordinary in 1941-1942.
In many respects, the documentary record for the former site of the Cary Peyton Armistead House is sketchy. The number of "for certain" facts is limited and there are many gaps in the record. Descriptive references to structures are few, often making it impossible to state with certainty when a structure was erected, torn down, or received major repairs. There is no record of fires destroying any buildings and no evidence that any Mutual Assurance Society policies were ever taken out on any structure on this property.7
A discrepancy about how Lot 58 is depicted on three versions of town plans confounds this writer but deserves mention in hopes that future researchers can offer a plausible explanation: the Unknown Draftsman's plan (undated but believed to date from about 1800); plan drawn by Benjamin Bucktrout (dated August 1800); and the redrawing of the Bucktrout plan by Robert A. Lively (dated December 1867). The Unknown Draftsman's plan labels Lot 58 "Meade." City land tax records indicate that David Meade owned the part of the lot where Burdett's Ordinary has been reconstructed by 1782 and sold it to Robert Anderson in 1809. The Bucktrout plan is worn down to the linen backing in the spot where "Meade" shows on the Unknown Draftsman's plan. Even so, the "M" where "Meade" appears on the previous plan is clearly visible and the spacing of the worn area suggests that the remainder of the letters "eade" were there originally. Someone with a different hand later wrote "hous" just below the worn area. A small square block, presumably indicating a structure, appears in the same location in the southeast corner of Lot 58 on both the Bucktrout and Lively plans. The Lively plan does not give lot numbers but the words "Guard house" appear where Lot 58 is designated on the other plans. I have found no reference either during or immediately after the Revolution, from around the 1790s to after 1800, or around the 1860s to indicate that any structure on Lot 58 or the area immediately east of the original bounds of the lot ever served as a guardhouse. The period around 1800 when Meade owned most of Lot 58 and Charlotte Dickson owned the southeast corner is poorly documented but I am not aware of any reason why there would have been a guardhouse at this location in Williamsburg at this time. The last of the prisoners formerly housed in the public jail were transferred to Richmond in November 1781. References quoted below make it clear that Emily Morrison and her mother remained in their house during the Civil War even though the Vest Mansion [Palmer House] served as a military headquarters, initially for the Confederates and, from 1862-1865, for the Federal forces.3
The earliest surviving plan of Williamsburg that shows numbered lots dates from about 1800. On this plan, Lot 58 is the last lot on the north side of Duke of Gloucester Street before "Capitol Square." The area designated "Capitol Square" extended beyond the brick wall around the reconstructed Capitol and included the ravine east of Lot 58.4
During the early eighteenth century several ravines, including the one east of Lot 58 shown on the 1782 Frenchman's Map, crossed Duke of Gloucester Street. The low area of the street east of Lot 58 was filled in either in 8 late 1720 or early 1721. Acting on a petition from city residents, on 28 November 1720 the House of Burgesses appropriated £150 "towards making Bridges and Causeways in the Main street." In his 1721 description of Williamsburg, the Reverend Hugh Jones referred to the many springs and ravines in the town and noted that "to make the main street exactly level, the Assembly lately gave a considerable sum, which was expended in removing earth in some places, and building a bridge over a low channel; so that it is now a pleasant, long dry walk, broad, and almost level from the College to the Capitol."5
By the middle of the eighteenth century, structures built on Lot 58 and on Lot 27 across the street had encroached onto Capitol Square even though the 1699 act for building the Capitol specified that the area around the square "shall not be built upon planted or occupyed for ever but shall be wholy and solely appropriated and kept for the said Use and to no other Use or Purpose whatsoever."6 The encroachment is readily apparent when the foundations of the Cary Peyton Armistead House and the surviving original Palmer House are matched to documentary evidence and twentieth-century maps and plats.
Because no documentary references mention the encroachment, the "accepted" eastern boundary of Lot 58 after the first decades of the eighteenth century is uncertain. It is likely that sometime after 1721 when the street was filled in, the land west of the stream bed began to be filled in and claimed by the owners of Lot 58. The 1995 preliminary excavations conducted by the Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center suggest that infilling occurred gradually through the eighteenth century.7
The boundary of record was specified in a May 1743 suit whereby Thomas Penman (lessee of Lot 57 from John Sharp) sued John Burdett (lessee of Lot 58 from Thomas Pattison's estate) for trespass. Joseph Davenport, surveyor for the city, measured Lots 57 and 58 and noted the "dimension of these Lotts are 5 poles in breadth & 16 poles in Length." These dimensions convert to 82.6 feet wide and 264 feet long, the standard size of most half-acre lots fronting Duke of Gloucester Street. Davenport determined "that the Defendt's house stands about eight feet on the plt Lot." The surveyor's report is confirmed by archaeological evidence that shows the early brick foundations of 9 the building reconstructed as Burdett's Ordinary extending about six feet across the lot line onto Lot 57.8 The front door of the Cary Peyton Armistead House was located approximately on the eastern boundary of record for Lot 58. Directly across the street, the front door of the surviving Palmer House is located approximately on the eastern boundary of Lot 27.
As late as 1881, the city owned the remaining portion of the strip of land between the Morrison lot and the lot to the east owned by David Rowland Jones, whose house incorporated the eighteenth-century Public Record Office. Acting on a 31 October 1881 court order, Jones paid $10 to the City for the strip of land "bounded on the North by Nicholsons Street, on the South by Duke of Gloucester Street, on the West by the lot of Emily Morrison and on the East by the lot" of David Rowland Jones.9
Shortly after acquiring this land from the city, Jones had a gable-fronted store erected on the eastern edge of the ravine. Photographs that date from the last quarter of the nineteenth century show a gable-fronted store east of the Morrison House and its successor, the Cary Peyton Armistead House. Pales of a fence that separate the house lot from the store lot are visible on the photographs. The angle from which several of these photographs were taken makes the store appear closer to the house than was the case. Early twentieth-century photographs taken from a different angle show the full length of the store and indicate that the store was built on the eastern edge of the ravine. The 1904 and 1910 Sanborn Maps of Williamsburg show the location of the store in relation to the Cary Peyton Armistead House. On both maps, the building is described as a one-story vacant store. Since the store does not appear on the 1921 Sanborn Map, the building disappeared sometime between 1910 and 1921.10
The first historical reports on Lot 58 and related properties were written over forty years ago by Colonial Williamsburg researchers Mary Goodwin ["Walthoe Storehouse, Block 17 - Lot 58 East" (1951), and "The Coffee-House of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries" (March 1956)] and Mary A. Stephenson ["Burdett's Ordinary, Block 17-2, Colonial Lot 58 West" (July 1955), "Colonial Lot 57" (August 1955), and "Christiania Campbell's 10 Tavern or Coffee House, Colonial Lot 21" (August 1952)]. More recently, independent researcher Mary Rawson has written two reports that she has shared with me ["Colonial Lot 58: History Update" (October 1992) and "Colonial Lot 58: Archaeological Foundation Discussion" (August 1995)]. I am also grateful to her for sharing additional notes and for showing me and others the surviving west and northwest corner foundations of the late nineteenth-century store on the east side of the ravine. While I have found these reports useful in identifying source material, I have reexamined the same sources they cited and often drawn different conclusions.
I have also benefited from access to York County Project files compiled in the Department of Historical Research since the early 1980s, additional sources that have become available in recent years, and related research that I have conducted through the years. Current researchers at Colonial Williamsburg who have shared additional documentary sources, pointed out archaeological and architectural evidence, challenged some of my tentative assumptions, or asked questions that caused me to reexamine parts of the historical record include Cary Carson, Edward Chappell, William Graham, Carson Hudson, Roberta Laynor, David Muraca, Thomas Taylor, and Mark R. Wenger. I am also grateful for assistance from the staff of the Foundation Library (especially Elizabeth Ackert, Laura Arnett, Lois Danuser, Cathy Grosfils, Gail Greve, Mary Keeling, and Del Moore) and the staff of the Photographic Lab (especially David Doody, Kathy Dunn, and Mary Norment). In addition, I appreciate information shared by independent researcher Martha McCartney, by Taft Kiser and Daniel Mouer of the Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center, and by Judge Robert T. Armistead.11
On 16 May 1713 the trustees for the city conveyed Lots 57 and 58 to Francis Sharp of York County for thirty shillings Virginia currency and stipulated that he build a house on each lot within 24 months. Sharp apparently failed to comply with the building clause since the lots reverted to the trustees.11
On 2 May 1717 the trustees again conveyed to Sharp, for the same amount, "Two certain Lotts of Ground in the City of Wmsburgh designed in the Platt of the sd. City by the figures 57 and 58 with all Woods thereon growing..." The second time around, Sharp apparently built a house or houses of the prescribed size within twenty-four months since he still owned the property when he wrote his will in 1739. Surviving foundations on which Burdett's Ordinary was reconstructed measure roughly forty-four feet long by thirty feet deep which appears to include a ten-by-thirty foot extension at the rear of the building. Since these dimensions are fairly close to the fifty-by-twenty foot requirements for building one house on adjoining lots fronting on Duke of Gloucester Street specified in the 1705 act for building the city, it is possible that initially Sharp built only one structure on the two lots. If the foundations of the house at the western end of Lot 58 date back to 19 May 1718 (when Sharp first applied for a license to keep an ordinary at his dwelling in Williamsburg), he and his family probably lived there.12 Because the eastern end of Lot 58 sloped toward the ravine, it is likely that the first major structure was built on the more level area at the western end of the lot.
Francis Sharp moved to Lawnes Creek Parish in Surry County sometime before he wrote his will in August 1739. At this time he continued to own several lots in Williamsburg, including a lot and house adjoining Market Square, Lot 57 containing a tenement, and Lot 58 containing a tenement. Sharp's 1739 will divided Lots 57 and 58 between three of his sons as this excerpt states:
Lot 58 is not wide enough to include a 35-foot wide strip east of Burdett's Ordinary without encroaching eastward onto the land at the ravine.
… I give and devise to my son Francis Sharp the Lot of Land House and Appurtenances in the City of Williamsburg that Mr. Burdet now liveth upon [Lot 58] adjoining to the Capitall Square (Excepting thirty five feet to be laid off out of the East end of the said Lot) … I give to my Son John Sharp the House or Tenement [Lot 57] now in the Occupation of Roadwell a Shoemaker it lying in the Citty of Williamsburg…13
I also give to my said Son William Thirty five feet out of the East End of the Lot [Lot 58] given to my Son Francis whereon Mr. Burdet in Williamsburg now lives…13
During the 1740s Sharp's sons sold the Williamsburg property that their father bequeathed to them. Sometime before 1 October 1742 Jacob Sharp, executor of his father's estate, sold the western portion of Lot 58 to tavernkeeper Thomas Pattison. No surviving deed records this transaction but Pattison was mentioned as the owner of Lot 58 when John Sharp sold Lot 57 ["that messuage, tenement Lott and half acre of land… now in the tenure and Occupation of one Thomas Penman…"] to Henry Wetherburn on 1 October 1742.14 John Burdett, who had kept a tavern on the western side of Lot 58 since 1739 or earlier, continued to occupy this property until his death in 1746.15
References to the portion of Lot 58 given to William Sharp are ambiguous. Francis Sharp's 1739 will refers to the land given to William Sharp as "thirty five feet to be laid off out of the East end of the said Lot," implying a thirty-five foot strip that ran from Duke of Gloucester Street north to Nicholson Street. When Benjamin Waller and his wife Martha sold the major portion of Lot 58 to John Pearson Webb for £275 Virginia currency on 25 March 1757, however, this property was described as "late in the Tenure and Occupation of John Burdett" and bound on the South by Duke of Gloucester Street, on the East by Capitol Square, on the North by Nicholson Street, and on the West by the lot belonging to Henry Wetherburn, "except thirty five feet Square laid off out of the East end of the said Lot which now belongs to Nathaniel Walthoe."16
On 8 April 1994 Edward Chappell, Patricia Gibbs, Roberta Laynor, Thomas Taylor, and Mark R. Wenger examined the cellar under the Cary Peyton Armistead House and recorded interior and exterior measurements of the foundations. The existing east foundations and most of the south foundations date from the nineteenth century. Closers on the north foundations, however, indicate the location of the original east wall. The exterior west foundation wall measures thirty-five feet six and one-half inches and the north foundation wall [accounting for the original northeast corner indicated by the closers] measures thirty-five feet. The correlation between the 1757 deed 14 referring to a thirty-five foot square of land and the surviving foundation measurements suggests that the existing foundation represents the portion of land bequeathed by Francis Sharp to his son William in 1739.17
There is a ten-year gap in the history of the eastern part of Lot 58. What use, if any, William Sharp made of his portion of the lot is unknown as is how and when he disposed of the property. Sometime between the probation of Francis Sharp, Senior's, will in 1740 and a deed entered in the York County records in 1750, the eastern portion of Lot 58 changed ownership several times and a storehouse was erected upon it. The deed by which Nathaniel Walthoe purchased the storehouse from merchant Robert Crichton on 4 August 1750 for £350 Virginia currency states that the property was previously owned by merchant John Lidderdale, who sold it to Robert Crichton, who had recently built the storehouse. The size of the property is not specified but the location opposite the store of John Palmer identifies it as the eastern portion of Lot 58:
…That Store house and Land situate lying and being on the North side of Gloucester Street in the city of Williamsburgh and is the Land that the said Robert Crichton purchased of Mr. John Lidderdale and whereon the said Robert Crichton hath lately Built a Store house and is opposite to the Store of Mr. John Palmer…18
Note the distinction between the use of "Store house", presumably in this context a building for the storage of commercial items, and "Store of Mr. John Palmer," a building owned by Palmer and rented to a merchant named Charles Osborne by 1754.19 Assuming the building was initially built as a storehouse, direct access to the cellar through a door on the east side would have been advantageous. Foundation wall evidence for any windows or doors is lacking since the original east wall of the surviving early foundations has been replaced. It is possible that future archaeology will provide evidence for locating one or more cellar doors. If the story-and-a-half frame building known as the Morrison House, depicted in several late nineteenth-century photographs and described in the recollections of several individuals interviewed about 1930 as an old building, is the building referred to as Walthoe's storehouse in 1750, then the building served a variety of purposes during the 140 years it stood on this 15 site. The documentary evidence is too fragmentary, however, to tell whether one or several structures occupied the site between about 1750 and 1890.20
It is possible that Robert Crichton had the storehouse built for his own purposes but changed his mind, perhaps for financial reasons since he filed several suits in the York County Court in an attempt to collect debts in 1749 and 1750. By 31 January 1750/51 Crichton had left Williamsburg.21
Through the years Nathaniel Walthoe, clerk of the Council, acquired several lots in town that he rented to a number of individuals. On 1 April 1759 he sold this building and the land on which it stood to merchant Benjamin Bayley for £400 Virginia currency. Walthoe repurchased the structure from Bayley on 1 January 1762 for £315 Virginia currency.22 Walthoe continued to own this property until his death in 1770. How the building was used and who rented it from 1750 to the mid 1760s is unknown. Although the deeds cited above consistently call the building a storehouse, mid-1760s to mid-1770s references to this property describe or imply that the building at this location served variously as a coffeehouse, tavern, and a combination store and residence.23
From the mid-1760s through 1771 a building called the Coffeehouse was often used as a landmark to locate nearby sites. None of these references suggest that there was ever more than one establishment called the Coffeehouse at this time in Williamsburg. The mid-1760s references to the Coffeehouse do not identify the proprietor or specifically link it to this site but imply that the Coffeehouse was located here. Lt. Gov. Francis Fauquier's 3 November 1765 letter to the Board of Trade referred to "the Coffee house (where I occasionally sometimes go) which is situated in that part of the Town which is call'd the Exchange tho' an open street, where all money business is transacted..." Concerned about placing his actions in the best possible light, Fauquier described 16 how he faced down the Stamp Act protesters at the October 30th incident in front of the Coffeehouse and mentioned that the Coffeehouse had a porch that was several steps above ground level. A mob followed Col. George Mercer, distributor of the revenue stamps that the English Parliament ordered American colonists to buy and affix to legal and commercial documents,
to the Coffee house, in the porch of which I had seated my self with many of the Council and the Speaker who had posted himself between the Crowd and my self. We all received him with the greatest Marks of welcome.... After some little time, a Cry was heard 'let us rush in' upon this we, that were at the Top of the Steps knowing the advantage our Situation gave us to repell those who should attempt to mount them, advanced to the Edge of the Steps, of which number I was one. I immediately heard a Cry see the Governor take care of him, those who before were pushing up the Steps immediately fell back and left a small Space between me and them... After much entreaty of some of his Friends Mr. Mercer was against his own Inclination prevailed upon to promise them an Answer at the Capitol the next Evening at five. The Crowd did not yet disperse, it was growing dark and I did not think it safe to leave Mr. Mercer behind me, so I again advanced to the Edge of the Steps, and said aloud I believed no man there would do me any hurt, and turned to Mr. Mercer and told him if he would walk with me through the people I believed I could conduct him safe to my house, and we accordingly walked side by side through the thickest of the people who did not molest us; tho' there was some little murmurs.24
Where was the porch located? The eighteenth-century foundations under the Cary Peyton Armistead House are not set back as far from the street as buildings further west in this block which conform to the six-foot setback from the street called for in the 1705 act for building the city. In addition to having several steps leading up to it, the porch had to be large enough to seat Fauquier, an unspecified number of Councilors, and others. Any porch on the front of the building would have had to be fairly narrow. A porch on the east side that could be approached by several steps leading from the street seems a more likely location. The documentary evidence is too vague to speculate. Hopefully archaeology will offer clues or proof for the location of the porch.
Late nineteenth-century photographs of the Morrison House show that the street sloped east of the house. If the ground level was relatively unchanged from the 1760s, it would have been necessary to climb several steps to reach a porch located on the east side of the building. The 1928 recollections of nineteenth-century Williamsburg by John S. Charles describe the Morrison House as a story-and-a-half frame house with a porch along the western end, dormer windows, and the first floor about level with the street in front but well above ground in the rear.25
When the Coffeehouse opened sometime before the fall of 1765, it probably sold coffee, chocolate, tea, and light refreshments as was common at coffeehouses in large urban centers in the northern colonies and in Great Britain. It is unlikely, however, that there was enough business in Williamsburg at this time to sustain a non-alcoholic drinking establishment for long. After all, this was the colony where practical legislators, in writing the 17 text for tavern licenses, allowed considerable latitude -- admonishing tavernkeepers on the Sabbath to not "suffer any person to tipple and drink more than is necessary."26
When Richard Charlton became proprietor of the Coffeehouse in June 1767, his notice in the Virginia Gazette announced "the coffee-house in this city being now opened by the subscriber as a Tavern, he hereby acquaints all Gentlemen travellers... that they will meet with the best entertainment and other accommodations."27 This wording implies that the establishment now offered food, drink, and lodging, and care for horses -- services required of persons who operated licensed taverns. As at other Williamsburg taverns located on partial lots, stabling for horses would have taken place off site.
George Washington frequented Charlton's tavern between 1767 and 1774. Thomas Jefferson was another customer. His account books show frequent visits to the "Coffee house" when he was in Williamsburg between 1767, the year his account books begin, and 1775.28
The location of the Coffeehouse is clearly identified in Benjamin Bucktrout's 9 February 1769 advertisement offering to lease the brick house [known from other sources to be the Palmer House] "opposite to the Coffee house and nigh the Capitol." Apparently John Minson Galt took up Bucktrout's lease. In September he announced his intention to open a "shop at the brick house opposite the coffeehouse."29
When Charlton vacated the Coffeehouse and Christiana Campbell moved in is unknown. The next identifiable location for Charlton's tavern was somewhere along "the back street" in 1775. In the early 1760s Mrs. Campbell operated a tavern on the site where the James Anderson House has been reconstructed. Sometime before May 1771 she moved to the Coffeehouse and operated a tavern there. It is likely that she was living at the Coffeehouse by late April 1771, when the Virginia Gazette reported that "Last Night Mrs. Campbell, of this City, had her Smokehouse undermined, and robbed of a large Quantity of Bacon." The advertisement for the sale of Nathaniel Walthoe's property to be sold at the Raleigh Tavern on 25 May 1771 specified "the HOUSE and PIECE of GROUND thereto belonging, in the back Street, behind the said Tavern, where Mr. Walthoe lived; and the COFFEEHOUSE in the main Street, next the Capitol, where Mrs. Campbell lives." The wording of this notice is 18 significant as the deeds that cite Walthoe as owner of the property known as the coffeehouse always refer to the building as a storehouse. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson patronized Mrs. Campbell's tavern when it was located on this site. By October 1771 Mrs. Campbell, who made a practice of changing locations when more favorable sites became available, moved to the tavern "behind the Capitol, lately occupied by Mrs. Vobe." At the time of his death Nathaniel Walthoe's dwelling was located directly north of the Raleigh Tavern lot on an unspecified portion of Lot 272 that he purchased in 1751.30
From early 1772 through 1777, the landmark known as the Coffeehouse operated in the adjoining building on the west side of Lot 58. The name of the next proprietor of the Coffeehouse is unknown. An unsigned notice in the Virginia Gazette in January 1772 announced the availability of private lodgings for seven or eight gentlemen "at the Coffee-house, near the Capitol." In 1774 John Webb advertised for sale the building on the western side of Lot 58 as that "valuable and well situated Lot in Williamsburg where the Coffeehouse is now kept." Three years later Webb again advertised the property described as "at present the COFFEE HOUSE". Use of now and present in these notices implies a change in location.31 A more detailed account of the Coffeehouse after 1771 appears in "Part II. Western Side of Lot 58, 1717-1928."
Even though the May 1771 advertisement for the sale of Nathaniel Walthoe's land on the main street (cited above) referred to the building as the coffeehouse next to the Capitol kept by Mrs. Campbell, the building continued to be called a storehouse in deeds to the property. On 10 March 1772 Benjamin Waller, acting as attorney for Walthoe's heirs [his sister Henrietta Marmillod and nieces Mary and Martha Hart living in England], sold to Williamsburg widow Charlotte Dickson for £350 Virginia currency
That Store House and Land situate lying and being on the North side of Duke of Gloucester Street ... conveyed to Nathaniel Walthoe Esquire deceased by Benjamin Bailey by Deed Recorded ... the seventeenth Day of May 1762 ... and by the said Nathaniel devised to the said Henrietta, Mary and Martha by his last Will...proved and Recorded in the General Court...3219
Mrs. Dickson, who had recently returned from England with her son Beverley, apparently set him up in the haberdashery business in two rooms in the Brick House [Palmer House] across the street in December 1770. Negotiations for buying Walthoe's storehouse were apparently underway several months before the March 1772 deed was executed. On 16 October 1771 Beverley Dickson wrote John Norton that he and his mother "have Bought a House on the main Street next The Capitol the most convenient in Town for a Store." Invoices for store goods suggest that the store remained in operation into the mid-1770s.33
There are no advertisements in the Virginia Gazette for Dickson's Store. Perhaps, since Charlotte Dickson was the widow of former Yorktown merchant Nicholas Dickson, she did not need to advertise. On the other hand, persons such as Williamsburg milliner Mary Dickinson, who had moved her business from its previous location adjoining James Geddy's shop "to the Store above the Coffeehouse, near the Capitol" [site of John Crump House] by April 1772, advertised regularly.34
Beverley Dickson was identified as a merchant when he married Polly Saunders in 1776. Since Charlotte Dickson continued to own the former Walthoe property until her death about 1800 and there is no indication that she owned land elsewhere in town, the building's use probably shifted from a combination store and residence in the mid-to-late-1770s to a residence about this period. From 1782, when the city land tax records begin, through 1800 Charlotte Dickson was taxed for 1/4 of a lot.35
Although Charlotte Dickson continued to own the property until her death, she may have lived elsewhere after 1789. The personal property taxes do not mention her after that date. Before then she paid taxes for two, and sometimes three, slaves. From 1801 until 1803 land taxes on the quarter of a lot were charged to her estate.36
Lacking deeds to trace late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century land transactions for Williamsburg forces researchers to turn to land tax records and Mutual Assurance Society plats which are sometimes ambiguous. Precise side boundaries for the property that included part of the southeastern corner of Lot 58 and encroached eastward toward the ravine are unknown. No fire insurance policies were taken out on the Morrison House but several owners of Lot 58 West, who insured their property, identify the Morrisons as owners of adjoining land on the east.
According to the city land tax records, William Morrison acquired ¼ lot "via Dixon" in 1803 and George Morrison acquired the same portion of a lot "via Dixon" in 1805. After 1803, William Morrison's name does not appear in reference to this property. Two generations of the Morrison family lived at this location from 1804 until the late 1880s. The documentary record is too vague to tell whether the Morrisons lived in the Dickson house or another dwelling on the same foundations.37
From sometime before 1782 through 1808 David Meade owned the remainder of Lot 58. Meade's name appears as the lot owner on early 1800s plans of the city. He divided the lot in 1809, selling the western part to Robert Anderson and the remainder, probably the land between the back of the Morrison House and Nicholson Street, to George Morrison. Although land tax records list both of these transactions as one-half of a lot, the portion acquired by Anderson was more than one-half of the lot and the part acquired by Morrison less than one-half of a lot. From 1810 through 1819, George Morrison is taxed for ¾ of the lot.38 Only a portion of the Morrison property was part of Colonial Lot 58; most of this property was on encroached land to the east.
In 1817 and 1822 when David Chalmers insured his combined house and store on the Main Street, the location was described as "situated between GEORGE MORRISON'S LOT ON THE EAST, ROBERT ANDERSON'S LOT WEST AND STREETS OTHERWISE." Later owners of the adjoining western part of Lot 58 also identified George Morrison or, after 1834, his estate as the owner of the property to the east.39
Land tax records indicate that George Morrison purchased the western part of Lot 58 from David Chalmers in 1830. Morrison's estate owned this property until it was sold to Robert Blassingham in 1853. Insurance records 21 show that the combined residence and store west of the Morrison House was rented to William Lee in 1830, to Peter H. A. Bellett in 1839, and to John M. King in 1846.40
During these years members of the Morrison family continued to live in the house that George Morrison bought at the beginning of the century. According to the 1850 Federal Census, the household consisted of Charlotte (age 60, widow of George Morrison who died in 1833), John H. (clerk, age 27, son of George and Charlotte), Emily (age 20, daughter of George and Charlotte), and three children too young to be a daughter and sons of George and Charlotte (Mary, age 13; Alfred, age 10; and Frederick, age 8). The three may have resided temporarily with their relatives, possibly while attending school in Williamsburg. All members of this household were listed as being born in York County. The house and lot were valued at $2000. Ten years later the Federal Census named four of the same persons as members of the Morrison household but gave different ages for most of them: Charlotte (age 72), "Emilie" (age 37), John H. (store clerk, age 35), and Frederick P. (store clerk, age 17). The house and lot were valued at $1200.41
George F. Morrison, Jr., probably the eldest child of George and Charlotte Morrison, must have lived elsewhere in town or in James City County by 1850. By 5 January 1852, he was in financial trouble. That day, to secure payment of $200 borrowed from Robert McCandlish, George F. Morrison, Jr., by a deed of trust, signed away his one-quarter "interest in the estate real and personal of his late father George Morrison" to Archibald C. McCandlish, trustee. The deed granted the trustee full power to sell and dispose of the property if "required by the creditor after reasonable notice of the time and place of sale." On 21 April 1858 Robert McCandlish assigned the deed of trust to Miss Emily Morrison "without recourse to me" and on 16 March 1861 she assigned the deed to H. L. Taylor "for value received." On 13 October 1879 William H. E. Morecock, Clerk of James City County and the City of Williamsburg received the "foregoing deed of trust ... together with the certificates thereon endorsed" and recorded the documents. Presumably, this is the same one-quarter interest in the Morrison property that M. R. Harrell, sheriff, was appointed special commissioner to sell by a decree of the Circuit Court for James City County and the City of Williamsburg dated 24 July 1885. Cary Peyton Armistead acquired the one-quarter interest in the Morrison lot at auction for $52.50, then paid $210 "for the whole property," in a transaction recorded 14 November 1889.4222
Several records mention the Morrison House and its residents during the Civil War. Following the Battle of Williamsburg on 5 May 1862, a number of town residents took wounded soldiers into their houses and nursed them. Emily Morrison and her mother cared for William J. Davis of Company C, 18th Regiment. Harriette Cary recorded his death in her diary entry for 9 June 1862: "Mr. Davis died at Mrs. Morrison's this morning and was buried this evening with much respect." Cynthia Beverley Tucker Coleman wrote about him in her essay, "Williamsburg During the Occupancy of the Federal Troops":
Little Davis is dead, poor young boy far from home and mother to lay down his life. He has found in Miss Emily a faithful tender nurse. The whole Confederate heart of the town is filled with pity for the poor lad who having lost one leg has now lost his life.Further on she stated:
The order was issued for the inhabitants to take the oath of allegiance to the U.S. Government or to abandon their homes.... Among those whose narrow means bound them to the spot was Miss Emily Morrison -- a name ever to be held in reverence and honour. With an aged and ill mother there was no alternative; stay she must. When the Officer arrived to put the test she was in an agony of distress. In vain was the pen placed in her trembling fingers; they had no power to hold it. Her mother from her seemingly dying bed exhorted her not to perjure herself. 'Let me not die, my daughter, seeing you take this lie upon your heart. Let me go into the presence of my Maker believing you true to yourself and to your Country.' The Officer was melted by this scene and left these two noble women in peace.43
On 9 April 1863 Confederate General Henry A. Wise attempted to retake the town. John R. Coupland wrote his mother, telling her of his leaving Williamsburg twelve days earlier and commenting on the damage to the Morrison House when shells hit the kitchen and porch steps:
… knowing that you would like to know what we did on that busy morning when the town was shelled I will briefly tell you that our forces entered the college end of the town & took position at the lower end lining the street from Ma's down to Woodpecker. The Yankees opened fire from the Fort below and for sometime vigorously shelled the town… Mrs. Morrison's kitchen was penetrated by a ball and her porch steps torn up by a shell. She and Miss Emily were in the house. Many other houses were struck and portions of them torn to pieces, but strange to say, none took fire…A less specific reference to the same shelling appears in a letter that Thomas Smith Beverley Tucker wrote to his sister Cynthia Coleman from Richmond on 16 April 1863. His secondhand report noted that "Several shells had struck the fence around the front yard" of the Tucker House and also mentioned that "Mrs. Morrison's house had been struck several times."44 23
Recollections of three residents, who had lived in Williamsburg since the mid-nineteenth century, mention the Morrison House and its residents. None of these accounts, however, is time-specific. They recollect memories from previous decades and should be read with caution. John S. Charles [born 1851, died 1930], a former teacher and principal of Matthew Whaley School for nearly twenty years, wrote his early recollections of the town in 1928. This is how he described the Morrison House:
The last house on this square facing on Duke of Gloucester Street was upon the present site of Mrs. D. Armistead's residence and was known as the "Morrison" house. This was a story-and-a-half frame house, with dormer windows. There was a porch along the western end. The front of this old house was about on a level with the street; but was high from the ground at the back. This old domicile was evidently also one of the originals, and being worn out in service, it was pulled down in 1883. An old maiden lady with her four bachelor brothers lived in this old house within the memory of the writer; which being located so close to the "Capitol" may have, in its early days, sheltered such worthies as G. Washington, T. Jefferson, G. Mason, and P. Henry; but tradition is silent, and they did not then have the telephone to "call up" the newspaper and give in the "personals".45Although Charles stated that the Morrison House was "pulled down" in 1883, this occurred in 1889.
In 1933 the Revd. W. A. R. Goodwin interviewed Eliza Baker, who was born a slave in Williamsburg in 1845, about her life and the town where she was reared. In answer to his statement, "Tell us about Miss Emily Morrison," she replied:
Her mother was a Miss Lightfoot Taylor. She kept a millinery store where Miss Dora Armistead lives. It was a different house then. It was a low house with dormer windows on it. When I lived at Mr. Vests [Palmer House], I used to carry flowers to Miss Emily every day.46No other reference states that Emily Morrison kept a millinery shop.
During the latter years of her life, Victoria King Lee (born in 1845) lived several houses west of the Morrison House. Here is the description she gave in an interview with her daughter Peticolas Lee in 1933:
Across the street from this house [Palmer House], on the site of the present Armistead home, stood a large, frame, story and a half house. This house was owned and lived in by a Miss Morrison and her bachelor brother and so called the Morrison House. The premises surrounding this place were beautiful. The present Armistead house is built on the foundations of this old house.47
The "lot of Emily Morrison" was given as the western boundary when David Rowland Jones paid $10 to the city on 26 June 1882 for the strip of land between the Morrison lot and his lot and house which incorporated the 24 eighteenth-century Public Records Office. While the dimensions are unspecific, the bounds ("on the north by Nicholsons Street, on the south by Duke of Gloucester Street, on the west by the lot of Emily Morrison and on the east by the lot" of David Roland Jones) indicate that this strip included the ravine.48
Emily Morrison, the last member of the family to occupy the Morrison House, died in 1887. A small marker in Bruton Parish churchyard gives her name, the year she died, and a phrase ["She hath done what she could"] which is barely legible.49
Cary Peyton Armistead acquired the Morrison property when it was sold at auction. By a decree of the Circuit Court for James City county and the City of Williamsburg dated 24 July 1885, M. R. Harrell, sheriff, was appointed special commissioner to sell the outstanding one-quarter interest in the property. Cary Peyton Armistead, the highest bidder, paid $52.50. Then William H. E. Morecock, agent and attorney for the Morrison heirs joined with special commissioner Harrell to sell the remaining interest in the property. Cary Peyton Armistead, again the highest bidder, paid $210. The deed between J. J. Morrison and Mary W. Morrison his wife, Frederick P. Morrison and Bettie Morrison his wife, Alfred Morrison and Irene E. Morrison his wife, of the first part and Cary Peyton Armistead of the second part to the property known as the Morrison lot, bounded on the "South by Main Street, East by lot of D. R. Jones, North by Nicholson Street, and West by lot belonging to the estate of John C. Timberlake" was recorded 14 November 1889.50
Land tax records valued the house at $200 and the building and lot at $350 in 1888 and 1889. They listed no value for the house in 1890 but valued the lot at $200. The 1891 records note "$1500 added for new Buildings." Two years later the house was valued at $1500 and the house and lot for $1750. Since taxes were levied at the beginning of each year, we can assume that the Cary Peyton Armistead House was built in 1890.51
From 1890 until 1901 the new house served as a residence and law office for Cary Peyton Armistead, his wife Eudora Esther, and their children. After Cary Peyton Armistead's death in 1901, it continued to be the home for 25 his widow (d. 1941) and their children: Robert Gregory (d. 1909), Cary Champion (d. 1944), Meriwether Irving (d. 1945), Roland Cara (d. 1979), and Dora Travis (d. 1984). From the 1940s until the late 1970s, rooms were rented to tourists. The house was leased to the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities and opened to the public as a house museum from 1986 through 1993.52
From 1890 to the present, this property has been conveyed to heirs by will. The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation obtained a seventy-five year lease on the property at 467 East Duke of Gloucester Street from owners Judge Robert T. Armistead, his wife Sarah Armistead, and his sister Mrs. Letitia Hanson in September 1994.
On 16 May 1713 the trustees for the city conveyed Lots 57 and 58 to Francis Sharp of York County for thirty shillings Virginia currency and stipulated that he build a house on each lot within 24 months. Sharp apparently failed to comply with the building clause since the lots reverted to the trustees.53
On 2 May 1717 the trustees again conveyed to Sharp, for the same amount, "Two certain Lotts of Ground in the City of Wmsburgh designed in the Platt of the sd. City by the figures 57 and 58 with all Woods thereon growing..." The second time around, Sharp apparently built a house or houses of the prescribed size within twenty-four months since he still owned the property when he wrote his will in 1739. Surviving foundations on which Burdett's Ordinary was reconstructed measure forty-four feet by thirty feet which appears to include a ten by thirty foot extension at the rear of the building. Since these dimensions are fairly close to the fifty feet by twenty feet requirements for building one house on adjoining lots fronting on Duke of Gloucester Street specified in the 1705 act for building the city, it is possible that initially Sharp built only one structure on the two lots. If the foundations of the house at the western end of Lot 58 date back to 19 May 1718 (when Sharp first applied for a license to keep an ordinary at his dwelling in Williamsburg), he and his family probably lived there.54 Because the eastern side of Lot 58 sloped toward the ravine, it is likely that the first major structure was built on the more level area on the western side of the lot.
Francis Sharp moved to Lawnes Creek Parish in Surry County sometime before he wrote his will in August 1739. At this time he continued to own several lots in Williamsburg, including a lot and house adjoining Market Square, Lot 57 containing a tenement, and Lot 58 containing a tenement. Sharp's 1739 will divided Lots 57 and 58 between three of his sons as this excerpt states:
Lot 58 is not wide enough to include a thirty-five foot wide strip east of Burdett's Ordinary without encroaching eastward onto the land at the ravine.
… I give and devise to my son Francis Sharp the Lot of Land House and Appurtenances in the City of Williamsburg that Mr. Burdet now liveth upon [Lot 58] adjoining to the Capitall Square (Excepting thirty five feet to be laid off out of the East end of the said Lot) … I give to my Son John Sharp the House or Tenement [Lot 57] now in the Occupation of Roadwell a Shoemaker it lying in the Citty of Williamsburg…27
I also give to my said Son William Thirty five feet out of the East End of the Lot [Lot 58] given to my Son Francis whereon Mr. Burdet in Williamsburg now lives…55
There are many unanswered questions about this property from the early 1740s until Benjamin Waller sold the property to John Pearson Webb in 1757. Sometime before 1 October 1742, Jacob Sharp, executor of his father Francis Sharpe's estate, sold the western side of Lot 58 to tavernkeeper Thomas Pattison. No surviving deed records this transaction but Pattison was mentioned as the owner of Lot 58 when John Sharp sold Lot 57 [leased to Thomas Penman] to Henry Wetherburn on 1 October 1742.56
John Burdett, who had kept a tavern on the western side of Lot 58 since 1739 or earlier, continued to occupy this property after Pattison died in 1742.57
In May 1743 Thomas Penman claimed that part of the house occupied by John Burdett, who leased the major portion of Lot 58 from Pattison's estate, encroached on the lot that Penman leased from Henry Wetherburn [Lot 57] and sued Burdett for trespass. The jury found Burdett guilty of trespass and fined him five pounds damages. A transcript of the court action follows:
[16 May 1743] In the Ejectione Firma brot. by Seth Seekright Lessee of Thos. Penman agt John Burdett; The sd. Defendt. by Bedford Davenport his Atty. comes into Court & pleads the General Issue, confesseth Lease, Entry & Ouster &c and it's orderd. that the Surveyor of the City of Wmsburgh do on Monday next if fair, if not, the next fair day, Survey & lay out the Lott of Land in dispute, as each party will have it; and that he return a Certificate of the Survey thereof and plott to the next Court: And it's further order'd that the Sherif attend the sd. Surveyor to remove force if any shall be offered.
[18 July 1743 Court] In the Ejectione Firma between Seth Seekright Lessee of Thomas Penman plt. and John Burdett Deft; This day came the parties aforesd. by their attornies and waived the Tryal by Jury and submitted the Matter to the Opinion of the Court which is that the black line in the Surveyors Plott returnd in this Cause is the bounds of the Plts Land in dispute. And that the Plt. hath sustain'd one shilling damage 28 by Occasion of the Trespass and Ejectment aforesd. And it's Consider'd by the Court that the Plt. recover against the Deft. his Term yet to come of and in one Messuage one Tenement and one Lott or half Acre of Land with Appurts Situate lying and being on Duke of Gloster Street in the City of Wmsburg as in the deed mention'd —— together with his damages aforesd. And also his Costs by him about his suit in this behalf expended. And the sd. Defendt in Mercy &c. And it's order'd that his Majesty's Writ of Habere facs. posessioness issue to put the Plt. in possession of the premes. And it's order'd that the Surveyors Plott & Certificate retd. in this Cause be recorded, and they are recorded as folls:In obedience to an Order of York County Court dated the 16th of May 1743 I have Survey'd the Lott in dispute between Seth Seekright Lessee of Thos. Penman Plt. and John Burdett Defendt, as each party directed that is to say The Lott No. 57 claim'd by the Plt. and the Lott 58 claim'd by the Defendt according to the above plan; by wch. it appears that the Body of the Defendt's house stands about 8 feet on the plts Lott. The prickt line A shews the bounds of Burdetts Lott as held by Mr. Kerr taking in all 14 feet from Penmans Lott; and the prickt line B taking about 4 feet more, was lately a line of pales of Burdettes.
Jos. Davenport Surveyr. City Wmsbg.58
[21 November 1743 Court] In the Action of Trespass between Thos. Penman Plt. and John Burdett Defendt, This day came the parties aforesd. by their Attornies and thereupon came a Jury to wit Andrew Anderson, Edwd. Baptist, John Goodwin, Jno. Wynn, Edmd. Dobson, Edmd. Curtis, Wm. Fuller, Edward Peters, Edward Potter, James Goodwin, George Holloway & Hugh Orr, good & lawfull Men who were elected, tryd & duly Sworn to say the Truth of the Matter in Issue and upon their Oaths they say that the Defendt is Guilty of the Trespass in the declaration mention'd and they assess the damage of the Plt. by Occasion thereof to five pounds. Therefore it's consider'd by the Court that the Plt. recover against the sd. Defendt. his damage aforesd. by the Jurors aforesaid in form aforesd. Asssess'd And also his costs by him about his Suit in this behalf expended And the said defendt in Mercy &c.59
Several months before his death in 1746, Burdett advertised for sale "A Very Good English-made Billiard Table, cover'd with green Cloath; the Frame strong, true, and well-season'd, with Balls; and Masts for French Billiards: Also Port and King, with Sticks of Lignum Vitae tipt with Ivory, and Balls, for English Billiards" but these were not sold since they appear in Burdett's inventory. When one [Nathaniel Walthoe] of the two executors named in Burdett's will refused to serve as executor and the other [William Prentis] was out of the country, the court appointed Burdett's daughter Christiana to administer her father's estate. Christiana Burdett advertised a sale of the personal estate of John Burdett to be held 19 September 1946 -- "all Sorts of Household Goods, and Kitchen furniture also Horses, Cows, a good Billiard Table, well furnish'd with Sticks and Balls, a Quantity of choice old Madiera Wine, and old Barbados Rum, Ale, Arrack, and several other Sorts of Liquors. Likewise a very good Two-wheel'd Chaise, with Harness for two Horses."6029
Records that indicate how the western portion of Lot 58 was used for a period of years after Burdett's death are ambiguous. Pattison's will, written in November 1742, gave to his wife Anne "my houses and lot ... during her natural life." Since Mrs. Pattison continued operating the tavern formerly kept by her husband "at the Sign of the Edinburgh Castle" until sometime before her death in February 1755, their tavern must have been located on property they rented. It is possible, but not certain, that she moved her tavern business to the western portion of Lot 58 after Burdett died. The only other reference to a tavern with the same name appears in this advertisement that wigmaker Peter Lyon placed in the Virginia Gazette several months after Anne Pattison's death: "I now keep Tavern at the Sign of the Edinburgh-Castle, near the Capitol; where Gentlemen may depend on very good Pasturage and Stablage for Horses; also the best Accommodations in my Power."61
The circumstances which allowed Thomas Pattison, Jr., to acquire the western part of Lot 58 a year or more before Anne Pattison's death in February 1755 are also unknown. Thomas Pattison's will gave his lot with the buildings thereon to his wife Anne "during her natural life and after her decease I give and devise the same to my beloved son Thomas Pattison of the Kingdom of Great Britain." Whether or not Thomas Pattison, Jr., ever came to Virginia is also unknown. No record that Anne Pattison became incapacitated has survived but that may have been the case. What we do know, however, is that her life ended tragically. No issue of the Virginia Gazette for early February 1755 survives but an account of her death was printed in the Maryland Gazette:
WILLIAMSBURG, February 21. Early last Wednesday Morning Mrs. Anne Pattison, of this City, was burnt to Death in a most miserable Manner; it is supposed she was much in Liquor, and the Fire catching hold of her clothes, she had not the Power to extinguish it. The Coroner's Inquest brought in their Verdict, ACCIDENTAL DEATH!62
It is unfortunate that we do not know where the Pattison's tavern was located, especially since we know his wife operated the business after his death. The Virginia Historical Society owns Anne Pattison's tavern account book for the years 1743-1749. In addition, several pages of accounts for her tavern, covering the period 1750-1751, appear at the front of an account book [Manuscript Volume 59, Blow Family Papers, Swem Library] at the College of William and Mary.30
An indication of the size of Thomas Pattison's tavern at the time of his death is suggested by comparing selected items from his inventory with the inventories of three other tavernkeepers. Pattison's tavern appears to have been considerably larger than Burdett's, about the same size as James Shields's, but smaller than Wetherburn's. Burdett had nine beds, Pattison and Shields each had fourteen, and Wetherburn had twenty. Burdett had twelve tables, Pattison and Shields each had sixteen, and Wetherburn had twelve. Burdett had 28 chairs plus 4 benches, 1 passage bench, and a cane couch; Pattison had 61 chairs, Shields had 60 chairs, and Wetherburn had 71 chairs. Because part of Wetherburn's inventory is mutilated, it is likely that he had more furniture than is listed.63
There is no record of how this property was used between 1754, when Benjamin Waller purchased the western part of Lot 58 from Thomas Pattison, Jr., and 1757, when Benjamin Waller and his wife Martha sold the property to John Pearson Webb for £275 Virginia currency. Even though eleven years had passed between the time John Burdett died and Waller sold the property, the deed refers to Burdett's former occupancy. Presumably, other persons rented this well-situated-for-business property but neither their names nor to what use the property was put is known. The property is described in the 1757 deed as:
the Messuage House and Lot late in the Tenure and Occupation of John Burdett with the Appurtenances except thirty five feet Square laid off out of the East end of the said Lot which now belong to Nathaniel Walthoe Esqr. which said Messuage House and Lot were Sold and Conveyed to the said Benjamin Waller by Thomas Pattison Son and Devisee of Thomas Pattison decd. by Indenture dated the first day of May, One Thousand seven hundred and fifty four Recorded in the General Court...64Unfortunately, none of the General Court records survive. Whether or not John Pearson Webb lived at the house and lot he purchased from Benjamin Waller in 1757 is also unknown.
After John Pearson Webb died (sometime before August 1764), Frances Webb (widow of Dr. William Webb, who died in 1737, and possibly the mother or aunt of John Pearson Webb) acquired the western side of Lot 58. On 5 August 1764 she leased the property to merchant James Hunter for seven years at £30 a year which was to be applied to freeing John Pearson Webb's £150 debt to Benjamin Waller. Relevant excerpts include:
Neither the mortgage of the property to William Webb nor the will of John Pearson Webb, mentioned in this lease, has come to light.
… WHEREAS the said John Pearson Webb at the time of his death was indebted to Benjamin Waller of the same City Gent: in the Sum of one hundred fifty pounds in part of which said Sum still remains due and unpaid … and the said John Pearson Webb by an Indenture made the ___ day of August 1756 [sic] did Mortgage the said House and Lot to William Webb and others who are Secureties to the said Benjamin Waller for the Consideration Money aforesaid and also by his last Will and Testament did devise the said House & Lot to the said Frances Webb for her Life who is willing and desirous that the Debt due to the said 31 Benjamin Waller should be secured and paid out of the Rents arising out of the said House and Lot [rents the property to James Hunter for seven years at the yearly rent of £30 from August 31st of each year until the debt and interest to Benjamin Waller is fully paid] …
The above parties agree that the said Frances Webb is to put the said House and Lots[sic] in Tenantable repair and to keep and sustain the same in such repair against all Natural Decay and the said James Hunter is to repair at his own charge all other Waste or Damage done to the said House and Lots[sic] during the said Term ...65
After the death of Mrs. Frances Webb sometime before August 1766, the property came into the possession of lawyer John Webb of Halifax, North Carolina, possibly a son or other near relative. If James Hunter leased the property for the full seven years, it is possible that the use of the property did not change until early 1772.66
An unsigned notice in the Virginia Gazette in January 1772 announced the availability of private lodgings for seven or eight gentlemen "at the Coffee-house, near the Capitol." In October 1774 John Webb of Halifax, North Carolina, advertised "For SALE, that valuable and well situated Lot in Williamsburg where the Coffeehouse is now kept, which may be entered upon the 1st of April next." Three years later Webb again advertised "For SALE MY house and lot in Williamsburg, at present the COFFEE HOUSE. For terms apply to me in Halifax, North Carolina." Use of the terms now and present in these notices implies a change of location. Previously the coffeehouse was located next door on the eastern part of Lot 58. In the fall of 1771, about five months before she bought the structure on the eastern part of Lot 58 known as the Coffeehouse, Charlotte Dickson and her son Beverley Dickson moved into the building and converted it to a store and residence.67
In April 1772 milliner Mary Dickinson announced in the newspaper that "she had removed to the Store above the Coffeehouse, near the Capitol." She continued at that location the next year, describing her location as 32 "next Door above the Coffee House."68 Notices in the Virginia Gazette for businesses fronting on Duke of Gloucester consistently use the term above to indicate west of, thus locating Mary Dickinson's store on Lot 57 where the John Crump House has been reconstructed.
There is a gap in the records for the western part of Lot 58 from 1777 to the early 1780s. From 1782 (when the land tax records for the city begin) through 1807 [no list for 1808] David Meade was taxed for one lot. Between 1782-1785 the lot was valued at £5; in 1786 is increased to £7.10, dropped to £4 in 1787-1788, and dropped again to £2 in 1789-1797. His ownership of this property is confirmed by a deed for the sale of the adjoining lot to the west. On 10 July 1789 Henry W. Nicholson and his wife sold Samuel Crawley a lot described as bounded "on the South by the Duke of Gloucester Street on the West by the lot of William Nicolson on the North by Nicolson Street and on the East by the Lot of David Meade, and denoted in the Plan of the City by the figures 57."69 Although Meade's property is described in the land tax records as one lot, the land owned by Meade was smaller than one-half acre because the southeast corner was owned by Charlotte Dickson and later by George Morrison.
The land tax records for 1809 show that David Meade sold the larger part of the western side of Lot 58 to merchant Robert Anderson and the smaller portion located in the northeast corner to George Morrison, who had acquired the southeast corner from the estate of Charlotte Dickson by 1805. Robert Anderson's accounts imply that the land sale took place in 1808. At this time Anderson already owned Lot 57 where the Union Tavern [site of reconstructed John Crump House] was located. His daybook for 9 August 1808 notes these expenses for the fence he had erected to separate his property from George Morrison's: 33
Sundries dr To Merchandise Account Union Tavern for 30 chesnut posts @ 25 cents 7.50 for 145 oak rails @4 [sic] 8.06 these are for the dividing line between Morrison & myself Union Tavern dr To William Armistead for morticing and putting up 29[sic] pannels posts and rails between Morrison & myself 9.67 George Morrison dr To Union Tavern for half expence of our division fence 12.61½
Interpreting land tax values for Williamsburg property for the period 1809-1830 is difficult. In 1809 and 1810 the property, valued at $5, is taxed 8 cents. In 1811 and 1812 all properties owned by Robert Anderson are lumped together, making it impossible to single out what is happening on the western side of Lot 58.71
The land tax records show that the western side of Lot 58 changed hands several times in the next few years. When Robert Anderson sold it to James Thomson in 1813, the land tax records listed the property as one-half a lot, valued at $40, and taxed for $_.83.2. The tax records indicate that in 1817 David Chalmers acquired from Joseph Hague property formerly belonging to James Thomson "on the main street adjoining Morrison's and Anderson's lots." This is listed as 1 lot, valued at $70, and taxed for $2.10.72
Mutual Assurance Society plats show that in 1817 and 1822 Chalmers insured against fire "my Building on the Main Street in Williamsburg now occupied by Myself and situated between Robert Anderson's Lot on the west and George Morrison's Lot on the East." The building was described on both plats as a one-story, thirty by twenty-seven foot frame dwelling and store with a wooden roof. The 1817 plat notes that the building, insured for $825 [policy #849], "is within thirty feet of one building of wood which is contiguous to five other wooden buildings and one of brick covered with wood" [meaning, with a wooden roof]. The 1822 plat notes that the building, insured for $640 [policy #5014], "is contiguous to Nine wooden buildings and to one brick building covered with wood."73 These dimensions indicate that the combination house and store owned by David Chalmers was considerably smaller than the building reconstructed as Burdett's Ordinary, presumably the first major building erected on this property 34 sometime before 1720. Surviving documentary evidence does not indicate when one building disappeared and the other or others were erected.
In 1820 the land tax forms change. What had previously been listed as "value" now became "yearly rent." In addition, columns were added for "value of lot and building" and "value of building". In 1820 and 1821 these amounts were listed for David Chalmers: $70 for "yearly rent," $500 for "lot and building," and $400 for "building."74
Chalmers was a merchant. The personal property tax records show that he paid a retail license of $20 from 1818-1825.75
In 1830 George Morrison, who had lived next door with his family since 1804, purchased the western part of Lot 58 from David Chalmers. That same year Morrison insured "my Building on the main street in Williamsburg now occupied by William Lee situated between another lot of mine on the East, Andersons lot on the West, and streets otherwise on the N & S." The dwelling and store, then occupied by William Lee, was described as a two-story, thirty-one by twenty-seven foot frame building with a wooden roof. The plat notes that the building, insured for $700 [policy #7595], "is contiguous to ten wooden buildings, and to one brick building covered with wood." An uninsured "wood building" is shown north of the dwelling and store. After Morrison died in 1833 his estate continued to insure the building. In 1839 Peter H. A. Bellett is listed as the tenant of a dwelling and store of the same description insured for $800 [policy #11,011] that "is contiguous to one brick building covered with wood and to six other wood buildings." An uninsured "wood building" is shown north and slightly east of the dwelling and store. In 1846 John M. King is listed as the tenant of a frame dwelling and store with a wooden roof [no dimensions], insured for $600 [policy #14,401], that "is contiguous to six wood buildings." This plat also shows an uninsured building north and slightly east of the dwelling and store but identifies it as a "wood kitchen."76
Between 1830 and 1839 the land tax records list these amounts [western side of Lot 58] for George Morrison or his estate: $75 yearly rent, $500 lot and building, $400 building. In 1840 the assessments on all Williamsburg property increased substantially. Although the yearly rent remained the same through 1846, the 35 amount for this lot and building increased to $1000 and the amount for the building increased to $900. From 1847-1850 the yearly rent increased to $85 but the assessments for the lot and building and the building remained the same. In 1851 and 1852 the yearly rent remained the same but the value for the lot and building decreased to $950 and the value for the building decreased to $800.77
The 1850 census lists John M. King, age 49 (a tailor with real estate valued at $1000); his wife Mary King, age 44; and daughters Sarah, age 11, and Alice, age 6. The parents were born in Elizabeth City County and the children in York County.78
In September 1853 John M. King advertised in the Virginia Gazette that he intended to leave Williamsburg and offered for rent the house and lot where he lived [at this time he rented Lot 57, where the John Crump House has been reconstructed, from Robert Saunders] -- noting that the "dwelling house has three large rooms and a passage on the first floor, and two upstairs, with convenient outbuildings" -- and the house which "the subscriber occupied as a store."79 The reference to the store is not specific but could refer to the building he rented in 1846 from George Morrison's estate. His advertisement uses the word "rent" but he may have been trying to sublet these properties.
In 1853 George Morrison's estate sold the western side of Lot 58 to Robert Blassingham. Blassingham insured the buildings, noting on policies taken out in 1853 and 1860 that he occupied the dwelling and store "situated between the lots of George Morrison's estate on the East and on the West by that of ____________." Both policies described the building as two stories high with wooden walls and roof. The 1853 plat [policy #17,623] shows a "wood Kitchen" behind the dwelling and store building insured for $600 and notes that it "is contiguous to sixteen wood buildings and to four brick buildings covered with wood." The 1860 plat [#21,316] shows no building other than the dwelling and store building insured for $500 but notes "contiguity -- 4 Brick-Wood and 16 Wood-Wood" for a total of twenty buildings.8036
In September 1855 Blassingham advertised in the Virginia Gazette that he sold "Dry Goods, Groceries on the Main Street." Two long-time residents, who had lived in Williamsburg since the mid-nineteenth century, remembered this combination house and store. John S. Charles (born 1851, died 1930) noted that
Where the house of Mr. Donegan now stands, there stood, until after the War Between the States, a two story frame house with porch on the Western front, which was used as a residence; and in the eastern end there was a store for many years, which had the distinction of having been the only store here for a long period of the War."Victoria King Lee (born in 1845) gave this description of the building owned by Blassingham when she was interviewed by her daughter Peticolas Lee in 1933: "To the west of the old Morrison house was a tiny, frame, story-and-a-half cottage occupied and owned by the Blassinghams."81
Beginning in 1853, the land tax lists no longer have a column for yearly rent. That year, when Robert Blassingham purchased the western portion of Lot 58 from George Morrison's estate, the assessments for the building dropped from $800 to $700 and for the building and lot from $950 to $800. In 1857 the assessment for the building remained at $700 but the value of the building and lot increased to $1000 [all assessed property increased that year]. These assessments continued through 1861.82
Between 1859 and 1872 Blassingham or his heirs gave deeds of trust on the property which was split into two parts. On 30 August 1859 Robert Blassingham and his wife Mary conveyed to R. L. Henley, trustee, to secure William L. Henley a $395 bond, property that contained a house described as "situate on the South Side of back or _______ Street, being a part of the lot purchased by the said Blassingham of Charlotte Morrison and others, fronting fifty-two feet and running back sixty feet and bounded as follows: East by the lot of Charlotte Morrison, South by the lot of Robert Blassingham, West by the lot of John Blassingham, and North by Back or ____ street." Blassingham was permitted to keep the property "until the happening of default" at which time the property could be sold. Six years later, on 16 August 1865, Robert Blassingham and his then wife Sarah sold this parcel to George Washington, "Coloured freedman," for $500, but on 18 October 1865, George Washington and his wife Letitia sold the parcel back to the Blassinghams for the same amount.8337
On 3 December 1868 an order was entered in the Circuit Court for the City of Williamsburg and County of James City to re-establish a lost deed of trust from Robert Blassingham to Walter W. Vest, trustee, to secure James W. Custis a $867 bond with interest from 27 November 1860 for property that contained a house described as situate on the north side of Main Street and bounded on the "North side by a back Street, known as Nicholson Street, South by said Main Street East by the lot of Charlotte Morrison and West by a lot then owned by John M. King and now owned by Morrice Dunnagan, it being the same real estate which said Blassingham purchased of the heirs of George Morrison and on which said Blassingham now resides."84
In June 1870 the General Assembly passed legislation to prescribe conditions by which a householder or head of a family could "hold a homestead and personal property for the benefit of said household and head of family exempt from the sale for debt." On 1 September 1870 Robert Blassingham declared his intention to obtain a homestead under the provisions of the act to secure the "Lot with the houses thereon Containing about ¾ of an acre of land situate on the City of Williamsburg and bounded on the North by ________ on the South by the Main street of said City, on the East by the House and lot belonging to the estate of __________ Morrison & on the West by the House and lot belonging to Maurice Dunnegan." The property was valued at $1100, horses and wagons at $400, household and kitchen furniture at $150, horned cattle at $50, and one or two debts at $50.85
As a result of a suit (Peter T. Powell vs Robert & John Blassingham) filed in the Chancery Court of Williamsburg in 1871, Special Commissioners John H. Barlow, Jr., and Robert H. Armistead advertized a sale "on the 12th Day of February, 1872, before the courthouse at Williamsburg to the highest bidder, TWO LOTS on which are buildings and improvements, on one of which is a good storehouse, in the said city of Williamsburg, which and said fifty acre tract [to be advertised separately before the courthouse in Yorktown] belong to Ro. Blassingham." Papers filed with the suit valued one lot at $900 and the other at $500 but did not further describe the lots except to say they were adjoining the lots of Morrison and Jenkin.86
John C. Timberlake, husband of Missouri (a daughter of Robert Blassingham), bought the two auctioned lots for $1500 and held them until his death in 1888. The 8 April 1872 trustee's deed confirming the sale described the property he bought as that recorded in the 1859 deed of trust whereby Robert Blassingham and his wife Mary conveyed to R. L. Henley, trustee, to secure William L. Henley's $395 bond (north by Nicholson Street, east by the 38 lot of Charlotte Morrison, south by Duke of Gloucester Street, and west by the lot of John King). On 12 November 1893 Missouri F. Timberlake, to whom her husband bequeathed the property by his will dated 12 April 1888, conveyed the northern part to S. E. S. Baker. On 20 September 1900 Baker conveyed this property to E. W. Maynard. E. W. Maynard and his wife E. C. Maynard sold the partial lot to W. Chester Evans on 12 April 1916. W. Chester Evans conveyed this property to Peninsula Realty Corporation the same day. On June 1921 the Corporation sold the property to Robert E. Donegan.87
On 7 August 1896 Missouri F. Timberlake sold the southern portion that faced Main Street to Eudoxie Donegan [probably her sister] and Robert E. Donegan [probably the son of her sister]. Acting on behalf of the Williamsburg Restoration, on 30 June 1928 W. A. R. Goodwin acquired the two parts of the lot from Robert E. Donegan and his wife Annie Donegan, Mary F. Wynkoop, Yancie D. Casey and her husband Jerome H. Casey, John B. Donegan and his wife Viola, Charles Donegan and his wife Ellaoise Donegan, Lula Beatty and her husband P. M. Beatty, Sadie D. Schell, Carrie Smith and her husband G. R. Smith, and Maurice Donegan and his wife Edna Donegan.88
Benjamin Bayley's name first appears in Williamsburg area records in 1750 in a reference in William Parks's will. He was identified as a merchant in 1758 when he bought Lot 47 with a house and storehouse from George and Sarah Pitt. By the end of the year the Pitts reacquired the property. in 1759 Bayley bought the storehouse on the eastern side of Lot 58 from Nathaniel Walthoe but Walthoe reacquired the property in 1762. Bayley bought a lot bordering on Capital Landing Road from Matthew Moody in 1759 but sold the lot to William Trebell in December 1761. Sometime before February 1762 Bayley formed a partnership with fellow merchant Garland Britten but the partnership was dissolved by that date. By March 1762 Bayley was in serious financial trouble and turned over all his personal and real property, except his wearing apparel, to James Tarpley and Garland Britten. He died without leaving a will sometime before February 1768.89
John Burdett was a resident of York County by early 1733 when a neighbor took him to court for charges that were later dismissed. He operated a tavern at an unknown location by 1734. In 1737 he was taken to court for overcharging for liquors. By 1739 until his death in 1746 his tavern was on the western side of Lot 58 which he rented from first from Francis Sharp, and later from his son Francis Sharp, Jr., Thomas Pattison, and finally from Thomas Pattison's estate. In May 1743 Thomas Penman claimed that the tavern that Burdett leased from Thomas Pattison's estate trespassed on Lot 57. Burdett's will mentions his wife Mary and daughters Christiana Burdett and Mary Virstilly. No additional references to Mary Burdett or Mary Virstilly have been located in Williamsburg-area records. Christiana Burdett, who served as administrator for her father's estate, later married Dr. Ebenezer Campbell.90 No records have come to light that indicate that Burdett owned any real estate in the Williamsburg area. Burdett's will and appraisement follow.
[York County Wills & Inventories Book 20, pp. 37-3841
(dated 30 August 1745; recorded 18 August 1746)]
In the Name of God Amen I John Burdett of the City of Williamsburgh Inholder, being of perfect Mind and Memory do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following hereby revoking all other and former Wills 40 by me made Imprimis I recommend my Soul to Almighty God hoping through the Merits of Jesus Christ to enjoy eternal Happiness.
Item I Give unto my welbeloved Wife Mary my Negro Man Slave named Torrington & my Negro Woman Slave Named Jenny with her future Increase to her and her Heirs forever And It is further my Will and desire that these Slaves be Valued or Sold and that my Wife shall have and receive out of my estate Two hundred Pounds Sterling Including the said Negros or value of them in the same.
Item I Give and bequeath unto my Daughter Christiana my Negro Man Slave named Shropshire and Negro Woman Slave named Bell with her Child and Increase and it is further my Will and desire that these Slaves be Valued or sold And that my said Daughter shall have and receive out of my Estate Three hundred Pounds Sterling Including the said Negros or value of them in the same to her and her Heirs.
Item I Give to my Daughter Mary Virstilly forty Pounds Sterling to her and her Heirs.
Item in case my Estate after Debts paid shall be sufficient to pay all the Legacies before given over and above the sum of thirty eight Pounds two Shillings and two Pence Currency lodged by me in the hands of Mr. Nathaniel Walthoe and a Debt of forty two Pounds Sterling due to me from Dr. Richard Jasper Then and in that case I further give the said last mention'd two Sums to my said Daughter Christiana and her Heirs But in case my Estate should not be of that Value besides the said two last mentioned Sums in that case it is my Will and desire that the said two last mention'd Sums or so much thereof as shall be wanting be apply'd towards the Paiment of the Legacys before given And after all my Debts and the Legacies aforesaid are paid I give and bequeath all the rest and residue of my Estate whatever equally to be divided between my said Wife Mary and my said Daughter Christiana to them and their Heirs forever.
And Lastly I do hereby Nominate and Appoint my friends Mr. William Prentis and Mr. Nathaniel Walthoe of the City of Williamsburgh Executors of this my last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this thirtieth Day of August One thousand seven hundred and forty five.
John Burdett (LS)
Sign'd Seal'd Published & Declared by the said John Burdett to be his last Will and Testament in Presence of
At a Court held for York County the 18th Day of August 1746.
This Will was proved by the Oath of William Nimmo a Witness thereto and Order'd to be Recorded (and Nathaniel Walthoe one of the Executors named in the said Will by Letter under his hand directed to this Court having refused the Executorship and the other Executor being out of this Colony in parts beyond the Sea) On the Motion of Christiana Burdett who made Oath according to Law Certificate was granted her for obtaining Letters of Administration on the Estate of the said Decedent with his Will annexed. She the Said Christiana together with Wm. Nimmo and Ebenezer Campbell her securities having enter'd into and Acknowledg'd Bond in the Penalty of fifteen hundred Pounds for her due Admon of the said Estate and Performance of the Will.
Thos. Everard Cl: Cur:
[York County Wills & Inventories Book 20, pp. 46-49
(dated 27 August 1746; recorded 17 November 1746)]
Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of John Burdett decd. Augst. 27th 1746 1 pr. Stilyards 7/6 1 Field Bedstead 12/ £ 0.19.6 1 Garden Pott 1/ 2 Wooden Benches 1/ 0. 2.0 1 Brass Kettle 50/ 6 Delf Soop Plates 2/ 2.12.0 15 flatt Delf Plates 3/ 5 Dishes 4/ 0. 7.0 3 Tea Potts 1/6 4 Baking Pans 1/ 5 small Bowls 1/6 0. 4.0 a Parcel of crackt Earthen Ware 0. 1.0 9 China Bowls sorted 2. 0.0 4 crackt Do. 7/6 12 Breakfast Cups 6/ 0.13.6 6 China Plates 12/ 2 butter Basons 2/ 0.14.0 3 dozen Wine Glasses 18/ 2 Beer Glasses 1/6 0.19.6 5 Glass Rummers 2/6 11 Decanters sorted 25/ 1. 7.6 2 large crackt China Bowls 5/ 3 earthen Do. 3/9 0. 8.9 6 Earthen Plates 1/6 6 Salts & 1 Mustard Pot 2/6 0. 4.0 2 Cruits and 1 Tumbler 0. 1.6 2 Tea boards & 1 bottle Stand 0.10.0 4 pr. brass Candlesticks & 2 pr. brass Snuffers 0.14.0 13 China Coffee Cups 0. 5.0 2 pr. brass Sconcers & 3 odd Do. 0.10.0 2 qt. 1 pt. Mugs, 1 Milk pott & 1 Butter Bason 0. 2.0 2 Glass Lanthorns 5/ 1 Close Stool pan 7/6 0.12.6 14 Flag bottom Chairs 20/ 1 Salver 1/ 1 Fender 2/6 1. 3.6 2 Cases Buckhandle knives and forks 0.14.0 13 Knives & 3 forks 5/ 9 Ivory Do. & 3 forks 3/ 0. 8.0 1 Warming Pan 6/ 1 hand Bell 1/6 0. 7.6 2 Umbrellows 5/ 6 Pewter Soop Plates 10/ 0.15.0 33 flatt Plates 20/ 1 old Fiddle 2/6 1. 2.6 1 doz: hard metal Do. 22/ 1 Pewter Cullender 2/ 1. 4.0 9 Pewter Dishes 25/ 6 old Do. 6/ 10 lb old Do. 5/ 1.16.0 8 White Chamber Pots & 2 Wash Basons 0. 5.0 1 Lead Tobacco Dish 3/ a Parcel long Pipes 3/ 0. 6.0 1 Gallon & 1 Pottle Gorge 3/6 3 Potting Pans 1/6 0. 5.0 1 Table & 1 hand Brush 1/ 6 Tin Sconces 3/ 0. 4.0 3 old Funnels 3/ 3 house Bells 5/ 1 Painted Candle Box 1 Pipe Stand 1 Tinder Box and a Toaster 0.13.0 1 dozen Pattipans 2 Iron candlesticks and 1 Grater 0. 3.0 1 Copper Coffee pott 5/ 1 Copper pott & Chopping Knife 2/ 0. 7.0 1 Stew Pan & 2 old Saucepans 6/ 1 Coffee Mill 2/ 0. 8.0 1 Copper Fish Kettle 10/ 1 Slate 6d. 0.10.6 2 Copper Saucepans 0. 8.0 1 dozen Candle Moulds 18/ 1 folding Grid Iron 7/6 1. 5.6 1 small Grid Iron 1/6 1 Iron Pott 5/ 1 Do. 14/ 1. 0.6 5 Brass Cocks & 1 Gimblet 10/ 1 pr. Farrier 1 Toaster 0.11.3 1 Plate Warmer 7½ 3 Bridles 5/ 0. 5.7½ 4 pr. Money Scales &c. 12/6 1 frying Pan 1/ 0.13.6 2 Tea Kettles 8/ 6 Wine Measures 14/ 1. 2.0 1 Chafing Dish 2/ 1 pr. brass Scales & Weights 3/ 0. 5.0 2 flesh forks 1/3 1 waiter 1/ 1 Small & 1 Bell 1/6 0. 3.9 1 Saddle & Housing 30 1 Dutch Oven 15/ 2. 5.0 42 1 Dripping pan 1 Trivett 1 Shovel, 1 Hatchet 2 pr Garden Sheers 1 pr. Tongs 0.10.0 1 Tin Canister 1/6 3 Square Tables 7/6 0. 9.0 1 Scrubbing Brush 1 Broom 1 Mopp 0. 2.0 1 Marble Mortar 12/6 1 Portmantua 2/6 0.15.0 2 Spitts 1 Ax 1 Spade 0.10.0 3 old Canes 1 pr. Foils 3/ 4 butter Potts 1 Gorge 15/ 0.18.0 3 Straw Cushions 1/ 2 Screens 26/ 1 Elbow Chair 20/ 2. 7.0 1 Meal Trough 2/6 1 large Oval Table 26/ 1. 8.6 1 small oval Table 10/ 1 Do. 7/6 0.17.6 1 Chimney Flower Pot 10/ 1 Passage Bench 1/ 0.11.0 1 oval Oak Table 10/ 1 large Do. 20/ 1.10.0 2 pair Backgammon Tables 1. 0.0 1 pair Tongs 2/6 9 old Glass Windows 10/ 0.12.6 1 Billiard Table with Sticks Balls &c 12. 0.0 1 Case of Bottles with Brandy and Gin Drams 2. 0.0 4 Benches 10/ 1 Trussell & Bed 12/6 1. 2.6 1 Iron Pot Damaged 1/ 1 Jarr with Tamarines 1/6 0. 2.6 1 Gauging Rod 2/ 1 Urine Glass 1/ 0. 3.0 1 Glass 2/6 1 feather Bed 2 Blankets Bolster 1 Set field Curtains 1 Counterpain Bedstead and Cord 5. 0.0 1 Field feather Bed two Blankets 1 Bolster 1 Counterpain &c 5. 0.0 1 Bed 2 Blankets Bolster two Pillows Counterpain Bedstead Hide & Cord 3. 0.0 1 Bed Bolster 2 Pillows 1 Blanket Bedstead Hide and Cord 2. 0.0 1 Bed 1 Bolster 2 Pillows 1 Bedstead and Cord 1.15.0 1 Bed Bolster 2 Pillows 1 Blanket Bedstead and Cord 1.15.0 1 Bed Bolster 1 Rugg 2 Pillows Bedstead & Cord 1.15.0 1 small Bed and Quilt 1. 0.0 12 China Cups 0. 3.0 2 pair fine Holland Sheets 6. 0.0 1 pair Sheets 20/ 1 pr. Do. 12/ 1 pair Do. 12/ 2. 4.0 1 pair Do. 12/ 1 pr. Do. 20/ 1 pr. Do. 7/6 1.19.6 2 pair Do. 24/ 1 pair Do. 5/ 1 pair Do. 12/ 1 pr. Do. 7/6 2. 8.6 1 Counterpain 35/ 1 Do. 20/ 2.15.0 5 Breakfast Cloths 15/ 3 Damask Table Cloths 20/ 1.15.0 1 Desk 50/ 7 Diaper Cloths 50/ 5. 0.0 12 Damask Napkins 20/ a Parcel of old Curtains 1.10.0 4 Bound Magazines 4/ a Parcel Books 10/ 0.14.0 12 Roman Emperor Prints 0. 2.6 1 doz: Leather Chairs 70/ 1 Cane Couch 10/ 4. 0.0 1 small oval Table 5/ 1 Pipe Stand and 1 Wine Crane 2/ 0. 7.0 13 Carboys Rum abt. 65 Gallons at 3/6 11. 7.6 1 Pipe Madeira Wine 25. 0.0 1 Quarter Cask Wine 5. 0.0 13 dozen Madeira Wine at 22/ per doz: 14. 6.0 10 dozen English Cider at 10/ 5. 0.0 19 Bottles Strong Beer at 10/ 0.15.10 3 Gallons Arrack at 20/ 3. 0.0 8 doz: Yorkshire Ale at 9/ 3.12.0 1 Iron Pott 0.15.0 3 Pails 1 Tin Kettle 1 Trivett 8 Earthen Pans 1 Lanthorn 0.10.0 2 old Tables and 3 Potracks 0.15.0 43 3 Flasks Florence Wine 1 Do. of Oyl 0. 6.0 1 Jug Oyl 6/ 5 Wine Pipes 10/ 0.16.0 1 Chair & Harness 10. 0.0 1 Horse called Spott 6. 0.0 7 Silver Spoons & 1 Tankard wt. 44 oz. at 6/ per oz. 13. 4.0 The remains of an old Sign with the Iron Work 2. 0.0 1 long Table 4/ 1 Safe 7/6 1 Chimney Glass and Sconcer 20/ 1.11.0 Sir Richard Steels Picture 15/ 1 looking Glass 6/ 1. 1.0 1 Looking Glass 10/ a parcel of Mapps & Prints 30/ 2. 0.0 1 large Looking Glass 30/ 2 Pictures 10/ 2. 0.0 30 Prints and Mapps 30/ 16 Bird Bottles 3/ 1.13.0 5 Loaves D. Sugar wt. 30 lb at 2/ 3. 0.0 2 Earthen Pans 1 Egg Slice & 2 Trays 0. 2.0 4 Cows at 35/ 1 Horse £3 1 Do. £5 15. 0.0 11 pr. Dice at 2/6 1. 7.6 Shropshire a Negro Man 40. 0.0 Torrington Do. 40. 0.0 Bell a Negro Woman & 2 Children 50. 0.0 Jenny an old Woman 15. 0.0 £ 384. 3.2½
Mark Cosby, Thos. Vobe, James ShieldsCur:
Returned to York County Court the 17th day of November 1746 and Order'd to be Recorded.
Thos. Everard Cl:
Christiana (b. 1722, d. 1792) was a daughter of John Burdett, who kept a tavern on the western side of Lot 58 by 1739 and remained there until his death in 1746. From her father's will we know that her mother's name was Mary and that their only other child was a daughter named Mary Virstilly, who was presumably married by 30 August 1745 when he wrote his will since Burdett bequeathed her £40 sterling but bequeathed Christiana £300 sterling and three slaves (Shropshire, Bell, and her child). Sometime after 19 September 1746 Christiana married apothecary Dr. Ebenezer Campbell. They had two daughters: Mary, who married William Russell of Williamsburg, and Ebenezer (b. about 1753), who married Benjamin Day of Fredericksburg. The Campbells were living in Blandford when Ebenezer died sometime before 14 August 1752.91
The widow Campbell returned to Williamsburg with her two young daughters by 1753 and probably began keeping a tavern or lodginghouse by 1755. By 1760 she rented a house on the site where the James Anderson House has been reconstructed. George Washington became a regular customer beginning in 1761. By the mid-1760s she 44 sent several of her slave children to the Bray School. By May 1771, and possibly for sometime before then, she operated a tavern at the establishment known as the Coffeehouse on the eastern side of Lot 58 but by that fall she moved to the tavern east of the Capitol vacated by Jane Vobe. After receiving a bequest of £200 from Nathaniel Walthoe, Mrs. Campbell was able to buy the tavern she had been renting in 1774 which she continued to operate until about 1780. She moved to Fredericksburg in the 1780s where she died in 1792.92
Richard Charlton, brother of Edward Charlton (wigmaker who had moved to Williamsburg from London about 1752), lived in the Williamsburg area by 1761 when some of his clothes were stolen. In 1765 he married Sally Satterwhite. Their daughter Jane was born the next year. In June 1767 he announced that he was keeping a tavern at the Coffeehouse but how long he remained there is uncertain. By 1775 until 1777 he kept a tavern somewhere along the back street. During the 1770s he was also a wigmaker. Charlton died several days before 2 October 1779.93
The first mention of Robert Crichton in Williamsburg area records is as a witness for John Burdett's will on 30 August 1745. The next month Crichton, storekeeper for the firm of Buchanan and Hill, announced that he was leaving Virginia but he either changed his mind or had returned by February 1747/48. From 1749 to 1750 he was in partnership with merchant John Scrivener. Sometime before August 1750 Crichton purchased the eastern side of Lot 58 from John Lidderdale. When Crichton sold the property to Nathaniel Walthoe in August 1750 the deed noted that Robert Crichton had "lately Built a Store house" on this property. In January 1750/51 William Montgomery gave notice that "Mr. Robert Crichton, late of Williamsburg, Merchant," had impowered him to collect Crichton's debts as well as debts in the name of Crichton and Scrivener. When several residents tried to attach Crichton's estate in court to collect Crichton's debts to them, Montgomery made oath that he did not have any of the effects of Crichton and the attachments were dismissed. Crichton may have gone to South Carolina. The 5 September 1751 issue of the 45 Virginia Gazette printed a letter on the evils of gaming addressed to the young men of Williamsburg submitted by Robert Crichton of Charleston, South Carolina.94
Charlotte, daughter of Robert and Jane Ballard of York County, married Yorktown merchant Nicholas Dickson by May 1751. In the early 1760s their son Beverley attended the College of William and Mary. In 1768 the Dicksons moved to England and Nicholas died in Bristol within two years. Charlotte and Beverley Dickson settled in Williamsburg after they returned to Virginia and established a store, first in the Palmer House by late 1770, and at the building formerly known as the Coffeehouse on the eastern side of Lot 58 in late 1771. By March 1772 Charlotte Dickson purchased this property. In September 1775 Beverley Dickson was nominated a 1st Lieutenant of the Williamsburg Company. In late October 1776, he married Polly Saunders. Their only known child, John, was born in July 1782. In 1777 he became a justice of York County and naval officer for the Upper James District. His official responsibilities probably required that he give up storekeeping by 1777. Beverley Dickson was dead by early September 1787. How long Charlotte Dickson continued to live in Williamsburg is uncertain. She was taxed for two or three slaves through 1789 and taxed for the store property until 1801 when the taxes were charged to her estate.95
In 1737 the Virginia Gazette printed accounts of a robbery and the murder of the storekeeper at merchant John Lidderdale's store in Prince George County. By early 1739 Lidderdale moved to Williamsburg where on 23 February he married Elizabeth, daughter of James City County resident William Robertson, Esquire, who was Clerk of the Council. By that year he was also in partnership with Alexander Spalding. Sometime before 1750 Lidderdale acquired the eastern side of Lot 58 which he sold to Robert Crichton, who built a storehouse on the property before selling it to Nathaniel Walthoe in August 1750. By 1751 he had moved to Bristol and later London, England. Lidderdale continued to own considerable amounts of land in Virginia, including 5000 acres in Charlotte County 46 plus another 1120 acre tract which he offered for sale in 1770. Six years later, a notice in the Virginia Gazette noted that John Lidderdale and his wife continued to reside in London.96
David Meade, son of David and Susannah Meade of Nansemond County, was born in 1744 and educated in England. He married Sarah Waters (daughter of William Waters of Williamsburg) in 1768 and lived in Nansemond County until 1774 when he moved his family to Maycox in Prince George County where they stayed for twenty-two years. In 1796 Meade moved his family to Kentucky where they settled at Chaumiere des Prairies in Jessamine County. Sarah died in 1828 and her husband is believed to have died the following year. There is no evidence that the Meades ever lived in Williamsburg nor any indication of how the western part of Lot 58, which David Meade had acquired by 1782 and owned until 1809, was used during his ownership.97
Thomas Pattison's name first appears in York County records when he witnessed the will of Hugh Edmunds on 29 September 1732. Pattison's will, dated 17 November 1742, offers some information about his life: he was married to Anne (probably the sister of Williamsburg goldsmith John Coke) by 1738 but it is likely that he had been married before; he had probably emigrated from England (after Anne's death his "houses and lot" were to go to his son Thomas Pattison of Great Britain who was "born about four miles from the City of Durham"); and that his tavern "at the Sign of the Edinburgh Castle" was at some other location since John Burdett was currently renting his property.98
Records that indicate how the western portion of Lot 58 was used for a period of years after Burdett's death are ambiguous. Pattison's will, written in November 1742, gave to his wife Anne "my houses and lot ... during her 47 natural life." Since Mrs. Pattison continued operating the tavern formerly kept by her husband "at the Sign of the Edinburgh Castle" until sometime before her death in February 1755, their tavern must have been located on property they rented. It is possible, but not certain, that she moved her tavern business to the western portion of Lot 58 after Burdett died. The only other reference to a tavern with the same name appears in this advertisement that wigmaker Peter Lyon placed in the Virginia Gazette several months after Anne Pattison's death: "I now keep Tavern at the Sign of the Edinburgh-Castle, near the Capitol; where Gentlemen may depend on very good Pasturage and Stablage for Horses; also the best Accommodations in my Power."99
The circumstances which allowed Thomas Pattison, Jr., to acquire the western part of Lot 58 a year or more before Anne Pattison's death in February 1755 are also unknown. Thomas Pattison's will gave his lot with the buildings thereon to his wife Anne "during her natural life and after her decease I give and devise the same to my beloved son Thomas Pattison of the Kingdom of Great Britain." Whether or not Thomas Pattison, Jr., ever came to Virginia is also unknown. No record that Anne Pattison became incapacitated has survived but that may have been the case. What we do know, however, is that her life ended tragically. No issue of the Virginia Gazette for early February 1755 survives but this account of her death was printed in the Maryland Gazette:
WILLIAMSBURG, February 21. Early last Wednesday Morning Mrs. Anne Pattison, of this City, was burnt to Death in a most miserable Manner; it is supposed she was much in Liquor, and the Fire catching hold of her clothes, she had not the Power to extinguish it. The Coroner's Inquest brought in their Verdict, ACCIDENTAL DEATH!100
It is unfortunate that we do not know where the Pattison's tavern was located, especially since we know his wife operated the business after his death. The Virginia Historical Society recently acquired Anne Pattison's tavern account book for the years 1743-1749. In addition, several pages of accounts for her tavern, covering the period 1750-1751, appear at the front of an account book [Manuscript Volume 59, Blow Family Papers, Swem Library] at the College of William and Mary.48
An indication of the size of Thomas Pattison's tavern at the time of his death is suggested by comparing selected items from his inventory with the inventories of three other tavernkeepers. Pattison's tavern appears to have been considerably larger than Burdett's, about the same size as James Shields's, but smaller than Wetherburn's. Burdett had nine beds, Pattison and Shields each had fourteen, and Wetherburn had twenty. Burdett had twelve tables, Pattison and Shields each had sixteen, and Wetherburn had twelve. Burdett had 28 chairs plus 4 benches, 1 passage bench, and a cane couch; Pattison had 61 chairs, Shields had 60 chairs, and Wetherburn had 71 chairs. Because part of Wetherburn's inventory is mutilated, it is likely that he had more furniture than is listed.101
Copies of Thomas Pattison's will and appraisement follow.
[York County Wills & Inventories Book 19, p. 16949
(dated 17 November 1742; recorded 21 February 1742/43]
In the Name of God amen I Thomas Pattison of the City of Williamsburgh Ordinary Keeper being sick & weak in body but of perfect Sence & Memory Do make this my last will and Testament in Manner & form following. Imprimis I commend my Soul into the hands of almighty God hoping for pardon for all my Sins through the Mediation of my ever blessed Saviour Jesus Christ And my body to the Earth to be decently buried at the direction of my Extrix herein after named Item whereas William Robertson Gent decd. by his deed poll dated the first day of January 1738 did Convey unto John Coke Gold Smith in Trust for my now wife two Negro Slaves and divers Goods & Chattels therein mention'd for divers uses wch. were afterwards declared by my said wife upon the back of the Deed But for fear of the Validity thereof should be contested I do hereby ratify and confirm the same and do give into my said Dear wife Anne Pattison all and Singular the Slaves with their Increase together with the Goods and Chattels therein mention'd and contain'd and also all my proper Slaves Goods Chattels & personal Estate after my debts are paid unto her heirs Extors and Admors forever Also I give unto my said wife my Houses & Lott in the City of Wmsburg now in the Occupation of John Burdett during her Natural Life and after her decease I give & devise the same unto my beloved son Thos. Pattison of the Kingdom of Great Britain who was born about four Miles from the City of Durham and to his heirs & assigns for ever And lastly I do Constitute and appoint my said wife Anne Pattison to be Extrix of this my last will & Testament In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand affix'd my Seal this Seventeenth day of Novr. 1742.
Thomas Pattison (L. S.)
Sign'd Sealed & published by
Thos. Pattison the Testator
to be his last will & Testament
in presence of
At a Court held for York County February the 21st 1742.
This last Will & Testament of Thos. Pattison decd. was this day presented in Court by the Extrix therein named who made oath to it and it being proved by the Oath of the Witnesses thereto was order'd to be recorded
Matt Hubard C.C.
[York County Wills & Inventories Book 19, pp. 177-179
(dated 19 March 1742/43; recorded 21 March 1742/43)]
An Inventory and Appraisement of the Estate of Thomas Pattison decd.
4 pewter water plates at 5/ 7 dozn. & 7 pewter plates at 1/ £5.11.0 21 pewter dishes qt. abt. 60 li. @ 14d. 3.10.0 2 pewter Salvers 1 pewter Cullender 1 Do. Bed pan & 1 Tin funnell 0. 9.0 1 copper Tea Kettle 1 Copper Tea Kitchen 1 Copper Chocolate pot 1 old Copper stew pan 1 Copper Dutch oven & 1 large copper Kettle 7. 0.0 2 Bell metal Skillets 2 Bell Mettle Mortars 2 Iron pestles and 1 Brass Mortar & Iron pestle 4. 0.0 1 small brass Kettle 1 Brass pasty pan 1 brass flower box 1 Tin fish Kettle 1 Copper still & head Tubb & worm & 1 Brass warming pan 4. 7.0 5 Iron pots 2 Iron pot hooks 3. 0.0 3 pr. of Tongs 1 Shovel 1 poker 1 loggerhead 1 Coffee roaster 2 frying pans 1 Grid Iron 1 pr. of large racks 2 spits 3 pot racks and one flesh fork all Iron 3. 0.0 1 old pewter Still-head 3 flat Irons 10 brass Candle Sticks 3 Iron Snuffers 30 Tin patty pans 1 Tin Coffee pot 2.10.0 1 China Dish 9 China plates 4 Delph Dishes 15 Delph plates 3 Earthen Wash Basons 1.15.0 6 Earthen Milk pans 3 Butter Dishes & 1 pipkin 0. 6.0 2 Tables 5 pales Several Trays and other wooden Lumber 0.10.0 2 Spades 3 Axes 1 hoe & 1 Garden rake 0. 5.0 6 Ivory handled knives & 6 Do. forks 6 Do. older 1. 0.0 39 black handled & Buckhandled Knives & forks 0.12.0 Mops house brushes Brooms & 2 Sifters 0. 6.0 1 Side Saddle with blue Cloth Cover 1.10.0 2 horses 1 Chair & harness for 2 horses 35. 0.0 4 cows £6 6 Earthen Butter Pots 10/ 6 wine pipes & 2 hhds. 20/ 7.12.0 1 large leafe for a Table 10/ 8 gross of empty bottles @ 26/ 10.18.0 20 bottles of Cordial Drams containg. abt. 5 Galls. @10/ 10. 0.0 9 Gallons of Molasses & Cask 20/ 15 Galls. Vinegar & Cask 10/ 1.10.0 3 Carboys 2 juggs 2 Chests & several empty Casks 1.12.6 100 Gallons of rum at 3/6 £17.10 pipe of Madiera wine £20 37.10.0 1 Quarter Cask Do. 1 pr. of Farriers 2/6 5. 2.6 about 100 li. of Muscavado Sugar 35/ 8 brass Cocks 10/ 2. 5.0 Carry'd over £151. 1.0 Brot. over £151. 1.0 1 Feather Bed, Bolster, Blankets, Quilt, Field bedsted & Curtains 6.10.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster Blankets rugg Quilt Bedsted Curtains &c 10. 0.0 50 1 Feather Bed Bolster Blanket rugg & Counterpain Bedsted & Curtains 6. 0.0 1 Table & 3 Chairs & 2 window Curtains 0.10.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster pillow 1 pr. Sheets 2 Blankets 1 Counterpane Curtains Bedsted &c 8. 0.0 1 Do. with furniture 7.10.0 1 Table 1 Dressing glass 4 Chairs & 3 window Curtains 2.10.0 1 large oval Table, black walnut 2. 5.0 1 Small Do. 15/ 1 Press bed Case 10/ 1 Skreen 15/ 12 Leather Chairs 60/ 5. 0.0 1 pr. hand Irons & Tongs 20/ 2 Callico window Curtains & Vallins & Iron rods 15/ 1.15.0 7 large framed prints 40/ 2 Backgammon Tables Men boxes &c 40/ 4. 0.0 1 Black Walnut Desk £5 1 large oval Table 25/ 6. 5.0 1 Small black walnut Do. 15/ 12 Leather Chairs £6 6.15.0 1 Large Looking Glass 1 Small Do. with Sconces & Chimney Glass 8. 0.0 10 framed prints 50/ 2 Callico window Curtains, Vallens & Iron rods 5/ 2.15.0 2 pr. of hand Irons, fire Shovel & Tongs 2.15.0 1 Cloaths press 20/ 1 Desk 40/ 1 Small black walnut Table 18/ 3.18.0 3 oval & 2 Square Tables 37/ 12 Leather Chairs 30/ 3. 7.0 1 looking Glass 20/ 1 corner Cupboard 20/ 12 pictures 30/ 3.10.0 3 window Curtains & rods 10/ & 7 China bowls 4. 0.0 12 Earthen bowls 15/ & 10 Salt Sellars 6/ 5 Vinigar Cruits 1. 4.1½ 1 coffee Mill 6/ 5 qt. Decanters 3 pt. Do. 1 half pint Sullibub pot 1 qt. Decanter 1 qt. Mugg crakt glass 0. 7.0 1 Gallon pot 1 pottle Do. 1 qt. Do. 1 pt. Do. 2 half pints 3 gill pots 1 Tin funnell 1 pewter Do. 1. 5.0 31 Drinking glasses 0.15.6 1 old Table Jugg 2 hammers 1 pr. pinchers 1 bottle brush 1 punch Ladle & 2 old Sclates & pail 0. 8.6 2 Qt. Earthen Muggs 1 pt. Do. and 1 pottle jugg 0. 3.9 40 li. pot Sugar @7½d. 25/ 6 Loaves of double refd. Sugar 42/ 3. 7.0 2 pr of Mony Scales & weights & 2 Cloaths brushes 0. 6.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster Counterpane Bedsted &c 2.10.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster 1 Blanket & Counterpane Bedsted &c 5. 0.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster 1 Blanket Counterpane Bedsted &c 4. 0.0 1 Feather Bolster 1 pr. Sheets Counterpane Bedsted &c 5. 0.0 1 Small Square Table 5 Chairs 2 Window Curtains & 15 Earthen Chamber pots 1.10.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster 1 Blanket 1 rugg Counterpane Bedsted &c 5. 0.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster 1 pr. Sheets 1 Quilt 1 counterpane Bedsted &c 5. 0.0 17 Pillows and pillowbears @4/ 3. 8.0 Carry'd up £ 291.17.10½ Brot. up £ 291.17.10½ 1 Small Table 5 Chairs & 2 window Curtains 0.15.0 51 7 fine Sheets £7 2 pr. of sheets 50/ 3 pr. Do. 45/ 11.15.0 1 looking Glass 1 corner Cupboard 4 pictures 1. 1.6 8 Leather Chairs 2 Tables 1 pr. Bellows & 1 pr. And Irons 4. 2.0 1 parcel of China Cups Saucers Slop bowl &c & 2 window Curtains 1. 4.0 1 Lamp 1 Lanthorn & 2 small Bells 0.12.0 The Sign of Edinburgh Castle with the Irons &c 2. 0.0 1 Feather Bed Bolster 1 pr. of sheets 1 Blanket 1 rug Bedsted &c 4. 0.0 8 Diaper Table Cloaths 2. 0.0 1 larg Damask Table Cloath & 12 Damask Napkins 5. 0.0 3 coarse Table Cloaths and 8 Towels 0. 5.0 1 Chest of Drawers & a corner Cupboard 1 Trunk & Table 2.13.0 a parcel of books 50/ a parcel of Table Cloaths Napkins & Towells £5 7.10.0 a parcel of silver consisting of 1 punch Ladle 1 Strainer 11 Table spoons 12 Tea spoons 1 pr. Tea Tongs &c in all 29 ounces 7. 5.0 1 Negro Man Named Durham 35. 0.0 1 Do. named Toby 10. 5.0 1 Negro woman named Betty & 2 Children named Hannah & Jack 55. 0.0 1 Negro wench named Fanney 30. 0.0 £ 472. 5.4½
In obedience to an order of the Worshipfull Court of York County bearing date the 21st. day of Febry 1742 We the Subscribers have appraised the Estate of Thomas Pattison decd. as above Witness Our hands this 19th. day of March 1742/43.
At a Court held for York County March the 21st. 1742/43 This Inventory & Appraisement of the Estate of Thos. Pattison decd. was this day retd. to court and order'd to be recorded.
Matt Hubard, Cl.
Francis Sharp was identified as a carpenter in Gloucester County when he purchased 100 acres in York County from Thomas Wilkinson in 1702 but apparently moved to York County several years later. During the next two decades he bought additional land in the county, a lot at Queen Mary's Port, and several lots in Williamsburg, including Lots 57 and 58 where he kept a tavern on one of the lots from 1718 to 1722. Through the years Sharp was accused in court of a number of offenses, including fornication and having children with the sister of his deceased wife (found not guilty), the murder of John Marot (apparently acquitted), buying from or selling to slaves without permission from their master (fined), and burglary (referred to the General Court; action unknown). These accusations occasionally set him back temporarily but did not prevent the court from issuing him ordinary licenses or appointing him to serve on juries. Assorted records, including the Bruton Parish Register, a deed, and Sharp's show that his wife (unnamed) died in 1710, that he was married to a woman named Elizabeth by 1726, and that his children were named Francis, Jr., Jacob, John, William, Sarah, Mary, Elizabeth Garris, and Comfort King. There is no indication that any of Sharp's children lived in Williamsburg after they became adults. Sharp's mother was named Margaret Bridson. Sometime after June 1726 Sharp left Williamsburg. He was living at his plantation in Surry County when he wrote his will on 14 August 1739. At the time of his death, Sharp also owned several plantations in Isle of Wight county, three lots in Williamsburg, and a number of slaves.102
Benjamin Waller was born in King William County in 1716 and came to Williamsburg at age ten where he later attended the College of William and Mary, apprenticed in the Secretary's Office, studied and then practiced law, became clerk of James City County and, later, Clerk of the General Court as well as holding a number of other appointed offices. Sometime before 1749 (possibly by the time he married Martha Hall in January 1746/47), he acquired the two lots where his house continues to stand and much of the land east and northeast of these lots which he later subdivided. In his capacity as a lawyer, Waller occasionally acquired other properties in town which he held for short periods, including the western side of Lot 58 (purchased from Thomas Pattison, Jr., in 1754 and sold to John Pearson Webb three years later) and the eastern side of Lot 58 (held for the heirs of Nathaniel Walthoe from 1770 until it was sold to Charlotte Dickson in 1772).103
Educated at Oxford and having studied law at the Temple, Nathaniel Walthoe came to Virginia before 28 August 1740 when he signed minutes of the Council meeting for that date, "Nathl. Walthoe Cl. Conj." Walthoe became Clerk of the Council on 21 October 1743 and served in that capacity until his death on 23 August 1770. Through the years he bought several lots, including the storehouse on the eastern side of Lot 58 [later known as the Coffeehouse], a house between the Palmer House and Shields Tavern, and the tavern east of the Capitol rented to Jane Vobe and, by his estate, to Christiana Campbell.104
In 1752 John Pearson Webb and Frances Webb jointly advertised their millinery business at an unknown location in Williamsburg. Frances Webb was the widow of Dr. William Webb who died sometime before 1 January 1737/38. It is likely that John Pearson Webb was her son, brother-in-law, or a nephew; also that William Webb, minister of Upper Nansemond Parish by 1747 and master of the Grammar School at the College of William and Mary by 1760, and lawyer John Webb of Halifax, North Carolina, by 1774, were brothers of John Pearson Webb. In April 1757 Frances Webb announced in the Virginia Gazette that she had moved "into the country" but would continue to take orders for mounting fans. She directed persons indebted to her to pay the balances to John Pearson Webb in Williamsburg. After John Pearson Webb died (sometime before August 1764), Frances Webb on 5 August 1764 leased the western side of Lot 58 to merchant James Hunter for seven years. After the death of Mrs. Frances Webb sometime before August 1766, the property came into the possession of lawyer John Webb of Halifax, North Carolina, possibly a son or other near relative.105
Two generations of the Morrison family lived on the eastern side of Lot 58 from 1804 until the late 1880s. In 1809 George Morrison bought the land between his partial lot which fronted on Duke of Gloucester Street and Nicholson Street. He purchased the western part of Lot 58 in 1830 and rented the combined house and store until it was sold by his estate in 1853. According to the 1850 Federal Census, the household consisted of Charlotte (age 60, widow of George Morrison who died in 1833), John H. (clerk, age 27, son of George and Charlotte), Emily (age 20, daughter of George and Charlotte), and three children too young to be a daughter and sons of George and Charlotte (Mary, age 13; Alfred, age 10; and Frederick, age 8). All members of this household were listed as born in York County but none of their names show up in the abstracted York County records filed in the Department of Historical Research. Ten years later the Federal Census named four of the same persons as members of the Morrison household but gave different ages for most of them: Charlotte (age 72), Emily (age 37), John H. (store clerk, age 35), and Frederick P. (store clerk, age 17). George F. Morrison, presumably the Morrison's eldest child, was born about 1812 according to records of the College of William and Mary which show that he was a student, who lived at home, from 1828-1830.106
Several members of this family were merchants or store clerks. Although the personal property tax lists do not always record licenses for merchants, they indicate that George Morrison was taxed for shop licenses in 1805 and 1823-1833. The year after he died his widow Charlotte Morrison was taxed for a shop license.107 The 1850 and 1860 Federal Census lists indicate that John H. Morrison was a store clerk. None of the locations where any of these members of the family kept or worked in a store is known.
Several persons interviewed around 1930 about life in Williamsburg after the Civil War remembered the Morrison family but their recollections are not time-specific and the accuracy of their accounts vary. John S. Charles recalled that "An old maiden lady with her four bachelor brothers lived in this old house"; Eliza Baker, a former slave born in Williamsburg in 1845, remembered that "Miss Emily kept a millinery store" and that she "used to carry flowers to Miss Emily every day"; and Victoria King Lee, born the same year as Eliza Baker, stated that the house was "owned and lived in by a Miss Morrison and her bachelor brother."10855
How long various family members lived in the house is unknown for some and ambiguous for others. George Morrison died in 1833 and his son, George F. Morrison, Jr., had apparently moved out before the 1850 census was taken. Emily and her mother lived at the house during the Civil War. Charlotte Morrison apparently died near the end or soon after the war. Emily Morrison, the last member of the family to occupy the Morrison House, died in 1887.109
Cary Peyton Armistead, son of Robert H. Armistead and Julia Samuel Travis, was born in Williamsburg in 1857 and died in 1901. On 29 August 1888 he married Eudora Ester Jones, daughter of David Rowland Jones and Mary Ann Elizabeth Tinsley. Eudora Ester Jones Armistead was born in Hanover County in 1859 and died in 1940. In addition to his law practice, by about 1898 Cary Peyton Armistead was also steward for Eastern State Hospital and a director for The Peninsula Bank. After his death, Eudora Ester Armistead raised their five children: Robert Gregory (d. 1909), Rowland Cara (d. 1979), Dora Travis (d. 1984), Cary Champion (d. 1944), and Meriwether Irving (d. 1945). Following her mother's death Cara Armistead operated a tourist home in the house from the 1940s through the 1970s. Cara Armistead and her sister Dora Armistead, who became a teacher, were the last two family members to live in the house their father had built in 1890.110
After their new house was completed, Cary Peyton Armistead and his family moved in in 1890. Armistead used the southwest room on the first floor, with its separate entrance, as his law office. More than a decade before Cary Peyton Armistead bought the Morrison House, his future father-in-law, David Rowland Jones bought the house and lot known as the Old Chancery Office and added a large frame addition against the west wall of the original building. In 1881 Jones acquired the strip of land, which included the ravine, located between his property and the Morrison House and had a store built on the east side of the ravine. Thus, when Cary Peyton Armistead built his house, his wife's parents and their family owned and lived on the adjoining property.111
At the beginning of the eighteenth-century, London had over 2000 coffeehouses where customers paid a small fee for using the facilities of the house and spent between-meal hours smoking, drinking, talking, writing letters, playing cards, or reading newspapers furnished by the house. Dishes of coffee, tea, chocolate, sherbet [a cool beverage made from water, lemon syrup, and rosewater], and sometimes wine could be purchased. Over the years men of similar tastes frequented and began to dominate certain coffeehouses. Towards the end of the eighteenth-century, many of the coffeehouses, which began as public establishments, became private clubs serving political and business interests as well as social ones.112
References to coffeehouses appear intermittently during the years Williamsburg served as Virginia's capital. William Byrd's diaries for 1709-1712 and 1740 mention visits to "the coffeehouse" but never name the proprietor or give the location. On 20 June 1709, William Byrd first mentions the coffeehouse: "In the evening I sent for Mr. Clayton from the coffeehouse, to whom I gave a bottle of white wine." The keeper served coffee, tea, wine, and light refreshments between meals along with providing facilities where customers could converse, smoke, read letters and newspapers, gamble, drink, and dine. Byrd's comments and most later references indicate that coffeehouses in Williamsburg functioned as taverns, offering customers places to socialize and gamble and to obtain food, drink, lodging, and care for their horses.113
In October 1751 Daniel Fisher leased the building on Lots 25-26 where James Shields formerly kept a tavern. In his journal Fisher refers to his establishment as the "English Coffee House." Ill suited for this business, Fisher's tavern was short lived. Four months later he announced that he was giving up tavernkeeping but would operate a store and take in private lodgers.114
To date, no references have come to light that locate a coffeehouse on Lots 21 and 22 where Christiana Campbell's Tavern has been reconstructed even though several books, the house history for the tavern and several other early research reports make that assumption. Most recently, the assertion was made by Harold Meyers in an article, "The Exchange," Colonial Williamsburg (Winter 1993-1994), pp. 30-31. These secondary sources use circular reasoning to locate the exchange east of the Capitol, placing the exchange near the coffeehouse on Lots 21 58 and 22 because the coffeehouse was near the exchange. In his 3 November 1765 letter to the Board of Trade, Lt. Gov. Francis Fauquier referred to "the Coffee house (where I occasionally sometimes go) which is situated in that part of the Town which is call'd the Exchange tho' an open Street, where all money business is transacted." The governor's letter also mentions that the coffeehouse had a porch large enough to seat Fauquier, members of the Council, and others. Early researchers may have assumed that the coffeehouse was the tavern where Christiana Campbell's Tavern has been reconstructed because an early nineteenth-century insurance plat shows that this tavern had a large front porch. Because the law directing the building of Williamsburg required that structures fronting the main street be set back six feet from the street, few buildings on Duke of Gloucester Street had sizeable front porches.115
Since evidence locating the exchange is scanty and ambiguous, it is necessary to answer instead the question, "Where was the Coffeehouse from the 1760s through 1771?" None of the references to the Coffeehouse during these years indicate that there was ever more than one establishment by that name at any given time in Williamsburg. References imply that the Coffeehouse was located on the eastern side of Lot 58 from the 1760s through 1771. Neither Fauquier's letter nor any other source identifies the proprietor during the mid 1760s. In June 1767 Richard Charlton relocated his business to this location and announced "THE COFFEE-HOUSE IN THIS CITY BEING now opened by the subscriber as a Tavern, he hereby acquaints all Gentlemen travellers, and others, who may please to favour him with their company, that they will meet with the best entertainment and other accommodations, such as he hopes will merit a continuance of this custom." The wording implies that the establishment now offered food, drink, and lodging, and care for horses -- services required of persons who operated licensed taverns. Operating a coffeehouse according to the English tradition would not have required the keeper to obtain a tavern license.116
The location of the Coffeehouse is clearly identified in Benjamin Bucktrout's 9 February 1769 advertisement offering to lease the brick house [known from other sources to be the Palmer House] "opposite to the Coffee house and nigh the Capitol." Apparently John Minson Galt took up Bucktrout's lease. In September he announced his intention to open a "shop at the brick house opposite the coffeehouse."11759
When Richard Charlton left and Christiana Campbell took over is unknown except that she was there by May 1771. In the early 1760s she operated a tavern on the site where the James Anderson House has been reconstructed. Nathaniel Walthoe had owned the Coffeehouse on the eastern part of Lot 58 (and encroached land east of the original lot line) since 1762. An advertisement for the sale on 25 May 1771 of property belonging to the late Nathaniel Walthoe specified the house and partial lot where he lived on the Back Street "and the COFFEEHOUSE in the main Street, next the Capitol, where Mrs. Campbell lives." When Jane Vobe vacated her former tavern east of the Capitol, Mrs. Campbell took advantage of the opportunity to locate to a larger building. By early October 1771 she had moved and announced her new location. After Mrs. Campbell vacated the Coffeehouse, the use of the building changed. By mid-October Charlotte Dickson and her son Beverley entered into negotiations to buy the building and renovate it for use as a combined store and residence. The deed for the sale was recorded on 16 March 1772.118
From early 1772 through 1777, the landmark known as the Coffeehouse operated in the adjoining building on the west side of Lot 58. The name of the next proprietor of the Coffeehouse is unknown. An unsigned notice in the Virginia Gazette in January 1772 announced the availability of private lodgings for seven or eight gentlemen "at the Coffee-house, near the Capitol." In 1774 John Webb advertised for sale the building formerly occupied by John Burdett on the western side of Lot 58 as that "valuable and well situated Lot in Williamsburg where the Coffeehouse is now kept." Three years later Webb again advertised for sale the property described as "at present the COFFEE HOUSE". Use of now and present in these notices implies a change in location. This 1777 notice is the last reference that has been located to there being a coffeehouse in Williamsburg.119
|Name and Known Years of Operation||Location||Reference|
|"the coffeehouse" (c. 1709 - c. 1712)||?||William Byrd's 111 visits, mentioned in his 1709-1712 diary, are listed in Mary Goodwin's 1956 report, "The Coffeehouse of the 17th and 18th Centuries," pp. xxvii-xli.|
|"the coffeehouse" (c. 1740)||?||William Byrd visited May 1 and 3, June 11, and December 11, 1740. Woodfin and Tinling, Another Secret Diary ...Years 1739-1741 (Richmond, 1942).|
|"English Coffee House" (Oct. 1751 - Feb. 1751/52)||Lots 25-26, formerly Shields Tavern||Virginia Gazette (Hunter), 3 Oct. 1751, p. 3; 20 Feb. 1752, p. 4; du Bellet, Some Prominent Virginia Families, II, p. 773.|
|"Coffeehouse" (by fall 1765 - summer 1771)||Lot 58 East||Reese, Official Papers of Francis Fauquier (Charlottesville, 1980), III, pp. 1291-1282; Virginia Gazette (Royle) 25 Oct. 1765, supp. p. 3; (Purdie & Dixon), 10 Oct. 1766, p. 3; 25 June 1767, p. 3; 9 Feb., p. 3 and 21 Sept. 1769, p. 4; 16 May, p. 3, and 3 Oct. 1771, p. 3; see references to the coffeehouse in excerpts of Williamsburg entries from the diaries and account books of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson on file Department of Historical Research.|
|Richard Charlton's notice (when he became proprietor in June 1767) implies that previously the coffeehouse had operated in the English tradition but that he was turning it into a tavern. When Charlton left and Christiana Campbell took over is unknown except that she was there by May but had moved by October 1771. The next person to move in, Charlotte Dickson and her son Beverley, operated a store.|
|"Coffeehouse" (by January 1772 - 1777)||Lot 58 West||Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon) 23 Jan. 1772, p. 3; 13 Oct. 1774, p. 3; 26 Sept. 1777, p. 3. See George Washington and Thomas Jefferson references in Department of Historical Research files.|
|None of the names of the proprietors at this location is known.|
Williamsburg Land Tax Records for Lot 58 East [Coffeehouse, Dickson, Morrison, and Armistead Property]Williamsburg City Land Books, 1782-1861
|Year||Owner||No. of Lots||Value||Tax on Lot(s)|
|Yearly Rent of Lots|
|1801-02||Charlotte Dixon's Est.||¼||$23.34||$__.38|
|1803||William Morrison via Dixon||¼||$23.34||$__.38|
|1804||[No Morrison listed with similar amounts]|
|1805||George Morrison via Dixon||¼||$23.34||$__.53|
|1806 - 1807||George Morrison||¼||$50||$__.78|
|[1808 no tax list]|
[The 1809 tax list, stating that Morrison acquired one-half lot from David Meade valued at $5, is confusing. This probably represents the land, though less than one-half a lot, between the Morrison House and Nicholson Street. This year Meade is also listed as selling one-half of a lot, the Burdett Tavern side of Lot 58 which was more than one-half of the original lot, to Robert Anderson.]62
|1810 - 1812||George Morrison||¾||$55||$__.86|
|Year||Owner||Yearly Rent||Tax||Value of Building||Value of Lot & Building|
|1853-54||" "||[no more rent]||$1.90||$800||$950|
|1855||[no G. Morrison estate]|
|1856||George Morrison estate||$3.80||$800||$950|
[Note: The original tax books, except for Book I (1865-1870), are very difficult to access because they are in very poor condition. The yearly records for individual cities are bound in separate volumes. For this reason, I was only able to examine records for 1865-1870, 1874, 1885, 1888-1891, and 1893. I did not record amount of taxes when I took these notes.]
|1865-1870||George Morrison estate||$1000||$1300|
|[Taxes for 1868 and 1869 were paid by John Morrison.]|
|1874||George Morrison estate||$800||$1000|
|[Occupied by Miss Emily Morrison]|
|1885||George Morrison estate|
|[House & lot on Main Street]||$150||$350|
|1888-89||George Morrison estate||$200||$350|
|1890||Cary P. Armistead||[no value]||$200|
|[House & lot on Main Street]|
|[Transferred by M.R. Harrell, Special Commissioner for George A. Morrison's estate]|
|1891||Cary P. Armistead|
|[House & lot on Main Street]||"$1500 added for new Buildings"|
|1893||Cary P. Armistead|
|[House & lot on Main Street]||$1500||$1750|
Williamsburg Land Tax Records for Lot 58 West [Burdett's Ordinary, Meade, Anderson, Thomson, Chalmers, Morrison, and Blassingham]Williamsburg City Land Books, 1782-1861
|Year||Owner||No. of Lots||Value of Lot(s)||Tax|
|Yearly Rent of Lots|
|1801-1803||[Meade not listed]|
|[1808 no tax list]|
|1809-10||Robert Anderson via Meade||½||$5||$__.8|
[The 1809 tax list is confusing since it also shows George Morrison acquiring one-half of lot from Meade valued at $5. The portion that Meade sold to Anderson represents the western side which is more than one half of Lot 58. The portion that Meade sold to Morrison, probably the area from the rear of the Morrison House to Nicholson Street, represents less than half a lot.]
|1811||Robert Anderson||4 ¾||$165||$2.78|
[Note: The 1811 and 1812 lists are confusing since all properties owned by one individual are lumped together.]64
|1813||James Thomson via Robert Anderson||½||$40||$__.83.2|
|[Thomson also owns 6 other lots at this time.]|
|1814||James Thomson||6 ½||$50||$1.38.5|
|1817||David Chalmers via Joseph Hague formerly property of James Thomson "on the main street adjoining Morrison's and Robert Anderson's lots."||1||$70||$2.10|
|Year||Owner||Yearly Rent||Tax||Value of Lot & Building||Value of Building|
|1830||George Morrison via Jesse Cole trustee for David Chalmers||$75||$1.53||$500||$400|
|[Morrison has owned and lived on the adjoining Lot 58 East since 1803.]|
|1831 - 33||George Morrison||$75||$1.50||$500||$400|
|1834 - 37||George Morrison's estate||$75||$1.50||$500||$400|
|1838 - 39||" "||$75||$1.88||$500||$400|
|1841- 42||" "||$75||$2.25||$1000||$900|
|1845 - 46||"||"||$75||$1.80||$1000||$900|
|1847 - 50||" "||$85||$2.04||$1000||$900|
|1853||Robert Blassingham formerly charged to Morrison's estate|
|[Rent listing dropped]||$1.60||$800||$700|
|1854 - 55||Robert Blassingham||$1.60||$800||$700|