(Continued From Yesterday)
The greatest event in all the years of Washington’s history, even
down to the present, was the visit of General LaFayette on May 25, 1825.
Fortunately, we have detailed accounts of his reception from The Examiner of
May 28, 1825 and The Reporter of June 6, 1825.. These old accounts state
that fully 20,000 people gathered in Washington to see the famous Frenchman,
who had done more to win American Liberty on the battlefields of the Revolution
than any other man—except General Washington.
A platform was erected in front of the Globe Inn. A reception committee
composed of Honorable Thomas M. Baird, Thomas McGiffin, T.M.T. McKennan, Esq.,
Thomas Morgan, and Daniel Moore, met the general at Wheeling on May 24th. The next
day he started for Washington “in an elegant Barouche” furnished by the committee
for his use. LaFayette was seated beside Mr. Moore, and following them
were George Washington LaFayette, the general’s son, with Judge Baird, Mr. Vasseur,
LaFayette’s secretary, and other members of the committee.
“He was received in a handsome and becoming manner by the citizens of
West Alexander, with whom he partook of refreshments.” At Claysville, he again
partook of refreshments in the old Calohan Tavern, where he was met by an escort
of cavalry from Washington. Before reaching here LaFayette and his escort
stopped at Kelly’s “S” Bridge Tavern for more refreshments and to water the
horses. There is an interesting story of LaFayette’s lost letter seal connected
with this stop, which will be given in detail in the history of this tavern.
As the cavalcade neared Washington a signal gun was fired by Captain
Squire’s Artillery, and the Troops and citizens hastened to meet the distinguished
guest about a mile west of town.
“The artillery under command of Major-General Finley, was posted in open
column on platoons next to and facing the town; west of them, the revolutionary
officers, and soldiers; the Masonic Fraternity (of which LaFayette was
member); the clergy; physicians; officers of the court, members of the bar;
magistrates; officers of the court; members of Congress; and members of the
state legislature; and other citizens, in two lines facing inward on each
side of the road.”
That was the most imposing reception that ever welcomed any famous person
“Two trumpeters with their war-cheering and thrilling instruments
announced the general’s approach, and as he passed through the lines of the
civic part of the procession, he appeared to receive their salutations with
great and touching expressions of the warmest feeling. When he reached the rear
of the military, the line march was taken up, and the military in front, entered
the borough about 6 p.m. When the General arrived at the public square in front
of the Courthouse, he halted and was received by the young ladies, who had
formed at that place in two lines, headed by three married ladies, forming on
each side of the street, thirty young ladies, bearing handsomely ornamented standards,
representing the States, Territories, and District of Columbia, with suitable
As the general approached, the young ladies sang “a soul-stirring song written
by a gentleman of this place,” entitled “LaFayette.” “As the General passed
through the lines formed by “the Future Defenders of American Liberty” they
gracefully bowed, and their ensign, Andrew Jackson Dunlap, waved their flag.”
When the procession reached the Globe Inn, LaFayette, his son, and the
committee of arrangements ascended the platform, and Hon. Thomas H. Baird delivered
a long address of welcome. Long speeches were considered proper in those days.
“From the moment the barouche in which the General rode, appeared at the
top of Wheeling Hill, (West Chestnut street hill today), approached the
town, until he ascended the platform at Mr. Morris’. which was about an hour,
minute guns were fired from Captain Squire’s Corps of Artillery, who were posted
on a distant eminence in full view of the moving procession.”
After Judge Baird’s speech the General retired to the inn, “where he
was addressed by William Duane Morgan, a little boy chosen for that purpose by
“The Future Defenders of American Liberty,” in form of an Acrostic,.” The
General then returned to the platform from which he reviewed the troops, and
expressed “his appreciation in very flattering terms of their marital appearance
and good discipline.”
The General again retired to his apartments where a reception was held
until supper was announced. This was served in the long room of the tavern, and
one can well believe that Mr. Morris outdid himself in the meal. The Washington
County Historical Society had the tea set that was used on that occasion or as
much of it as is preserved today.
When his health was drunk at the conclusion of the meal the General made
some remarks and gave a toast. “The County and Town of Washington, May
their prosperity forever go hand in hand with the glory of the name.”
Before he retired he gave a volunteer toast to: “The ancient representative
from Greene and Washington counties, who has proved himself equally eminent
in the National Congress, in the cabinet, and in American transatlantic
Who was this “ancient representative? “He must have referred to none
other than Albert Gallatin, whom he visited two days later at his home at
Friendship Hill, near New Geneva.
The next morning, May 26, LaFayette went on over the pike to Uniontown,
stopping for breakfast at Hills Stone Tavern, at Hillsborough, as previously
On April 16, 1833, a stagecoach carrying Black Hawk and five of his
principle chiefs, fresh from the battlefields of the Black Hawk War in the Northwest,
arrived at Washington. Ten passengers were in the vehicle, including the
six Indians and Lieutenant T.L. Alexander, Infantry; Sergeants Greene and Meredith,
Sixth Cavalry, and Mr. St. Vrain, the interpreter. The old newspaper accounts
state that when the chain on the tongue broke in going down South Main street
hill, the horses became unmanageable. The heavy coach plunged down the incline
at a rapid rate, and the driver was thrown from his seat (or probably jumped).
The Six horses kept in the street, but when they attempted to turn the corner
into West Maiden street, where the stage stables were located in the rear of the
Washington House, now the Auld, the coach upset and crashed onto the sidewalk in
front of the Round Corner (still standing [and still in 2000] ). Fortunately
the horses stopped, for if they had dragged the stage on its side some of the
occupants might have been killed.
As it was Sergeant Greene’s left arm was broken and his left hand badly
smashed. Black Hawk’s left wrist and shoulder were painfully injured, his son
was bruised on the forehead and on shoulder, and the son of the Prophet received
a blow on the forehead. However, only the sergeant was seriously injured.
The entire party was taken to the Globe Inn, where the injured were given
medical attention, and remained two days to recuperate. We can well imagine that
these wild Indians, fresh from the warpath, were objects of great curiosity,
and the people crowded the tavern to catch a glimpse of them. On the 18th the
journey was resumed, but Sergeant Green was left behind in charge of a
While The Examiner account does not mention the name of the driver, Searight
states that he was Daniel Leggett. No further mention has been found of Sergeant
There is an old tradition that the driver of this stage before he left
Wheeling that he intended to upset the coach and kill Black Hawk because of the
number of white people he had killed during the war. This is very doubtful;
for there were many other better places where he could have turned the coach
over with better chances of success. However, those old-time drivers were
pretty wild and reckless.
David Morris died at the Globe Inn on January 1, 1834, aged 68, of a
stroke of paralysis. He had married twice, his first wife, Mary Fulton Morris,
having died 20 years before. His widow continued to operate the tavern, but the
old glamour and popularity seemed to have died with Morris, and on April 27, 1835,
the property was sold by the sheriff to Thomas Morgan, the postmaster, who
removed the post office to the building. Its days as a tavern were over, and
never again did its halls ring with the good fellowships of the most glamorous
years of the National Pike. In 1889 it was razed by T. and S. DeNormandie, who
erected the present building.
TRAVELLERS INN AND STAGE OFFICES (AULD HOUSE)
This building is the only hotel left in Washington that was in operation
during the National Pike era. Built by Daniel Moore in 1818, it has been a public
house for 136 years. Just how long a tavern was kept on this site is not known
definitely. From 1797 to 1813, James Workman conducted an inn in Washington, but
the location is not known. He may have been for a time, at least, on this
site. He left Washington in 1813, and when he returned in 1816, he embarked in the
hotel business, at “The Sign of General Andrew Jackson.” This was shortly after
“Old Hickory” had defeated the British at New Orleans, and he was very popular.
Workman’s hotel in 1816 was on a lot owned by Daniel Moore, and it was probably
at this location.
Daniel Moore was a merchant and stage line proprietor, and when it was
certain that the pike was coming through Washington, he made plans for a large
hotel at this location. When completed he named it “The Travellers’ Inn
and Stage Office,” and operated it until May, 1821, When Samuel Dennison took charge.
In The Reporter of May 28, 1821, Dennison announced from Greensburg, “and
has commenced keeping a PUBLICK HOUSE, in the new and elegant BRICK HOUSE, corner
of Main and Maiden streets, opposite where the United States Turnpike road
enters Main street from the East.”
In January, 1823, Dennison was succeeded by James Briceland, a tavern
keeper for several years at Briceland’s Cross Roads, now Florence,” but when
General Jackson stopped there on the night of November 29, 1824, Briceland immediately
changed to “The Sign of General Jackson.”
This visit was an important event in the life of General Jackson, the peoples’
candidate for President in 1824. At that election, he received the greatest number
of popular votes as well as the largest electoral votes in a field of four
candidates; but not a majority of the total electoral vote. This left it up to
Congress to select the President, and Jackson was on his way to Washington City
fully expecting that, as he had the largest number of votes, he would be the
choice. However, Congress gave the election to John Quincy Adams, who had
received 84 electrical votes to 99 for Jackson. Politics was a rotten game in
those days, too.
General Jackson again stopped at Briceland’s Tavern on March 21, 1825,
while on his way back to his home in Tennessee, and the change of name to “The
Sign of General Jackson” must have tickled him. Washington was evidently a
Jackson town, for the old newspaper accounts state that he was met by “a number
of citizens, who escorted him to his lodgings, where he cordially
received the respectful attention of an immense number of persons who
called to see him. After partaking of a public supper (the evening meal
was supper in those days) given him by the citizens of this place, the
General retired leaving the most favorable impression on the minds of all
who had seen him. At six o’clock in the morning on the 22nd he set out, on his
journey, accompanied by a number of citizens as far as West Alexander on the
A short time later, the notorious “Nashville Letter” was published in
The Nashville Whig, and newspapers all over the country that had opposed
Jackson copied it. “H.”, the writer of this letter, claimed to be an army officer
and a personal friend of Jackson; and he claimed to have met the General at
Briceland’s Tavern in Washington on November 29, 1824. This mythical army
officer declared that Jackson asked him if he did not believe a majority of the
citizens of the United States were at all times ripe for revolution, and
when “H.” answered in the negative, he declared that Jackson arose to his feet
and “gesticulated with great earnestness.” He then quoted Jackson as saying,”
“The mass of the people are ripe, always ripe, for novelty and innovation—but they
do not know it. They may have pure hearts and real patriotism. But a mere name—a
hero can wind himself among the multitude, captivate the imagination, and
lay their judgment asleep. A popular hobby will carry him to the highest destiny
known to the construction, and as much higher as his ambition may prompt him to
go. I have little faith in the stability of republics. They fall an easy prey to
passions of ambitious rivals for power. I was once tempted by the insolence of
Governor Rabun of Georgia, to march a hostile army into that state. Had I done
so it would have been in pursuit of personal revenge, I should have had no other
motive. But, if the work of revenge had begun, other enemies and other motives
would have arisen out of the contest. Heaven only could predict the catastrophe.”
That this statement, from the mythical officer was a political lie,
designed to harm General Jackson in the eyes of the nation, was proven by the
following affidavit, made by five prominent citizens of Washington, who
had paid their respects to the General that night when he was supposed to have
made this statement in Briceland’s Tavern to the army officer “H.”
We do hereby certify, that on the evening of General Jackson’s arrival
in this place, last fall, we had an interview with him at Briceland’s where
he put up for the night—that we saw no one about his person, on that occasion,
who could possibly have held the conversation with him as represented in the
supposed letter published in The Democratic Press: particularly, that
no person could have held such a conversation, After he retired to his “private
apartment,” as some of us were introduced to him After he had retired, and
the company which was admitted to his “private apartment”
All left together.
Thomas Noge, [possibly Hoge]
Washington, Pennsylvania. April 5, 1825.
To this statement James Briceland, proprietor of this tavern, added
I do hereby certify, that when General Jackson lodged with me
last fall on his way to the
City of Washington, that no officer or person of distinction was
in my house travelling
West, and that no person but those in his suite, and the citizens
of the town could have
Held any long private conversation with him, as the Rev. Obediah
Jennings, Rev. Andrew Wylie, and some other citizens of the place were the
only persons admitted to his “private apartment.” Jas. Briceland.
Washington, Pennsylvania, April 6, 1825.
The entire “Nashville Letter,” which is very long, together with
these affidavits and a full account of the whole affair were published in
The Examiner of April 9, 1825, a Democratic paper.
Jackson was vindicated for years later by being elected President by an
over whelming majority. On December 23, 1823, at a public meeting held in
the courthouse, resolutions of congratulations were drawn up and sent to General
I have given the details of this affair at some length as it was an
important event in Jackson’s political career, that occurred right here in
In this connection, it is interesting to note that the Rev. Andrew
Wylie was President of Washington College, John Hoge, was a son of David Hoge,
who laid out Washington, and in 1785 conveyed the plan to his two sons,
John and William Hoge, John Wishart was a well known physician, and the Rev.
Obediah Jennings was pastor of the Presbyterian church, not the First Presbyterian.
S. Murdock was Dr. Samuel Murdock, a physician and prominent citizen.
His brother Alexander Murdock, great-grandfather of Mrs. Margaretta D.
Stewart, President of the Observer Publishing Company. Doc. Murdock was one
of the founders of Templeton Drug Store. It was Dr. Samuel Murdock who
brought the first tomatoes to Washington. The Reporter of June 17, 1880, and
again on February 2, 1882 notes that in either 1816 or 1818, he brought the seed
here from Louisiana. At that time the tomato was considered to be poisonous. The
fruit was called “Love Apples” and “Jerusalem Apples.” They were grown for their
beauty, and the big red tomatoes were placed on mantels as ornaments. From
this it is quite evident that they were not found in many sections of the
United States at that time, perhaps only in Louisiana, and Dr. Murdock may have
been the person who introduced to the north and east. It would be interesting
to know the name of the first person who dared to taste one, probably some
boy—and living to tell the tale to his grandchildren.
Jackson’s next visit to this hotel was on January 21, 1829, while on
his way to Washington, D. C., for his first inauguration. He left on February
2, and as far as records in old newspaper files show this was the last time he
was in Washington.
On April 9, 1825, James Dunlap came from his Mount Vernon Tavern
at Pancake, and succeeded James Briceland as proprietor of “The Sign of General
Jackson,” but he only remained until September 12, when John Sample took
On April 1, 1826, John Irons took over the management, and changed the
name to Washington House,” by which it was known until April 1, 1836, when James
Searight, took charge. Irons was the father of Lieutenant Joseph F. Irons, who was
mortally wounded in the Battle of Churusbus County, Mexico, August 20, 1847,
and died in Mexico City August 26. He was the first Washington County soldier
in record to die fighting in a foreign land. There may have been some others
killed in Canada during the War of 1812, but we have no records.
Searight changed the name to the “National House,” Just how long he
remained is not known, but when he went to Zanesville, Ohio, Daniel Valentine
took charge-Advertisements in The Reporter during 1843 show that Valentine
was the proprietor at that time.
Major George T. Hammond succeeded Valentine. The length of his management
is not known.
Edward Lane, the next proprietor of whom there is a record, changed
the name to the “Railroad House,” by which it was known for many years. This change
was brought about by the Hempfield Railroad. Now the Baltimore and Ohio, which
was built from Wheeling to Washington in the 1850’s, the first passenger train
arriving here on the night of September 20, 1857.
Lane’s successor is not certain, but Michael Dugan was proprietor in
the 1860’s, but that time the stagecoach had been replaced by the “Iron Horse,”
the “toy and plaything,” of the 1830’s
The property was sold by D. Moore Stockton and Lucius W. Stockton, Jr.,
on March 29, 1853, to William Workman and James W. Knutz, the latter a returned
Forty-Niner; and on February 24, 1860, Workman sold his interest to Joseph Henderson,
who sold to Kuntz on December 20, 1862.
Adam C. Morrow purchased the property from Kuntz in March 1870, and
operated the “Railroad House” until January 31, 1880, when he sold the building
to James Auld. The new owner changed the name to the “Auld House,” by which
it has been know for almost three-quarters of a century.
In 1881 A. Sargent became manager, and for a brief period in the
1880’s James Auld operated the hotel. James Wright was another proprietor of that
time, and prior to April 1, 1892, it was conducted by Henry Borschett.
It was on April 1, 1892, that Imri H. Taylor came from the “Bell House”
at Claysville, and under his management, the old hotel regained its former prestige
as one of the leading hostelries in Washington. Much of this success was due to
Mrs. Taylor, who had charge of the kitchen and dinning room, and her cooking was
unexcelled. On April 1, 1899, A. Stockton succeeded Taylor, and several years
later George Guinn took charge.
James Auld died February 5, 1893, and on April 1, 1902, Mrs. Sarah A. Auld,
his widow, sold the property to G.G. Hallam, J.R. Hallam, Clifford M. Hall,
and John F. Bertel. The next owner was Eugene A. Kelley, one of the founders of the
old Beaver Refining Company, at Oak Grove, during the early oil excitement of the
1880’s. He bought the property on March 22, 1913, and operated the hotel until
his death on June 22, 1920. The present owners, I. Richmond and Company purchased
the property on April 12, 1923, from Mrs. Mary A. Kelley, of Chagrin Falls,
Ohio, and have been operating the hotel ever since.
(To Be Continued)
For part 16 of The National Pike Story For part 18 of The National Pike Story