Deep Dive Information
With more of the upper class traveling, this room was well-appointed to meet their needs.
While the rooms were still not private, the beds were, and the curtains could close for privacy and protection from insects or cold. This also afforded a bit more privacy for the increased number of women traveling. As the food on the table suggests, room service was one of a number of amenities offered. John Davis declared in 1801, “I found elegant accommodations at Gadesby’s [sic] hotel. It is observable that Gadesby keeps the best house of entertainment in the United States…”
Thomas Jefferson, hotel guest
While Gadsby’s hotel records have not survived, Thomas Jefferson’s account book has. On January 3, 1801, he noted paying Gadsby $5.50 for dinner and lodging, as well as 75 cents as a tip to the servants, a period term for enslaved people. Jefferson had been staying in Washington, D.C., awaiting the House of Representatives’ vote to break the tie in the Electoral College. On January 2, Jefferson traveled to D.C. to visit widow Martha Washington and pay his respects at the tomb of George Washington (he probably had New Hampshire Senator John Langdon with him, which explains why his final bill was higher than the norm). Jefferson spend six tense days in mid-February anticipating the results. As citizens began questioning if the Union would survive, the deadlock finally broke with the 36th ballot and Jefferson was declared the President. He returned to the City Tavern in March.
Visit the Ballroom across the hallway to see why.
[on stand holding rope in room] This hotel room, one of fourteen in the City Tavern, is furnished based on Gadsby’s 1802 inventory. Help us keep this room tidy by not touching the beds, curtains, or carpet. Over time, the oil on your fingers damages fabric.
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