Was the Inn Martha’s Idea?

A friend recently loaned me the book, “Washington’s Lady” written by Nancy Moser. Although I am not a big history buff like my husband, I found it intriguing and helpful to understand George Washington from Martha’s perspective. The author stated, “As a novelist, my forte is making things up. Yet while writing Washington’s Lady, I strove to discover the facts about Martha Washington’s life and the birth of this country. In a historical novel of this kind, I “scene-out” true-life events and try not to change them. Unfortunately, there are often gaps in the information and I have to do what I am loath to do: guess.” She then gave specifics regarding where she was forced to guess. – Janet Abbott, Innkeeper at George Washington Inn

Here’s an interesting excerpt:

George found me in the dining room finalizing the table for three o’clock supper. “Who is the couple in the parlour?” he whispered.

“Mr. Quarrier from Richmond and Miss Eliza Tomkins from Philadelphia.”

He raised an eyebrow, awaiting more explanation.

“I do not know them either. Apparently Mr. Quarrier had a nephew who fought a battle somewhere, at some time, and was just passing by and wished to pay his respects to General and Mrs. Washington.” I adjusted his fresh cravat. George always returned to the house from his rounds across Mount Vernon at quarter to three in order to freshen himself for supper.

“Strangers.”

“Until now, yes.”

“Are they staying the night?”

“They have given such indication.”

“But the house is full.”

“Which is why it is a good thing we are having extra bedrooms put in the attic.” I brushed a speck off the tablecloth. “Last year we had six hundred seventy-seven overnight guests.”

“You counted?”

“I did. And with only half a year gone, we appear to be testing that mark for this year. Perhaps if we put a shingle out, “Washington’s Inn,” and charged a fee, our money problems would be over.”

“A hefty fee,” George said.

Taken from “Washington’s Lady” by Nancy Moser, page 368 and 369.

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