The Virginia Gazette

Today in the 1770s: October 3

WILLIAMSBURG, October 3, 1771.
I Beg Leave to acquaint the Publick that I have opened TAVERN in the House, behind the Capitol, lately occupied by Mrs. Vobe; where those Gentlemen who please to favour me with their Custom may depend upon genteel Accommodations, and the very best Entertainment. I shall reserve Rooms for the Gentlemen who formerly lodged with me. CHRISTIANA CAMPBELL.

Virginia Gazette (Purdie & Dixon) October 17, 1771

About this entry:

In the autumn of 1771 Mrs. Christiana Campbell, widow, moved her tavernkeeping operations from Duke of Gloucester Street to this site at the east end of Williamsburg. She assured regular patrons, in this advertisement that she would "reserve Rooms for the Gentlemen who formerly lodged" with her. This new location was ideal for attracting overnight guests because it overlooked the Exchange, "an open street, where all money business [was] transacted" in eighteenth-century Williamsburg. The view from the tavern porch, in effect, surveyed the stock market for the Colony of Virginia. Many prominent colonists frequented Mrs. Campbell's tavern. Whenever George Washington was in town during the 1760s and 1770s to attend the General Assembly, he often recorded in his diary having "Dined and Spent the Evening at Mrs. Campbell's" tavern. Occasionally he mentioned eating dinner there in "the Club," presumably a private room reserved for habitu├ęs in the manner fashionable at London coffee houses.

Sources: Del Moore, RQ Answer 5/7/07

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