Watercolor

Stavers' Tavern

Mid to late 19th Century / Sarah Haven Foster (1827-1900)

VP011_StaversTavern_6in.jpg

Excerpted from The Portsmouth Guide Book, 1896, by Sarah Haven Foster...

"Built by John Stavers in 1770, as a tavern, with the sign of the Earl of Halifax. It was the principal hotel in the town. For a time it was the chief rendezvous of the tory party, and in 1777 was attacked by a mob and much injured. When fitted up again the sign was changed to William Pitt, and it was called the Pitt Hotel, giving its name to the street. Mr. Stavers became friendly to the cause of the nation, and often entertained the officers of the Revolution at his house. It was for many years the chief hostelry of the town, and here were entertained most of the distinguished guests of our early days—Lafayette and the officers of the French fleet, Hancock, Knox, and a long list of worthies. In 1789 it was here that Washington took leave of the State authorities after his visit.

The Halifax hotel referred to in Longfellow’s poem of “Lady Wentworth,” is not this one, but one previously kept by Mr. Stavers on Queen street, now State street. While there, in 1761, he commenced running a weekly stage coach to Boston, which is supposed to have been the first one run in America. It was called the “Flying Stage Coach,” and carried but three passengers. It left Portsmouth Monday morning, stopped that night in Ipswich, and left Boston on its return Thursday morning. When Mr. Stavers occupied the hotel on Pitt street, the coach was kept in the large stable still standing."

~ Sarah Haven Foster (1827-1900), “Stavers' Tavern,” Portsmouth Public Library's Online Archives, accessed September 19, 2017, http://portsmouthexhibits.org/items/show/864.

Full Item Record

Dublin Core

Title

Stavers' Tavern

Description

Excerpted from The Portsmouth Guide Book, 1896, by Sarah Haven Foster...

"Built by John Stavers in 1770, as a tavern, with the sign of the Earl of Halifax. It was the principal hotel in the town. For a time it was the chief rendezvous of the tory party, and in 1777 was attacked by a mob and much injured. When fitted up again the sign was changed to William Pitt, and it was called the Pitt Hotel, giving its name to the street. Mr. Stavers became friendly to the cause of the nation, and often entertained the officers of the Revolution at his house. It was for many years the chief hostelry of the town, and here were entertained most of the distinguished guests of our early days—Lafayette and the officers of the French fleet, Hancock, Knox, and a long list of worthies. In 1789 it was here that Washington took leave of the State authorities after his visit.

The Halifax hotel referred to in Longfellow’s poem of “Lady Wentworth,” is not this one, but one previously kept by Mr. Stavers on Queen street, now State street. While there, in 1761, he commenced running a weekly stage coach to Boston, which is supposed to have been the first one run in America. It was called the “Flying Stage Coach,” and carried but three passengers. It left Portsmouth Monday morning, stopped that night in Ipswich, and left Boston on its return Thursday morning. When Mr. Stavers occupied the hotel on Pitt street, the coach was kept in the large stable still standing."

Creator

Sarah Haven Foster (1827-1900)

Source

Portsmouth Public Library, Art and Artifact Collection

Date

Mid to late 19th Century

Contributor

Special Collections, Portsmouth Public Library

Format

JPG, derived from TFF

Type

Watercolor

Identifier

Views of Portsmouth 11

Watercolor Item Type Metadata

Inscription Title

Stavers Hotel, Court St., 1770

PPL Accession #

1989.60.11

Provenance

Gift of Mary A. Foster, 1901