As we’ve mentioned previously, the beautiful city of Annapolis was the seat of hot bed activity for the Revolutionary War effort. Politicians, rebels and British sympathizers filtered through the cobblestone, European-like city streets in rough breeches, polished gleaming buttons and sharp red wool coats. With the growing popularity of Hamilton, the Broadway show that’s still stealing hearts and inspiring new passion in Revolutionary history and the policies of the Founding Fathers, we thought it might be interesting to explore the importance of the historical origins of our beautiful banquet hall building. After all, the true charm of a place can only come alive when you know the history in its walls, when you can hear the footsteps and gunshots, the voices and quarrels that built a new nation.

The City of Annapolis

You may not know this, but Annaolis is equidistant between Baltimore and Washington D.C. This could be why the precursor to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia was conducted in Annapolis. In fact, Annapolis was the seat of much intrigue throughout the founding years of our country. The city hosted congressional meetings regularly before a capital was established and George Washington himself submitted his resignation as commander of the Continental Army in 1783 from Annapolis, too. Through all of these events, our little pub stood tall, a welcome respite from the day thick with political intrigue and even a stage for more deep, fundamental discussion of the Revolutionary Era environment. However, our favorite historical nugget our beautiful building has seen has to be the actual acts of rebellion that our city hosted.

The Annapolis Tea Party

While you’ve certainly heard of the very famous Boston Tea Party, it was not the only inciting rebellious action taken by the Colonies against the “Mother Land.” In 1773, Annapolis enacted a ban on tea and the other imported British goods that the Colonies viewed as being taxed without representation. The British Empire was hurting for more tax revenue after the war of 1812 emptied the coffers. Their solution, after estimating that British citizens in the isles paid around 24 times what the colonists paid in taxes, was to impose a higher tax there to recuperate that loss. The Colonists were enraged, as Parliament didn’t consult the Colonies’ various governors before imposing the tax, hence encouraging the “Taxation without Representation” chorus that started the whole revolution.

The Annapolis people turned against one of the many docking stations in town and the owner for paying the British duty tax in 1774 to be able to send back a ship full of extremely ill passengers and get it out of the port. After much to-do, the revolutionaries forced the merchants who paid the taxes on the tea to burn the tea and spare the ship, rather than getting the opportunity to sell it. Some revolutionaries actually went so far as to build a gallows in front of the owner of the guilty shipping company’s house. They continued to call for the ship to be burnt as well in return for the shipping company’s “treason” against the colonies. The owner of the shipping company, James Dick, was frightened by the revolutionaries’ response to the interaction and he ended up running the ship aground and burning it to quite them. He was financially ruined by the scandal (he was from that point on dubbed “The Old Tory”) and burning of the brig which he only did to protect his family and bed-ridden wife.

O’Brien’s Banquet Hall

It’s no question that the building that hosts our beloved banquet hall has seen much of Revolutionary history. 113 Main Street stands to tell more stories and bear witness to the growth of what is still a new nation. Become a part of the history and enjoy your next Annapolis banquet right here in our beautiful hall. Reach out to us to find out more about how booking your event here works.