On his Southern tour in 1791, President George Washington dined and danced at Tryon Palace, but his two nights in New Bern were spent at the nearby home of John Wright Stanly. Stanly died of yellow fever in 1789, but New Bern residents reopened and refurnished the residence, then located on Middle Street, just for Washington's visit. Washington described his overnight accommodation as "exceeding good lodgings." During the Revolutionary War, Stanly's merchant ships plied the waters as privateers, capturing British ships to aid the American cause. The elegance of Stanly's house, built in the early 1780s, reflects the wealth of its owner. Distinctive American furniture of the period complements the elegant interior woodwork. The Stanly family history provides a fascinating chronicle of father and son, epidemic and duel, war and wealth. Admission tickets may be purchased at the North Carolina History Center, located at 529 South Front St.
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