What’s New at WDS – May 27, 2020

Below you’ll find three weekly columns to keep you informed and entertained.

Washington Returns to WDS, Part 3

Washington Returns to WDS, Part 3 – George was completely captivated by this c. 1830 globe when he recently visited the Stevens House! What do you suppose he would have thought of the United States in 1830?

Since Washington’s death in December 1799, the size of the U.S. doubled with the Louisiana Purchase, in 1803, leading to exploration to the Pacific Ocean by Lewis and Clark in 1804. Then the fledgling democracy found itself in another war with those infernal British in 1812-1814! We think George would have been amazed by so much transformation in just three decades!  You’ll find more details on this treasured globe in Rich Malley’s “Collections A to Z” column below.

Collections A to Z – “G” is for Globe!

By the early 19th century, the study of geography, though not yet recognized as a distinct discipline, was becoming increasingly important in America. In the post-revolutionary era, the nation developed a heightened sense of self-awareness, politically, culturally, and even geographically.

The role that geography had played in the struggle for our independence was undeniable. Now, as the nation turned its eyes to the vast areas west of the Appalachians, the magnitude of the continent required different ways to visualize our place, not simply on the North American continent, but on the globe itself.

Visitors to our Stevens House may recall a small table-top globe of the type used in both schools and homes. Successful Boston bookseller Josiah Loring marketed different types and sizes of globes beginning in the 1830s, most of which were actually produced by William B. Annin, a skilled Boston engraver who in 1826 had received a patent for manufacturing “artificial globes.” This 9-1/2 inch-diameter terrestrial globe shows the extent of American settlement of the continent in the 1830s. For the record, for those interested in the heavens Loring also sold a companion celestial example also engraved by Annin.

Around the Grounds

This week in Around the Grounds we see the first-floor plan for the new Meeting Room, on the left, and the adjoining Reception Room. The two elevations show the same rooms from a different perspective. Note the folding-panel door which can separate the rooms so we can accommodate two meetings concurrently. The fourth photo captures the view from the Reception Room through to the Meeting Room. Both rooms have doors opening onto the terrace overlooking our beautiful Colonial Revival Garden!