Arundel History

March 26, 2006

1791: Washington crossing the Severn

During George Washington's last visit to Annapolis in March 1791, the 59-year-old president endured a frightening mishap on his boat journey near the mouth of the Severn River.

On a night Washington described as "immensely dark," the boat carrying the president and an aide ran aground in the middle of thunderstorms and squalls.

Washington, writing about the incident later, blamed "the ignorance of the People on board, with respect to the navigation" of the river.

Despite sending a distress signal, Washington's boat was stranded on "Hornes point" (in present-day Eastport), where it stayed until morning broke.

After he was rescued from his predicament, the president stayed at Mann's Tavern in Annapolis.

[Source: What's Up Annapolis Web site; Paul McCardell, Sun researcher]

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