Doubtless, followers of this blog have noticed the recurrence of John Shaw’s name in various capacities throughout the construction and operation of the eighteenth-century Maryland State House. Today, the cabinetmaker has played a critical role in research for the renovation of the Old Senate Chamber. Recent research into John Shaw’s life has uncovered new and exciting details, perhaps sometimes raising more questions than answers. All the same, in gaining a better grasp on the biographical details of Shaw, we are better able to understand how and when he would have furnished the Old Senate Chamber.
|Signature of John Shaw on a receipt for candles to illuminate the State House for Washington's ball, December 1783. Maryland State Archives, Scharf Collection, MSA S 1005-83-117.|
In this entry, we will focus specifically on recent research that uncovered details on his early life, fostering the man who would become one of the greatest contributors to the interior appearance of the Maryland State House.