Friday, February 20, 2015

George Washington’s Speech is Unveiled!

On President’s Day this year, visitors to the State House and the Maryland General Assembly had cause to celebrate. George Washington’s handwritten copy of his resignation speech was at last unveiled in the rotunda, where it will remain, in a new case constructed specifically for its permanent display.

The color guard pays its respects prior to the unveiling of the speech. Image courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor, 16 February 2015.

Since being acquired by the state of Maryland in 2007, and verified as Washington’s original copy through watermark analysis, the speech has been locked away deep in the Maryland State Archives, waiting to be installed in the State House around the time of the opening of the Old Senate Chamber. In preparation for this event, the speech was cleaned and given a bath by Archives conservation staff so that it would be in good shape for the big unveiling!