Few homes in America have been owned by, or occupied by such important people of the 18th century as Summerseat. Summerseat was General George Washington’s Headquarters in Decembers 1776 and owned by two signers of both the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution, Robert Morris and George Clymer.
During Washington’s time there, Summerseat was owned by Thomas Barclay who would become America’s first consul overseas and who also negotiated America’s first Treaty with foreign nation, Morocco.
Summerseat was built by one of America’s first self-made men, Adam Hoops, who was born on the Pennsylvania frontier around 1708, and who became one of the colony’s wealthiest men by hard work and sheer determination.
Summerseat is perhaps most famous as the headquarters of General Washington from December 8th to 14th, 1776. The well-known directive, “that all the boats and water crafts should be secured or destroyed,” along the Delaware, was issued by Washington while he was staying at Summerseat. Washington also wrote 20 letters from Summerseat and sent out many directives.
Washington, instead of defending Philadelphia, turned north up the Delaware River where 14 days later he and his army changed the future of the world with his success in Trenton on Christmas night 1776.
After the Trenton battle, Washington sent word to Thomas Barclay at Summerseat so Barclay would know that it was safe to stay at Summerseat, since Barclay was a well-known patriot at that time, and therefore in great danger from the British and Hessians.
Washington also enclosed a letter for Barclay to take to Robert Morris telling Morris it was safe to stay in Philadelphia where he was holding together the Revolutionary government.
Summerseat is now owned by Historic Morrisville Society, a 501 (c)3 non-profit, all volunteer organization. The HMS mandate is to preserve Summerseat, a Registered National Historic Landmark for future generations and to educate people about the history of Morrisville, this country and the part Summerseat played in that history. HMS raises all it’s own funding.
Summerseat is open the first Saturday of every month for free tours from 10:00am to 1:00pm, and arrangements can be made for a private tour at a cost of $5 person by calling 215-295-2900. Follow Summerseat events on Facebook.