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The Carlyle House

( Originally Published 1932 )



The Carlyle House was built in 1745 by John Carlyle of Dumfriesshire, Scotland, who came to Virginia in 1740. He was appointed as commissary of the Virginia forces during the French and Indian War.

The mansion is situated on North Fairfax Street between Cameron and King Streets, and is surrounded by the Wagner Building. The east front of this historic mansion with its gar-dens once extended to the Potomac River, now Lee Street.

In 1755 there was held in the Blue Room of the Carlyle House the council of war between General Braddock, commander of English forces in America, and the governors of the five colonies, when plans for concerted action against the French and Indian allies were discussed. Out of this meeting grew the determination to tax the colonies, which resulted in the War of the Revolution twenty-two years later.

George Washington, then a lieutenant in the Colonial army, was present at this conference and opposed the plans of General Braddock for the Indian campaign. Braddock refused to listen to Washington's advice, and proceeded on his march to the Ohio. He was killed at Fort Duquesne three months later.

At the Carlyle House was held a conference between General George Washington and the governors of Maryland and Virginia for the purpose of settling the boundary line between the two commonwealths, and other differences. Another result of this conference was the call for a meeting of delegates from all the colonies, which was held in Philadelphia in 1787. At this convention the Constitution of the United States was framed.

The Carlyle House was erected on the site of an old fort built as a protection against the Indians. There are still to be seen the cells where Indians were kept as prisoners.

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