State's Rights Hotel
Constructed in 1825, the State's Rights Hotel was designed by noted architect John Marlor and built for George Brown, a local businessman and plantation owner. The building is rooted in the Federal architectural style but is interesting for its large Palladian arch in the pediment of the building. Little is known about the operations of the building during its early years, but surviving records indicate that the structure was primarily utilized as a tavern. In 1837 Brown died and left the building to his son John, who forged a partnership with his brother-in-law Samuel Beecher. The two opened a new business at the site and named it the State's Rights Hotel.
On October 29, 1839, the first advertisement for the new business appeared in Milledgeville's Southern Recorder. The advertisement informed readers that "the proprietors of the commodious house respectfully
Throughout the 1840s, the State's Rights Hotel played host to various Whig meetings and conventions, including legislative nomination conventions and an elector's convention for the presidential election of 1840. To show support for the Whig candidacy of William Henry Harrison, Beecher and Brown renamed the structure the Anti-Van Buren State's Rights Hotel and the Harrison and Reform State's Rights Hotel. Following Harrison's victory, the structure returned to its original name.
On November 8, 1843, the hotel played host to an inaugural celebration for Georgia's newly elected
For the next century, the State's Rights Hotel served as a private residence for two families and as a restaurant. In 1966 the building was saved from demolition and moved from its original location to a new site, where it was converted into a museum and civic center. Known today as the Brown-Stetson-Sanford House, the structure is a permanent fixture on Milledgeville's historic tours and is currently operated by the Old Capital Museum. In 1972 Milledgeville's historic downtown, including the former State's Rights Hotel, was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Matthew S. Davis, "The Brown-Stetson-Sanford House: A History" (master's thesis, Georgia College and State University, 2004).
Paul Murray, The Whig Party in Georgia, 1825-1853 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1948).
Matthew Davis, Georgia College and State University
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