George Washington Plaque, Salisbury
The plaque commemorates President George Washington’s visit to the area during his tour of the southern states in 1791. It consists of a simple bronze plaque attached to the outside wall of the Old (1801) Rowan County Courthouse. The plaque is identical to those in Greenville, Guilford Courthouse. In addition to the inscription the plaque shows the spinning wheel and distaff insignia of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
IN / PATRIOTIC COMMEMORATION / OF THE VISIT / OF / GEORGE WASHINGTON / ON HIS / TOUR OF THE / SOUTHERN STATES / 1791 / MARKED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA / DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION / 1925
November 6, 1925
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Farnham, Thomas J. "Washington's Southern Tour," NCpedia.org, 2006 (accessed May 28, 2014) Link
George Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, 1741-1799: The Diaries of George Washington. In The Diaries of George Washington. Vol. VI. January 1790-December 1799, Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1979. (accessed December 14, 2013). Link
Henderson, Archibald. 1923. Washington’s Southern Tour 1791. Boston and New York: Houghton Miffin company, 1923, (accessed May 28, 2014) Link
“Markers Would Designate Itinerary of Washington,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), September 2, 1925
“Salisbury,” The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, NC), November 8, 1925
“Washington’s Tour of the Southern States,” The Historical Marker Database, HMdb.org, (accessed September 16, 2020) Link
NC Daughters of the American Revolution
In the spring of 1791, President George Washington began his tour of the southern states. Washington decided even before his inauguration to visit every state in the nation in order to gain a better understanding of the condition of the country and the needs of the people. His cross-country journey began in 1789 but, because North Carolina did not ratify the United States Constitution until 1790, his trip to the south was delayed.
Between March and June of 1791, Washington traveled along the eastern seaboard from Maryland to Georgia, and then took a western return route from Georgia to Virginia. During his 1,700-mile tour he sought to emphasize national unity, understand the region's political sentiments, and learn about the southern economy. North Carolina was of particular importance to the tour because of its late ratification and Washington used his stops in the state as an opportunity to reinforce its admittance into the union.
Washington was revered as the father of the nation and, because of his status, his visits to communities across the country were of important historical significance.
There are numerous markers across North Carolina commemorating President Washington's tour of the southern states in 1791 to include nine identical bronze plaques placed by the DAR in 1925. Notable among them are George Washington Plaque, Hampstead outside Wilmington, George Washington Plaque, Tarboro, George Washington Plaque, Guilford Courthouse, and George Washington Plaque, Greenville. Other markers made of stone include George Washington and Henry Clay Marker in Wilmington, George Washington Boulder in Lexington and "George Washington Stopped Here" Marker in Arcadia.
The tablet is attached to the outside wall of the Old (1801) Rowan County Courthouse to the left of the entrance. The courthouse is located on the 200 block of North Main Street (U.S. 29) at the intersection with West Council Street. The courthouse will be on the left when traveling north on North Main Street.