George Washington Plaque, Tarboro
The bronze plaque is been affixed to a brick wall of the Concord Masonic Lodge #58. Three of the screw coverings are missing, leaving only the one in the top left corner, which appears to be a flower or insignia. The inscription compromises nearly two-thirds of the plaque. Beneath the inscription is an insignia, traditional to the Daughters of the American Revolution. The insignia is a rotary, with radii emanating from a central point, surrounded by a wheel which is pierced by a distaff (lower right quadrant to upper left quadrant).
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
Masonic Lodge #58
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"Miles Harvey Chapter to Unveil Bronze Tablet," The Daily Southerner (Tarboro, NC), October 28, 1925, 1.
Brown, J. Howard. History of Concord Lodge, no. 58, free and accepted Masons, Tarboro, North Carolina, 1811-1958. Tarboro, 1958. Link
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
United States Department of the Interior. National Park Service. National Register of Historic Places Inventory. "Tarboro Historic District, 1979," (accessed June 6, 2020) Link
Miles Harvey Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution
Mrs. C.C. Todd was the regent of the Miles Harvey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at the time of the unveiling. The unveiling occurred at a district-wide meeting and was announced ahead of time in the local newspaper, The Daily Southerner. Following the unveiling of the plaque, Mrs. W. N. Reynolds presented an elm tree, which was also dedicated.
It is believed that George Washington was standing under an elm tree in Cambridge, MA when he took command of the Continental Army.
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. While in Tarboro he stayed in an inn where the Concord Masonic Lodge #58 is currently located. Washington wrote in his diary that "Tarborough [was] a place less than Halifax, but more lively and thriving..."
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, Salisbury, 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 plaque faces Main Street on the brick facade of the three story Concord Masonic Lodge building, not to be confused with the contemporary Masonic Lodge located outside the historic district. The temple was built in 1907-1908 on a lot bequeathed to the lodge by Francis L. Bond. The building is situated on the east side of Main Street and the north side of Pitt Street.
The local area is a small commercial center with on-street parking.
On October 28, the Masonic Lodge voted to send $10 to the Miles Harvey Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution to help pay for bronze tablet commemorating the visit of George Washington to Tarboro in 1791.