City Tavern

The City Tavern 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
September 1, 1774 - Congressional Caucus Only

No Longer Standing
Replica Built 1976
138 S. 2nd St 
Philadelphia, PA 19106

The City Tavern  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  September 1, 1774 - Caucus Only

The City Tavern was located at 138 South 2nd Street, at the intersection of Second and Walnut Streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  Delegate John Adams referred to the City Tavern in Philadelphia as the "most genteel tavern in America."   It was commissioned by the Social Elite as the Merchants' Coffee House in 1773. This Federal brick structure was utilized as a Tavern until it was badly damaged by a fire in 1834. City Tavern was rebuilt to its original floor plan in the 1970’s for the Bicentennial and currently functions as tavern and restaurant owned by the United States Department of Interior.  

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Although City Tavern did not host a quorum of colonies, the tavern was the site of the first caucus of congressional delegates on September 1, 1774. The discussions at this tavern meeting were significant as the decision was made, with 25 to 30 delegates present, that the members would wait until September 5th, for the additional delegates to arrive before proceeding to business. Specifically it was agreed that the Delegates would meet "Monday next" at 10 am at City Tavern to discuss where to conduct their first meeting.

*Delegate Robert Treat Paine wrote in his diary on September 1, 1774: 
6 o'Clock the Members of the Congress that were in Town met at City Tavern & adjourned to Monday next.
*Delegate Samuel Ward recorded in his diary on September 1, 1774: 
The Delegates from N. Jersies & two from Province of N York arrived, conversed with many Delegates & at Evening had a Meeting at the New Tavern & took a List of those present, in all twenty five.
*Silas Deane wrote to Elizabeth Deane  on September 1, 1774:
The Delegates from Virginia, Maryland, the Lower Counties, & New York, are not arrived. We spent this Day in visiting Those that are in Town, & find them in high Spirits particularly the Gentlemen from the Jersies, and South Carolina. In the Evening We met to the Number of about Thirty drank a Dish of Coffee together talked over a few preliminaries, & agreed to wait for the Gentlemen not arrived untill Monday Next, before We proceeded to Business.   
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Capitals of the United States and Colonies of America

Sept. 5, 1774 to Oct. 24, 1774
May 10, 1775 to Dec. 12, 1776
Dec. 20, 1776 to Feb. 27, 1777
March 4, 1777 to Sept. 18, 1777
September 27, 1777
Sept. 30, 1777 to June 27, 1778
July 2, 1778 to June 21, 1783
June 30, 1783 to Nov. 4, 1783
Nov. 26, 1783 to Aug. 19, 1784
Nov. 1, 1784 to Dec. 24, 1784
New York City
Jan. 11, 1785 to Nov. 13, 1788
New York City
October 6, 1788 to March 3,1789
New York City
March 3,1789 to August 12, 1790
December 6,1790 to May 14, 1800
Washington DC
November 17,1800 to Present

*Smith, Paul H., et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774-1789. 25 volumes, Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1976-2000).

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