1820 Georgetown Washington DC Colonel John Cox Hand Written Signed Mailed Letter. Excellent condition original letter written by and signed by John Cox, sent from the John Cox house in 1820! Along First Street (N) from Cox's Row to High Street (Wisconsin Avenue) On the northeast corner of First Street (N) and Frederick (34th) Street stands the row of houses which John Cox built. Colonel Cox was for many years most prominent in all the affairs of Georgetown, serving as its Mayor longer than any other one man from 1823 to 1845 - 22 years. John Cox was of English descent.
He was born in 1775 during the Revolution, was the youngest of four children and being left an orphan as a small child, was raised by an uncle who was a banker in Baltimore. He later lived for a while in Philadelphia and from there came to Georgetown. He first married Matilda Smith, a sister of Clement Smith, well known as the first cashier of the Farmers' & Mechanics Bank, later its president. They had three children, one of whom was named Clement. By his second marriage to Jane Threlkeld he had seven children.In the War of 1812 he served as a Colonel. He was a large property owner in Georgetown, besides being a well-to-do merchant. He built the row of houses on First (N) Street, called by his name and lived for a while in the house on the corner. That must have been during the period of his first marriage, for after Jane Threlkeld became his wife they built a lovely house on part of the Berleith estate, next door to the old Threlkeld which had been burned and called it The Cedars. It stood where the Western High School now stands and it is difficult to realize now that there, in my memory, was a home surrounded by a mass of trees and vines and was most delightfully private and charming.
It was a quaint and lovely old cream colored mansion, a portico on its north front, two long piazzas as usual, along the south side of the house. Colonel Cox was celebrated as a dandy. He would saunter down town in silk stockings and pumps, not getting a spot upon himself, while other men would be up to their ankles in mud, for in those days there were no pavements.
Stepping-stones were placed at the corners of the streets standing rather high above the roadway to facilitate the pedestrians. Colonel Cox had moved up to The Cedars when, as mayor in 1824, it fell to his lot to act as host for Georgetown to the Marquis de Lafayette, when he made his famous visit. A new arrival was imminent in the Cox family, so it was not advisable to have the party, which he wished to give, at his home.
Consequently, he used one of these houses which was vacant at that time, number 3337; had it furnished from top to bottom, his eldest daughter, Sally, acting in her mother's place as hostess for the distinguished party invited to meet the hero of the hour. It is said that one young lady in her enthusiasm fell upon her knees before the Marquis and impressed a kiss upon his hands. There was a fashion in those days of decorating the floor by painting a pattern around the edges with colored chalks - garlands of roses entwined with the flags of the two countries. A marvelous supper was served; it is said it included 600 reed birds. It is to be hoped it also included other things more substantial than this high sounding but sparsely covered game.
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