Fraunces, Samuel (frônˈsĭs) [key], c.1722–95, American innkeeper, proprietor of the historic Fraunces Tavern in New York City. This building at the corner of Broad and Pearl streets was the De Lancey mansion before Fraunces purchased it in 1762 and opened it as the Queen's Head Tavern. It became famous for its wines and food and was a gathering place for the Sons of Liberty and other organizations before the American Revolution and for British officers during their occupation of the city. Fraunces himself was a patriot, and his tavern was the center of the celebration on the occasion of the British evacuation of New York. In its Long Room, George Washington bade farewell (1783) to his officers. Fraunces sold the tavern in 1785. When Washington returned (1789) to New York as president, Fraunces became steward of his household, maintaining that position even after Philadelphia was made the capital. The tavern, extensively restored after a devastating 1900 fire, is now owned by the Sons of the Revolution (not the Sons of the American Revolution). For many years it was open to the public as a restaurant, and it continues to house many historical objects and documents.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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