David Bradford and His House

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David Bradford was a successful lawyer, businessman, and Deputy Attorney General of Washington County Pennsylvania when his house was completed in 1788. His home reflected his high social standing, not only by its size, but also by its fittings- the magnificent mahogany staircase and the interior wood finishing which show remarkable craftsmanship.

David Bradford and his family lived in this house from 1788 to 1794. By 1794 he had become a prominent figure in the "Whiskey Rebellion". This insurrection was caused, in part, by the lack of federal courts (which necessitated trips to Philadelphia for trial), large numbers of absentee landlords, lack of protection from the Indians, and the high excise tax on whiskey. President George Washington ordered 12,000 to 13,000 troops to the Washington Pennsylvania area. This was the first test of the power of the new government. Bradford, under threat being killed and possibly arrested, headed south to Spanish West Florida (Louisiana). Bradford later received a Presidential Pardon. His family followed him south in 1797 and he sold the house in 1803.

In 1959, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission assumed control of the house and supervised the restoration of its eighteenth - century design. The furnishings are those which were used at that time in Pennsylvania and would reflect Bradford's place in society. A management agreement was signed in 1982, turning the management of the Bradford House over to the Bradford House Historical Association. Various types of memberships are available in this association. For more information, the association can be contacted at 724-222-3604. Come and visit in Washington Pennsylvania. They are open from early May through mid December, Wednesday through Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Group tours may also be pre-arranged for other times.


175 S. Main St.
Washington, PA 15301

Please send comments and suggestions to Tom Hart at: mthart@pulsenet.com

Bradford House Whiskey Insurrection
Student Letters/Reports Bibliography
Bradford House Web Site

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