George in Georgetown

On the morning of April 15th, George Atzerodt awoke in a daze.  He found himself at the Pennsylvania House hotel having spent the previous night wandering around trying to come to terms with his failed role in the assassination and the consequences that would soon follow.  He registered at the Pennsylvania and shared the room with a stranger he met on the street, Samuel Thomas.  Atzerodt awoke early and left the hotel, without paying his share.  He began his trek to Georgetown.

At around 8:00 am, George walked into the storefront of Matthews & Knowles, a dealer of, “fine teas and choice groceries for the family”.  He approached the clerk, John L. Caldwell, a man he was acquainted with from his time in Montgomery County.  In the need of funds, George asked Caldwell if he would purchase his watch from him.  Caldwell, having a watch already, declined George’s offer.  “’Well,’ said he, ‘I want to borrow $10.  I have not any money.  I am going to my uncle’s.  You let me have the $10 and I will leave my revolver with you, and I will send you the money or bring it to you next week.’”   Caldwell gave George the $10 and kept his gun (No. 499, Cooper Firearm Mfg. Co., Frankford, Phila.).

The location of the Matthew and Knowles store was located at 49 High Street in Georgetown.  Today the building still stands at 1202 Wisconsin Avenue with the W. T. Weaver and Sons Hardware store occupying the same spot:

Building that once housed the Matthew and Knowles shop where Atzerodt pawned his gun.

Current occupant of the Matthew and Knowles store.

After pawning his revolver, Atzerodt then walked a few blocks up High street (now Wisconsin avenue), and visited in the home of Lucinda Metz.  Lucinda Metz was a 44 year old widow with four children who had known George from his time in Montgomery County.  Known as Andrew Atwood to her, he visited with the widow and had breakfast with her before heading for the stage coach to take him to his cousin Hartman Richter’s.  Mrs. Metz’ house still stands today near the corner of Wisconsin and P streets:

Lucinda Metz' house.

References:
The Escape and Capture of George A. Atzerodt
Jim Garrett, my generous tour guide to these and many other Georgetown sites

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “George in Georgetown

  1. Rsmyth

    Way to go Dave and Jim! Let’s bring back the Atzerodt escape tour!

  2. tyboots

    THIS IS FANTASTIC!! I WOULD ENJOY WALKING INTO THESE PLACES..

    WOW, I WONDER WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ATZERODT’S WATCH? SOMEONE MOST LIKELY
    HAS IT AND DON’T KNOW WHO IT BELONGED TO.

    I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE SOME UNKNOWN PICS I HAVE COLLECTED.

    TYBOOTS……

    • Tyboots,

      I’m the only one who can post things here. But, if you would like, you could send your pictures to me to take a look at. I can’t make any promises about posting them though, as there are many fakes out there, but I’d be happy to look at them and give you my opinion.

      My e-mail is boothiebarn (at) gmail (dot) com.

  3. Craig Hipkins

    Hey Dave, do you know where Atzerodt’s revolver is today?
    Craig

    • Craig,

      Off hand I don’t know where Atzerodt’s gun is. Post your question on the Lincoln-Assassination.com forum. I know of one gentleman there who knows a lot about the weapons used in the assassination.

  4. JGarrett

    I think I can get you a picture of Atzerodt’s pistol

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