Sunday, August 16, 2009

Who Was Jeremiah Cunningham?

In light of the theme for the next Quincy coffee house, some might be asking: Who was Jeremiah Cunningham? An excellent question.

According to the prestigious and reputable Wikipedia, Jeremiah Cunningham (1756-1845) came from a colonial family of some means and attended the College of William & Mary. In the summer of 1781 he settled in what would become the District of Columbia, building the first Quincy House (though the house would not receive the name until 1796).

Cunningham was a founding member of the Phi Beta Kappa fraternity, and was a friend to such historical figures as William Short, Dr. William Thornton, Lt. Col. Franklin Wharton and Col. Jehiel Brooks.

Though a professed Anglican, Cunningham was a friend of both the Catholic and Anglican bishops of Maryland, and there were rumors that - like his second cousin, Edmund Burke - he may have been a crypto-Catholic. In any case, we know he was a man of letters and a distiller of scotch whiskey. What about that is not worth celebrating?

I regret the absence of a picture, but I have not yet been able to find one of our esteemed founder.

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