Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Happy Birthday, America!

Many Americans were once familiar with this famous image of George Washington’s tearful farewell to his officers in New York’s Fraunces Tavern in December of 1783. Few, however, were aware that this tavern was owned by Dominican-born Samuel Fraunces (1722-1795), a free black, restaurant owner, and chef, of French and African descent. When the U.S. Capital moved from New York to Philadelphia in 1790, Fraunces accepted Washington’s invitation to be chief steward of the President’s house. There, Fraunces also found time to open a new restaurant on nearby Second Street.

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