A New Addition to the Museum’s Collection: The General’s Table
The latest addition to the Museum’s collection of early Shepherdstown furniture is a table that was once in the home of Col. John Francis Hamtramck, Jr.
The mahogany drop-leaf dining room table is on loan by Wanda Perry of Charles Town, WV.
Col. Hamtramck was the son of a Revolutionary War General and graduated from West Point. He led Virginia’s volunteers in the Mexican-American War and subsequently served as governor of the Mexican State of Saltillo. He was elected mayor of Shepherdstown in 1850.
In the fall of 1986, following the death of Elise Selby Billmyer, the owner of the Wyncoop-Morgan- Selby-Hamtramck-Shepherd-Billmyer house on East German Street in Shepherdstown, the home’s contents were sold at public auction. The sale grossed $90,515.00 at a time when the house and lot were appraised at $135,000.00. At the sale, Wanda Perry of Charles Town, WV, purchased this dining room table.
Mrs. Perry recalled that family members often referred to this piece as the “General’s Table,” a reference to Col. Hamtramck, who lived in the German Street home with his wife, Sarah Ellen Selby Hamtramck. The couple moved into the German Street house in 1855, following the death of Sarah’s father, Walter Bowie Selby. Colonel Hamtramck was the great-grandfather of Elise Selby Billmyer,
The table, dating to the period 1830-40, has had some alteration over the years, but is in excellent condition. Ms. Perry, whose family has lived in Jefferson County for several generations, loaned the piece to the Historic Shepherdstown Museum so that the table would remain as part of the county’s rich heritage.
For more information on Col. John Francis Hamtramck, visit: https://historicshepherdstown.com/portfolio-item/john-francis-hamtramck/