Nathaniel Stillman House

Wethersfield, Connecticut | C.1743

Photo Credit: Deb Cohen

The Captain Nathaniel Stillman, Jr. House was built in 1743 and is located on Main Street in Wethersfield, Connecticut, USA in the Old Wethersfield Historic District. Captain Stillman was one of General George Washington’s Life Guards – a unit charged with Washington’s safety during the Revolutionary War.

Officially designated as “His Excellency’s Guards” or the “General’s Guards”, enlisted men referred to the unit as “The Washington Life Guards”. These were a select group of men, four chosen from each regiment, to become General Washington’s personal guards.

The Life Guards motto was “Conquer or Die”, and their mission was “to protect General Washington, the army’s cash, and official papers.”

General Washington had specific criteria to be followed in selecting these men, including a height between 5’8″ and 5’10” (quite tall for the times), known for their sobriety, good behavior, honesty, and cleanliness.

Wethersfield, CT served as a meeting place for Washington and French General Rochambeau in 1781. Washington lodged at the Joseph Webb home on Main Street in Wethersfield for five nights, and he conferred with Rochambeau in the front parlor of the house on May 21st and 22nd. It was here that the two devised a strategy for the French-American alliance to conquer the British in the War.

The Joseph Webb house is now open as a museum (the Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum), and visitors can also explore the architecture of Old Wethersfield, the largest remaining inventory of architecture from that time period in the state of Connecticut.

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