Enjoy Dining at The Robert Morris Inn located in Oxford, Maryland. Cuisine by celebrity Chef Proprietor Mark Salter
The Robert Morris Inn restaurant has established a reputation of consistently serving good food with excellent service. The Inn is featured in Country Inns and Backroads, Classic Country Inns of America, Very Special Places and American's Historic Inns and Taverns. Unsolicited recommendations have appeared in Diversion, Southern Living, Washingtonian, Good Housekeeping, Wall Street Journal, Town and Country, Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Accents, Discerning Traveler, and Bon Appetit. For many years, the Inn received Travel Holidays' Recommended Fine Dining Award. The Inn is dedicated to continuing the tradition of quality under Chef Proprietor and British Master Chef, Mark Salter. His culinary wisdom brings a modern British approach, combined with classical sensibilities, to Chesapeake Bay cuisine.
The Robert Morris Inn is a tribute to the architectural beauty of the 18th century. It was built prior to 1710 by ships' carpenters with wooden pegged paneling, ships nails and hand hewn beams. In 1730 an English trading company bought the house as a residence for Robert Morris who represented the firm's shipping business interests in Oxford.
Robert Morris moved from England to Oxford in 1738 and achieved a considerable reputation for himself and his firm. His son, Robert Jr., joined him in 1747 at the age of 13 and lived in Oxford before being apprenticed to a mercantile firm in Philadelphia. Robert Morris, Sr., died in 1750 as the result of an ironic accident; wadding from a ship's gun being fired in his honor struck his arm and proved fatal.
In 1750, Morris had been aboard the Liverpool Merchant, which had just arrived, welcoming the captain. He climbed into a small boat to go ashore. The captain readied the ship's guns to fire a salute, as was custom, when a fly lit on his nose. His swat at the fly was misinterpreted by the crew, who fired the cannon prematurely, when Morris' boat was only 20 yards away. Wadding struck Morris' right arm, breaking it and inflicting a wound that became infected. Morris died six days later, only 39 years old and at the height of his career. He is buried at White Marsh Church.
At the outbreak of the American Revolution, Robert Morris, Jr., was made partner in the Philadelphia firm he had joined as a boy. When few would risk money on a new concept of the United States, he used his entire savings to help finance the Continental Army and became a close friend of George Washington, who depended on him to direct the financing of the war.
Robert Morris, Jr. is known primarily by his title “The Financier of the American Revolution,” a reference both to his position as a Superintendent of Finance of the United States from 1781-1784 and to his general role in raising money and supplies for Continental government. He was one of the only two Founding Fathers to sign all three fundamental testaments of the American Revolution: The Declaration of Independence, The Articles of Confederation, The United States Constitution. In the line of succession that include Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin, Morris may be considered the first of the three great treasury secretaries who laid the financial foundations of the United States.
The Robert Morris Inn has been enlarged several times since its first use as a private home. The staircase which leads to the guest rooms is the enclosed type of the Elizabethan period and was build prior to 1715. The original flooring in the upstairs hall is Georgian white pine. The nails were hand made, and the 14 inch square beams and pilasters were fastened with hand hewn oak pegs. Four of the guest rooms have hand made wall paneling and the fireplaces were built of brick made in England and used as ballast in the early sailing days.
The impressive murals in the Robert Morris Inn dining room were made from wallpaper samples used by manufactures' salesman 140 years ago. The four seasons - the Plains of West Point, Winnipeg Indian Village, Natural Bridge of Virginia and Boston Harbor - were printed on a screw-type press using 1600 woodcut blocks carved from orangewood. The murals were painted by an unknown French artist. In 1962, during the redecoration of the White House, Mrs. John F. Kennedy found the original wallpaper of this design in an historic home in western Maryland, had the paper removed and placed on the walls of the White House reception room.
The tavern's slate floor came from Vermont and over the fireplace is the Morris coat of arms, a magnificent oak, deep-relief carved by John White. The Raleigh Tavern in colonial Williamsburg inspired the chimney which arises from the massive fireplace in the taproom. Complimenting the fine woodwork of this room is a hand carved log canoe under sail by Ted Hanks of Oxford. It was in the Robert Morris Inn's tavern that author James A. Michener wrote his outline to the famous novel Chesapeake.
John Moll, famous Oxford artist, provided the three famed murals adorning the reception hall. The Riverview Room, just off the reception hall, has 280 year old wood pegged wall panels and a fireplace of bricks made in England around 1812.
The northern-most three story portions of the Inn, the home of Robert Morris, was 65 years old at the time of the Revolution and its restoration was designed to recapture the rich heritage of early America.
Through the years, the Robert Morris Inn has been used as a private residence, a town hall, a boarding house, temporary convalescence home for World War I veterans, and a general store. In the late 1940's, the Inn began to operate as a Country Inn.