Thomas Law House

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Thomas Law House
Thomas Law House - Washington, D.C..jpg
The Thomas Law House
Thomas Law House is located in Washington, D.C.
Thomas Law House
Location 1252 6th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C.
Coordinates 38°52′29.3″N 77°01′11″W / 38.874806°N 77.01972°W / 38.874806; -77.01972Coordinates: 38°52′29.3″N 77°01′11″W / 38.874806°N 77.01972°W / 38.874806; -77.01972
Architect William Lovering
Architectural style Federal
NRHP Reference # 73002093
Added to NRHP August 14, 1973

The Thomas Law House (Honeymoon House) was constructed between 1794 and 1796 near present day 6th and N Streets, Southwest in Washington, D.C. The builder was a syndicate headed by James Greenleaf, an early land speculator in the District of Columbia.[1]

In March 1796, Thomas Law moved into the house after his marriage to Martha Washington's eldest granddaughter, Eliza Parke Custis.The house became known as "Honeymoon House" as the Laws lived there during their honeymoon while awaiting completion of their house.[2] Law continued to live in the house during most of his life although he and his wife separated in 1804 and were divorced in1811.[2]

Thomas Law was the son of Edmund Law, the Bishop of Carlisle. His brother John Law was Bishop of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh and Bishop of Killala and Achonry, and in 1795 was named Bishop of Elphin. His brother Edward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough, served as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 1802 to 1818. Another brother, George Law, became Bishop of Chester in 1812 and Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1824.

Thomas Law spent many years in India, where he made a fortune in trade. Law came to Washington, D.C., in the summer of 1794.[3] He was one of Washington's wealthiest citizens and was active, although not successful, in business enterprises.[2] He eventually lost his fortune.[2]

Law met Greenleaf in November or December 1794 and was deeply impressed with him.[4] On December 4, 1794,[5] Greenleaf sold 500 city lots to Law for £50,000 (or $133,000). The price per lot was $297.60, a 372 percent increase over the $80 per lot which Greenleaf had paid just a year earlier.[6]

In 1816, former Congressman Richard Bland Lee and his wife Elizabeth (Collins) Lee purchased the house.

During the Civil War, it was the Mt. Vernon Hotel. Starting around 1913, it was the Washington Sanitarium's Mission Hospital. Dr. Henry G. Hadley operated a clinic in the house from 1923 to 1961.

The National Park Service listed the Thomas Law House on the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973.[7]


  1. ^ Clark, p. 139. Accessed 2012-12-02.
  2. ^ a b c d Brown, T. Robins (1973-02-05). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination Form: Law, Thomas, House (Honeymoon House)" (PDF). National Park Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  3. ^ Bryan, p. 244. Accessed 2012-11-02.
  4. ^ Clark, p. 94. Accessed 2012-10-29.
  5. ^ Dowd, p. 10.
  6. ^ Livermore, p. 165.
  7. ^ "Law, Thomas, House". Focus: Digital Access Management System. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2015-11-20. Retrieved 2015-11-20. 


  • Bryan, Wilhelmus B. A History of the National Capital: From Its Foundation Through the Period of the Adoption of the Organic Act. New York: Macmillan, 1914.
  • Clark, Allen. Greenleaf and Law in the Federal City. Washington, D.C.: Press of W.F. Roberts, 1901.
  • Dowd, Mary-Jane M. Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital: Record Group 42, Inventory No. 16. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992.
  • Livermore, Shaw. Early American Land Companies: Their Influence on Corporate Development. Reprint ed. Washington, D.C.: Beard Books, 1999.

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