Portrait Gallery

Historic Homes and Landmarks of the City of Alexandria, 1947, by Mary Lindsey.

The Dr. Dick House

209 Prince Street

This was the home of Dr. Elisha Cullen Dick, who came to Alexandria from Philadelphia in 1783. He was a noted physician and held the position of Health Officer of Alexandria during the epidemic of yellow fever and small-pox so dreaded in those days. Under General “Light Horse Harry” Lee he commanded a troop of cavalry sent to quell the “Whiskey Rebellion” in Pennsylvania in 1794. He succeeded George Washington as Worshipful Master of the Alexandria Lodge of Masons, and while he held this offce, laid the corner stone of the District of Columbia at Jones' Point in 1792. He was called by Dr. Craik as consulting physician in Washington's last illness, and according to an old custom stopped the hands of Washington's bedroom clock, at the moment of his death, which was 10:20 p. m. This clock was later presented to the Masonic Lodge by Mrs. Washington and is now one of their most valued possessions. Dr. Dick performed the Masonic Service at the funeral of Washington at Mt. Vernon. December 18th, 1799. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the old Quaker burying ground on Queen Street.

Among other relics of a bygone day found in an ancient trunk in the attic of an old Alexandria house, is an interesting dinner invitation from Dr. Dick, which reads:

“If you can eat a good fat duck, come up with us and take pot luck. Of White-backs we have got a pair, so plump, so round, so fat, so fair, an London Alderman would fight, through pies and tarts, to get one bite. Moreover we have beef or pork, that you may use your knife and fork. Come up precisely at two o'clock, the door shall open at your knock. The day 'tho wet, the streets 'tho muddy, to keep out the cold we'll have some toddy. And if perchance you should get sick, you'll have at hand, Yours, E. C. DICK.”

The Dr. Dick House, Historic Homes and Landmarks of the City of Alexandria, Mary Lindsey, 1947, Page 16. PDF