For many years this home was the property of Colonel Allen McLane, statesman and hero of the American Revolution.

Born in Philadelphia August 8, 1746, McLane had moved to Delaware by 1769. His military career began when he was commissioned as an officer in the state militia in 1775. After the outbreak of the Revolution, McLane volunteered to raise a company of troops, investing much of his inheritance in accompanying expenses. During the course of the war he was an active participant in many major engagements including Long Island, White Plains, Trenton, Princeton, and the siege of Yorktown. His bravery and enterprise were rewarded in 1777 when he received his captain’s commission from General Washington. He was one of the first to suspect the loyalty of Benedict Arnold, and is said to have played a significant role in convincing the French to blockade the Chesapeake in 1781. He was a member of the Order of Cincinnati. For many years he was active in the affairs of church and state, serving as Speaker of the state Housing of Representatives, member of the Privy Council, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, and U.S. Marshall for Delaware. He was delegate at Delaware’s historic Constitution Ratification Convention in 1787, and a long-time advocate of the Methodist Church.

Following his return from the war it is believed that the McLane family rented a home at the southwest corner of Mt. Vernon and Market Streets. On December 23, 1785, Allen McLane “Merchant” received a deed from Thomas Wilds for a parcel of land including the lot where his house stands. Among the members of the family moving to the home was McLane’s infant son Louis, later a distinguished member of Congress, Minister to England, and United States Secretary of State. McLane maintained homes here on his farm until he moved to Wilmington following his appointment as Port Collector in 1797. He retained ownership of this property until selling it in 1828, one year prior to his death.

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The Delaware Public Archives operates a historical markers program as part of its mandate. Markers are placed at historically significant locations and sites across the state. For more information on this program, please contact Connor Graham at (302) 744-5019 or via email at connor.graham@state.de.us.

LOCATION: 40 West Mount Vernon Street.