A native of England, Peter Tondee (ca. 1723 – 1775) arrived with his father and brother in Savannah in May of 1733. When Tondee’s father died in July, he and his brother were entrusted to Paul Amatis, manager of the fledgling silk trade. Custody was later transferred to a local magistrate, Henry Parker. The boys were not destined to remain with Parker, though, and evangelist and founder of Bethesda Home for Boys, George Whitefield, took Peter and his brother. Peter, who was sixteen at the time, soon became apprenticed Savannah carpenter James Papot. Tondee would go on to work on the first building of Christ Church and a two-story brick courthouse on Wright Square.
Tondee also owned Tondee’s Tavern, which became a minor hotbed of revolutionary politics. Two Provincial Congresses met in the tavern, the last of which oversaw the creation of the state’s first government. Tondee’s wife Lucy took over management of the tavern when her husband died in 1775, and continued opening its doors to patriots until the British occupation of Savannah in 1778. Lucy Tondee died in 1785, and in 1796, the first of Savannah’s many devastating fires burned the Tondee lot and building to the ground.
Kenneth Coleman, The American Revolution in Georgia, 1763-1789 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1958).
Kenneth Coleman, Colonial Georgia: A History (New York: Scribner, 1976).
Harold E. Davis, The Fledgling Province: Social and Cultural Life in Colonial Georgia, 1733-1776 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1976).
Carl Solana Weeks, Savannah in the Time of Peter Tondee (Columbia, S.C.: Summerhouse Press, 1997).
From the GHS Collection:
Main Collection: Savannah in the time of Peter Tondee : the road to revolution in colonial Georgia by Carl Solana Weeks, F294.S2 W44 1997; The American Revolution in Georgia, 1763-1789 by Kenneth Coleman. F290 .C55; Colonial records of the State of Georgia edited by Kenneth Coleman and Milton Ready, sponsored by the Georgia Commission for the National Bicentennial Celebration.
Rare:The colonial records of the state of Georgia compiled and published under authority of the legislature by Allen D. Candler. F281 .C71;