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Darnall's Chance House Museum

Darnall’s Chance House Museum

The Museum seeks to interpret the story of the Lettice Lee, who lived at Darnall's Chance in the decades just prior to the American Revolution. The house and grounds reflect 1760, the year Lettice Lee’s first husband died and a room by room inventory was taken of the contents of the house.

Darnall’s Chance House Museum conducts guided house tours on Fridays and Sundays and by appointment. In addition, the museum offers educational programs, exhibits and special events throughout the year. A patio tent is available for rental functions from May to October.

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Image Credit: Courtesy of: Darnall's Chance House Museum

Hours

Office Hours Tuesday-Friday: 9 am-5 pm

Tour Hours

Tuesday-Thursday: (by appointment only)  10 am-4 pm 
Saturday:  Special events & rentals only 
Friday & Sunday: (walk-in tours)  12 noon-4 pm (Last tour 3:15)

Gift Shop:

Friday & Sunday:  12 noon-4 pm (Call ahead of time during office hours for additional times)

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)

Activities

Darnall’s Chance House Museum offers a variety of special, educational opportunities for both adult and child audiences. 

In addition, the museum offers special events and programs reflecting the history and culture of 18th century Prince George's County. 

History

John Hodges, who lived at Darnall’s Chance during the War of 1812, was the only American to be tried for treason during the conflict.  After the British burned Washington, they retreated through the town of Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

Hodges, Dr. William Beanes, and other townspeople arrested and jailed several British stragglers.  When the British heard about this, they returned to the town and took Beanes and two other Americans hostage. They threatened to destroy the town if the British soldiers were not released.

John Hodges convinced the leader of the local American militia to release the British soldiers and took charge of the prisoner exchange. For this, he was indicted for high treason.  But the jury found Hodges not guilty because the “circumstances under which he acted formed a good and sufficient excuse.”

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Last updated: February 25, 2021
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