The Girl in the Yellow Raincoat and the Female Stranger

This charming oil painting was donated to the GTMS Silent Auction by Mary Riley. It had been bequeathed to her by Henry Cunningham who wrote a novel based on the famous story of Gadsby's Tavern Female Stranger. Henry's work involved a good deal of research on an 1816 incident when a very sick young woman was brought to the City Hotel (now Gadsby's Tavern Museum) from a ship that had just arrived in Alexandria's port. A doctor was called but could not help her and she soon passed away.  The gentleman who accompanied her would not give his name or hers -- not even for her elaborate table tombstone that can still be seen in St. Paul's Cemetery on Wilkes Street. In fact, he left town without even paying the hotel, doctor, gravestone, or burial bills! A great deal of speculation has always surrounded the story.

Mr. Cunningham greatly appreciated the assistance he received from the staff at Gadsby's Tavern Museum for the book he published in 2013. He titled his book The Revenant, which should not to be confused with the movie of the same name that came out in 2015 and was a Western survival story.  When he died in 2014, Henry left Mary this painting. As Mary was downsizing and moving away last year, she wanted to make sure the painting found a good home and believed that Mr. Cunningham would want his painting to go to help support the Museum's endowment. 

You can do your part to support the Museum by attending the upcoming Spring Fling and bidding on this painting and/or one of more of the interesting items and exciting experiences that will be on offer at the Spring Showers Silent Auction.

Note: Revenant is defined as "one that returns after death or a long absence."