Fergus's printshop was a red-brick building on Market Street, near the fashionable part of Philadelphia. It was the home of Fergus, Marsali, their children, and various other members of the Fraser family for part of 1778.


Fergus and Marsali left New Bern for Philadelphia sometime in the summer of 1777.[1] When Claire returned from Scotland in the spring of 1778, she stayed with them while awaiting Jamie's return. She moved to Lord John Grey's house on Chestnut Street after her marriage to Lord John, but returned to live at the printshop shortly after Jamie's return.

In September 1778, a fire spread throughout the printshop and it burned to the ground; loss of life and livelihood devastated the family, and afterwards they moved south to Savannah, before settling in Charleston.


The amply sized building had a red-brick exterior and a low slate roof, much like the other buildings on the street. The interior consisted of several rooms; at the front was the printshop proper, while at the back there were two more rooms, each of which had a loft.

The first room was used as the family kitchen, and the loft above was placed in such a way that it was possible to peer down into the printshop. The kitchen loft served as sleeping quarters for Claire and Jamie, though ordinarily it was used for storing various stacks of paper, from blank reams to "pamphlets, circulars, posters, or the guts of unbound books, awaiting delivery to customers or to the bookbinder."[2] The kitchen loft also included a loading door, through which carriage deliveries could be made. The loading door looked out onto the alley behind the printshop.

The second room was used as the family sleeping and living quarters. It included a second loft with a removable ladder. Fergus and Marsali had a bed in this room, while their children and Jenny slept in the loft above.

Each of the lofts had a trapdoor that led to the roof of the building.


The printshop was located in what is now known as Penn's Landing, near the Delaware River waterfront.[3]