1761 – Physician and amateur architect William Thornton was born on the 27th of May in the West Indian island of Tortola, the son of William and Dorcas (Zeagers) Thornton.
1781 – As a child he was sent to England and later studied medicine at the College of Edinburgh.
1788-1789 – He became an American citizen in Delaware on the 7th of January, was elected to the American Philosophical Society the same year, and moved to Philadelphia.
– The building on Fifth Street south of Chestnut was erected to his design.
1790 – Thornton married Anna Maria Brodeau and returned to Tortola for two years.
1798-1817 – Among Thornton’s other designs are a house for John Tayloe called The Octagon–now headquarters of the American Institute of Architects–and Tudor Place, both in the District of Columbia.
– Woodlawn Plantation near Mount Vernon, Virginia is usually attributed to him, and for Thomas Jefferson he designed Pavilion 7 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
1828 – He died on the 28th of March and was buried in Congressional Cemetery on Capitol Hill.