In this chapter, Mattie is fourteen years old. The chapter is dated August 16th, 1793. Therefore, if Mattie was four years old when the War of Independence ended in 1783, she would be fourteen in this chapter.
In this chapter, Chapter 2, Mattie relates how her father built their home and coffeehouse business after the War of Independence. The coffeehouse is essentially situated on the first floor of the family home. The roomy kitchen makes it possible to accommodate the needs of a hundred customers in a day, if needed.
Mattie tells us that the coffeehouse is usually filled with important customers by mid-day. These customers usually stop in for a bite to eat and to discuss the politics of the day. Eliza, a free-born black woman, is the esteemed cook of the establishment. Mattie relates that Eliza lost her husband when she (Mattie) was eight; he was killed by a runaway horse. Until his death, Eliza had been saving up money from her cook's wages to purchase her husband's freedom. Chapter Two ends with the premature death of Polly, one of the coffeehouse's serving girls.