George Washington's Mount Vernon

George Washington's Mount Vernon Mount Vernon is the historic home of America's first president, George Washington. president, his family, and the enslaved people who lived and worked here.
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Visit George Washington’s Virginia estate to learn about the daily lives of the first U.S. Wander the gardens, meet farm animals, and pay your respects at George Washington's tomb and at the Slave Memorial and Cemetery. Mount Vernon is open 365 days per year. Between visits, make sure to follow us for daily posts about the founding era and what life was like in the 1700s.

  in 1790, President George Washington delivered to Congress the first State of the Union address in American history. 📜...
01/08/2024

in 1790, President George Washington delivered to Congress the first State of the Union address in American history. 📜

Washington’s address was a precisely calibrated political statement. The president was positive and encouraging, even as he subtly sought to direct the actions of Congress.

Learn more about the first State of the Union: https://bit.ly/3VYfWDi

(Image Credit)
George Washington by Thomas Sully after Gilbert Stuart, 1856, copy of the 1796 original, oil on canvas. Gift of Jaquelin Plummer Taylor. Courtesy of the Virginia Museum of History and Culture.

🚨Closure Alert🚨The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant will be closed until January 28th to undergo annual maintenance.
01/08/2024

🚨Closure Alert🚨

The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant will be closed until January 28th to undergo annual maintenance.

Proposed in the year 1800 and begun in 1848, the Washington Monument was not opened to the public until 1888. Large-scal...
01/07/2024

Proposed in the year 1800 and begun in 1848, the Washington Monument was not opened to the public until 1888.

Large-scale monument-making in the United States between the end of the American Revolution and the Civil War years was scarce and fraught with financial, political, and ideological issues. But this reluctance to erect grand monuments would change by the end of the nineteenth century when Americans became zealous monument makers.

Learn more about the history of the Washington Monument: https://bit.ly/3R03T7C

(Image Credits)
1. "Laying corner stone, Washington Monument," Knapp Lithographic Co., New York, c. 1893. Courtesy Library of Congress.
2. The Washington Monument, 2022. Wikimedia.

  in 1759, George Washington wed a young widow Martha Dandridge Custis. 🔔   Martha was charming, accomplished, and wealt...
01/06/2024

in 1759, George Washington wed a young widow Martha Dandridge Custis. 🔔

Martha was charming, accomplished, and wealthy. George had his own appeal. Over six foot two inches tall (compared with Martha, who was only five feet tall), George was an imposing figure whose reputation as a military leader preceded him.

After their marriage, George would become the legal guardian of Martha’s children, responsible for managing and protecting their financial affairs.

Learn about the courtship between Martha and George: https://bit.ly/3e0KmRk

In the closing days of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette wrote his old commander George Washington sugge...
01/05/2024

In the closing days of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette wrote his old commander George Washington suggesting an experiment. The two would purchase land where Washington's enslaved laborers would then work as free tenants.

Lafayette believed that Washington's participation in the project would help to "render it a general practice." Lafayette hoped that his plan would prove successful in the United States and then spread out into the West Indies, encouraging the emancipation of the black people of America.

Learn more about Lafayette's plan for slavery: https://bit.ly/47E8gvF

(Image Credit)
Lafayette as a lieutenant general in 1791, by Joseph-Désiré Court (1834)

Mount Vernon's resident fifer Don Francisco uses music to inspire and educate. As a history interpreter and Mount Vernon...
01/03/2024

Mount Vernon's resident fifer Don Francisco uses music to inspire and educate.

As a history interpreter and Mount Vernon’s resident fifer, Don roams the estate, performing battle hymns and marching songs of the Revolutionary War and teaching guests about the role of music throughout George Washington’s life.

Learn more about Don: https://bit.ly/3MONSA9

Following the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, George Washington purchased an English set of the cel...
01/02/2024

Following the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, George Washington purchased an English set of the celebrated Spanish novel, Don Quixote.

Soon after his purchase, Washington received a four-volume Madrid edition of Don Quixote from the Spanish ambassador, Diego Maria de Gardoqui. Washington had learned about this special edition of Don Quixote while visiting Benjamin Franklin, who praised it as one of the finest books available. It is likely a conversation between Gardoqui and Washington at Franklin’s house that led to Washington purchasing his own copy of Don Quixote.

Learn more about Washington's fascination with Don Quixote in Secrets of Washington's Archives podcast episode "A Gift from Spain": https://bit.ly/3Gk4xb7

(Image Credit)
George Washington's original signature graces the title page of his English version of "Don Quixote." (MVLA)

On the night of New Year’s Eve 2020, PBS premiered “United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America." The star-stu...
12/31/2023

On the night of New Year’s Eve 2020, PBS premiered “United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America." The star-studded event was filmed at Mount Vernon and The Kennedy Center and hoped to help encourage American unity as the country entered 2021.

The event featured performances by multi-Grammy award-winning violinist Joshua Bell, two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell, Grammy award-winning and world-renowned artist Patti LaBelle, and many others.

Learn more about the other performers who performed for this event: https://bit.ly/3G9xTc1

(Image Credits)
1. Joshua Bell
2. Patti LaBelle
3. Brian Stokes Mitchell

New England artist William Matthew Prior painted this distinctive view of Mount Vernon, one of a group of at least thirt...
12/30/2023

New England artist William Matthew Prior painted this distinctive view of Mount Vernon, one of a group of at least thirteen, in the mid-nineteenth century.

Each of the works in the Mount Vernon collection is different, showing the estate in different seasons as well as times of day. This unique scene of the estate on a winter evening incorporates all three of Prior’s specialties: Mount Vernon, winter scenes, and night or moonlight scenes.

Learn more about this painting: https://bit.ly/3QzCl8M

(Image Credits)⁣
1. George Washington’s Tomb at Mount Vernon by William Matthew Prior, c.1850. Purchased by the A. Alfred Taubman Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998 Conservation courtesy of The Founders, Washington Committee Endowment Fund.⁣
2. George Washington's Tomb by Buddy Secor⁣, 2016.

  in 1773, holiday visitors amused themselves by competing to see who could throw an iron bar farthest across Mount Vern...
12/29/2023

in 1773, holiday visitors amused themselves by competing to see who could throw an iron bar farthest across Mount Vernon’s lawn.

One member of the group, American artist Charles Willson Peale, recalled that when George Washington took a turn, the heavy iron bar “whizzed through the air, striking the ground far, very far, beyond our utmost limits.”⁣

As he walked away, Washington quipped, “When you beat my pitch, young gentlemen, I’ll try again.”⁣

Read more here: https://bit.ly/3s4KNT0

Image Credit: Charles Willson Peale, Self-Portrait, 1777-78, oil on canvas, 13X12.5 inches. Courtesy of the American Philosophical Society.

Aladdin had a visit from George the American Cream Horse today! 🐪 🐴George made a stop at Mount Vernon on his   to round ...
12/28/2023

Aladdin had a visit from George the American Cream Horse today! 🐪 🐴

George made a stop at Mount Vernon on his to round out the end of 2023.

There is still time to visit Aladdin until January 6th when you plan your own road trip: https://bit.ly/3LSgM2d



Colonial Williamsburg
James Monroe's Highland
James Madison's Montpelier
Thomas Jefferson's Monticello
Gunston Hall
Jamestown Settlement & American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Some enslaved people were intimately involved in the Washingtons’ daily lives. Valets, chambermaids, and nurses helped t...
12/27/2023

Some enslaved people were intimately involved in the Washingtons’ daily lives. Valets, chambermaids, and nurses helped their masters and mistresses dress and bathe, arranged their hair, cleaned and mended their clothes, and delivered their messages.

The Washingtons relied on this labor and sometimes grew attached to the servants they interacted with frequently. However, enslaved people viewed the relationship differently. Several enslaved domestic workers tried to escape, including Mrs. Washington's maid, Ona Judge (who succeeded), and Washington's valet, Christopher Sheels (who didn't).

Learn more about labor in the Mansion: https://bit.ly/46AtjhK

(Image Credits)⁣⁣
1. Conjectural image of Ona Judge, maid, digitally imposed in the Washington's bedchamber.
2. Conjectural image of Christopher Sheels, valet, digitally imposed in George Washington's study.

  in 1776, General George Washington led the remnants of his army across the icy Delaware River on Christmas night. This...
12/25/2023

in 1776, General George Washington led the remnants of his army across the icy Delaware River on Christmas night.

This decision to transport 2,400 Continental soldiers across an icy river in one night secured the Continental Army's first major military victory of the war.

Learn more about this notable crossing: https://bit.ly/3IWtCZY

(Image Credits)
"Washington Crossing the Delaware" by Emanuel Leutze, circa 1851. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York. Object #97.34.

The estate is open to visitors today. The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and The Shops at Mount Vernon are closed. We wish ...
12/25/2023

The estate is open to visitors today. The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and The Shops at Mount Vernon are closed. We wish you all a very happy holiday! 🎄🎁

  in 1783, George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon as a private citizen after resigning from his post in the mil...
12/24/2023

in 1783, George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon as a private citizen after resigning from his post in the military.

He later stated in a letter to the Marquis de Lafayette, "At length my Dear Marquis I am become a private citizen on the banks of the Potomac, & under the shadow of my own Vine & my own Fig tree, free from the bustle of a camp & the busy scenes of public life..."

Read the full excerpt from Washington's letter to the Marquis de Lafayette here: https://bit.ly/3R0beoN

  in 1783, then commander in chief of the Continental Army, George Washington, addressed the Continental Congress in Ann...
12/23/2023

in 1783, then commander in chief of the Continental Army, George Washington, addressed the Continental Congress in Annapolis to resign his military commission.

The resignation signified the end of Washington’s tenure as commander in chief and Washington’s desire to return to his Mount Vernon estate as a private citizen.

Click here to learn more: https://bit.ly/34EsAPw

Today, the State House in Annapolis is open for tours. Visit Annapolis

(Image Credits)⁣
1. Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland. Wikipedia
2. General George Washington Resigning His Commission to Congress As Commander in Chief of the Army at Annapolis, Maryland, December 23d, 1783, John Trumbull, oil on canvas, Commissioned 1817, purchased 1824, Image courtesy of Architect of the Capitol

For most of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon, Christmas provided a rare opportunity to rest and visit with family ...
12/22/2023

For most of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon, Christmas provided a rare opportunity to rest and visit with family and friends on neighboring plantations. Enslaved laborers received four days off, as well as extra food or possibly spirits.

However, cooks, housemaids, waiters, and others working in the house worked through the holiday, as the Washingtons hosted additional guests.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3rPLL5r

Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropic friend of Mount Vernon, Karen Buchwald Wright, we are kicking off the Mansio...
12/21/2023

Thanks to the generosity of a philanthropic friend of Mount Vernon, Karen Buchwald Wright, we are kicking off the Mansion Revitalization Matching Gift Challenge. That means every gift you donate by December 31 will DOUBLE to have twice the impact!

Watch the video linked here for details about this historic opportunity: https://bit.ly/3TqdOpL

Eating Christmas Pie at Mount Vernon was customary in the Washington household. In 1786, George Washington described the...
12/20/2023

Eating Christmas Pie at Mount Vernon was customary in the Washington household.

In 1786, George Washington described the holiday meal as "the Attack of Christmas Pyes." He elaborated, "We had one yesterday on which all the company (and pretty numerous it was) were hardly able to make an impression."⁣

Standing pies (pies that stand up without the aid of pie tins, moulds or hoops) required a tremendous amount of coordination and preparation amongst the enslaved cooks of Mansion House, at that time led by Hercules Posey. Given the poultry boning and other preliminary steps involved, it could take at least two days to put together.

Try this modern adaptation of an 18th-century recipe: https://bit.ly/3EfsArx

(Image Credits)
Yorkshire Christmas Pie in "Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon," Nancy Carter Crump, c. 2011. George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Though Christmas was celebrated in the late 18th century during George Washington's time, modern visitors to Mount Verno...
12/19/2023

Though Christmas was celebrated in the late 18th century during George Washington's time, modern visitors to Mount Vernon might be surprised to find so few contemporary holiday decorations in the Mansion.

Throughout Washington’s life, his references to Christmas are few, making it extremely difficult to reconstruct details of his holiday celebrations. 18th-century decorations were also much simpler than those today, taking after the English tradition. That is why we keep Christmas at Mount Vernon quite simple even today.

Learn more about Christmas in the 18th century: https://bit.ly/46msJnH

Still searching for the perfect gift? Give your favorite history buff free admission to Mount Vernon with a Mount Vernon...
12/19/2023

Still searching for the perfect gift? Give your favorite history buff free admission to Mount Vernon with a Mount Vernon membership.

Members also receive a subscription to Mount Vernon Magazine, discounted event tickets, and discounts at our gift shop and restaurant.

Learn more about membership: https://bit.ly/3GJnHHO

12/18/2023

Bring your lunch and learn more about George Washington's world, the Washington Presidential Library’s important map collection, and the American Revolutionary Geographies Online (ARGO) web portal in our new ARGO Brown Bag lunch series.

On Christmas Day, the estate will be open to visitors. The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and The Shops at Mount Vernon wil...
12/18/2023

On Christmas Day, the estate will be open to visitors. The Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and The Shops at Mount Vernon will be closed. 🎄🎁

  in 1754, 22-year-old George Washington leased Mount Vernon from his sister-in-law, Ann Fairfax Washington Lee, widow o...
12/17/2023

in 1754, 22-year-old George Washington leased Mount Vernon from his sister-in-law, Ann Fairfax Washington Lee, widow of his late half-brother Lawrence.

Washington leased the property from Ann yearly, paying £100 cash or 15,000 pounds of to***co.

Learn more about the owners of Mount Vernon: https://bit.ly/3DTFpXd

(Image Credit)
Benjamin Henry Latrobe, View to the North from the Lawn at Mount Vernon, 1796, watercolor. Courtesy of the Maryland Center for History and Culture.

Today marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party.   in 1773, at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts, Ameri...
12/16/2023

Today marks the 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. in 1773, at Griffin’s Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts, American colonists dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor to protest against the British rule over the American Colonies.

In response to these protests, in June of 1774, George Washington wrote: “the cause of Boston…ever will be considered as the cause of America.” However, he held a different personal opinion about the Boston Tea Party, stating "not that we approve their cond[uc]t in destroyg the Tea.”

Like many other elites, Washington considered private property unimpeachable. Benjamin Franklin thought that the British East India Company should be reimbursed for the tea they lost. He even offered to pay them himself.

Tea Party Ships & Museum

(Image Credit)
W.D. Cooper. "Boston Tea Party.", The History of North America. London: E. Newberry, 1789. Engraving. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress

The centerpiece of the New Room's dessert course is a pyramid of three stacked glass salvers topped with an orange studd...
12/15/2023

The centerpiece of the New Room's dessert course is a pyramid of three stacked glass salvers topped with an orange studded with cloves. The individual glasses showcase each serving of jelly, the colorful dessert of gelatin flavored with sugar, spices, and fruit. ⁣
⁣⁣
Mount Vernon's enslaved cooks—Hercules, Nathan, Doll, and Lucy—worked to skillfully render and refine the gelatin from calves' feet or isinglass (gelatin obtained from fish). Imported cochineal and saffron made vibrant red and yellow jellies; the green was dyed with spinach juice. The jelly mixture was poured into individual serving glasses and set aside to cool and firm up.⁣⁣

  in 1799 at Mount Vernon, George Washington passed away of a throat infection. Tobias Lear recorded Washington's final ...
12/14/2023

in 1799 at Mount Vernon, George Washington passed away of a throat infection. Tobias Lear recorded Washington's final moments in his journal that night: "I am just going," he said. After uttering some instructions, he whispered finally, "Tis well."

Read Tobias Lear's account: https://bit.ly/31AYde8

(Image Credits)
Life of George Washington: The Christian, lithograph by Claude Regnier, after Junius Brutus Stearns, circa 1853. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Gibby, 1984 [WB-55/A1], the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, Mount Vernon, VA.

Around 2 a.m. on December 14th, 1799, George Washington woke up struggling to breathe and barely able to speak. His thre...
12/13/2023

Around 2 a.m. on December 14th, 1799, George Washington woke up struggling to breathe and barely able to speak.

His three doctors diagnosed him with quinsy, a generic term for a swelling of the throat. Washington was given a mixture of vinegar and sage tea to gargle, “but in attempting to use the gargle he almost suffocated.”

Washington likely died from a case of acute bacterial epiglottitis, which is treatable with modern antibiotics.

Learn more about Washington's death here: https://bit.ly/3UCQjan

(Image Credits)
"The Last Moments of Washington" after James Duthie, 1861. Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

12/13/2023

Hear from retired U. S. Navy admiral and chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board Sandy Winnefeld, author of Sailing Upwind: Leadership and Risk from TopGun to the Situation Room. Admiral Winnefeld offers useful reflections regarding how he accepted and managed risk along the way, as well as a concise description of the qualities one must develop to become a successful leader.

Can you guess what year this photo was taken? 📸Henry Ford donated Mount Vernon's first firetruck, a built-to-order Ameri...
12/12/2023

Can you guess what year this photo was taken? 📸

Henry Ford donated Mount Vernon's first firetruck, a built-to-order American-LaFrance Combination Chemical and Hose Car.

Thirteen years later, Ford replaced the engine with a more advanced model and encouraged the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association to form its own fire department, install fire hydrants, and upgrade alarms.

We will reveal the year this photo was taken on December 13th.

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PO Box 110
Mount Vernon, VA
22121

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