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 2020, General Colin Powell was interviewed by Carlyle founder and patriotic philanthropist David Rubenstein in the ...
12/02/2023

in 2020, General Colin Powell was interviewed by Carlyle founder and patriotic philanthropist David Rubenstein in the Mansion’s New Room.

The interview was part of a one-day conference hosted by the Brookings Institution and Mount Vernon and was inspired by George Washington’s selfless dedication to public service. Some of the nation's top government, business, and civic leaders explored solutions for overcoming the great challenges of the day.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3Qokp13

  in 1738, George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, moved his family to Ferry Farm, located in Fredericksburg, ...
12/01/2023

in 1738, George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, moved his family to Ferry Farm, located in Fredericksburg, VA.

Ferry Farm was George Washington's primary residence until 1754 when he relocated to Mount Vernon following the death of his brother Lawrence.

Learn more about Ferry Farm: https://bit.ly/3273vZB

(Image Credits)
1. Aerial of Ferry Farm by EagleOne Photography. Courtesy of George Washington's Ferry Farm and Historic Kenmore.

With clean water scarce, all of Mount Vernon’s residents consumed a variety of beverages. The plantation’s hired and ens...
11/30/2023

With clean water scarce, all of Mount Vernon’s residents consumed a variety of beverages. The plantation’s hired and enslaved laborers received regular rations of rum. Wine was not part of their standard allotment, but bottles may have been discreetly taken from the Mansion’s stores to supplement their rations.

(Image Credits)
Wine Bottle, House for Families, MVLA.

Did you know that one of George Washington’s four outlying farms shares the name of a local indigenous tribe? Dogue is t...
11/29/2023

Did you know that one of George Washington’s four outlying farms shares the name of a local indigenous tribe?

Dogue is the English spelling for the Doeg/Tauxenent people who lived in Virginia since ancestral times. The Doeg lived in villages and settlements along the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers. As their lands were encroached upon by colonists to expand to***co production, they were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands.

Today, there are seven federally recognized tribes by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Chickahominy, Eastern Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Pamunkey, Nansemond, and Monacan.

Learn more about the connections between Native Americans and George Washington for : https://bit.ly/3kVkGK6

(Image Credits)
1. A Map of General Washington’s Farm from a Drawing Transmitted by the General. Removed from Letters from His Excellency General Washington to Arthur Young. London: W. J. & J. Richardson, 1801.
2. & 3. Smith, John, and William Hole. Virginia. [London, 1624] Map. Retrieved from the Library of Congress

11/29/2023

Hear from award-winning historian Edward G. Gray, author of Mason-Dixon: Crucible of the Nation. Dr. Gray provides the first comprehensive history of the Mason-Dixon Line―a dramatic story of imperial rivalry and settler-colonial violence, the bonds of slavery and the fight for freedom.

Today is  . Mount Vernon is not a government-funded historic site. Your support enables us to complete urgently needed r...
11/28/2023

Today is . Mount Vernon is not a government-funded historic site. Your support enables us to complete urgently needed restoration work for our original 18th-century buildings.

A generous donor is matching all Giving Tuesday gifts 3x, which means your gift doubles in impact! Make a gift today: https://bit.ly/3SMXyir

True or False: General Washington was famous for his many victories on the battlefield.Write your answer in the comments...
11/26/2023

True or False: General Washington was famous for his many victories on the battlefield.

Write your answer in the comments, and we will post the answer in the comments on November 27th.

(Image Credit)
Washington at Verplanck's Point, New York, 1782, Reviewing the French Troops after the Victory at Yorktown, Copy by Adrian Lamb, 1982. Purchased in 1982 by MVLA.

After the war for independence was won, next came the decisions that had to be made over the precise structure and power...
11/25/2023

After the war for independence was won, next came the decisions that had to be made over the precise structure and powers of Congress, the nature of the executive, the establishment of inferior federal courts, the role of slavery, and myriad other matters.

No issue mattered more to George Washington than the new government’s sovereignty over matters of national concern. “Vain is it to look for respect from abroad, or tranquility at home,” Washington wrote to Lafayette one day before the delegates approved the list of enumerated powers, “till the wisdom and force of the Union can be more concentred." [sic]

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

George Washington, Rembrandt Peale, c. 1850, MVLA, Bequest of Luisita L. Cofer, 1956.

The tools, barrels, rum, beehives, and bolts of cloth inside the locked storehouse were expensive and extremely valuable...
11/24/2023

The tools, barrels, rum, beehives, and bolts of cloth inside the locked storehouse were expensive and extremely valuable. From this building, overseers issued the supplies enslaved workers needed to do their jobs, such as nails for the carpenters or thread for the shoemaker.

Surviving evidence indicates that enslaved people at Mount Vernon resisted bo***ge in a variety of ways, such as procrastinating on their work or misplacing equipment. Some may have discreetly taken food and supplies, which allowed them to supplement their limited rations, as well as resist George Washington’s authority.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/45VYST7

In 1789, President George Washington, on behalf of Congress, issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation designating Thursday, No...
11/23/2023

In 1789, President George Washington, on behalf of Congress, issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation designating Thursday, November 26, as a national day of "public thanksgiving and prayer." ⁣

Washington wanted this day to be “observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.⁣⁣”⁣

Later, President Abraham Lincoln took steps toward designating it as a permanent federal holiday.⁣ ⁣

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3Cb3dou

(Image Credits)⁣
"George Washington (Vaughan portrait)" by Gilbert Stuart, 1795. Courtesy of National Gallery of Art.

Joseph Brant, or Thayendanegea, was a Mohawk warrior, tribal leader, and diplomat. His most notable alliance was with th...
11/22/2023

Joseph Brant, or Thayendanegea, was a Mohawk warrior, tribal leader, and diplomat. His most notable alliance was with the British during the American Revolution.

As president, Washington recognized Brant’s influence in the Six Nations Confederacy and sought to include him in post-revolutionary negotiations between the United States and Brant’s fellow Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) leaders.

Learn more about Brant as part of : https://bit.ly/3dcpXYi

11/21/2023

Mount Vernon's Manager of Historic Trades, Sara Marie Massee, concludes her four-season reflection on eating at Mount Vernon as she discusses the fall harvest of the 18th-century plantation.

George Washington selected this striking green paint for his dining room and called it "grateful to the eye." The paint ...
11/19/2023

George Washington selected this striking green paint for his dining room and called it "grateful to the eye."

The paint was made from verdigris, the corrosion product of copper. It was incredibly expensive in the 18th century. This paint required constant refreshing because, as a copper product, the paint continued to oxidize and eventually turned black.

See the dining room up close with our virtual tour: https://bit.ly/3UYZ7s3

Our restoration efforts aim to represent the estate as it appeared in 1799, the last year of George Washington’s life.Mo...
11/18/2023

Our restoration efforts aim to represent the estate as it appeared in 1799, the last year of George Washington’s life.

Mount Vernon is one of the best documented and most complete examples of an estate from early America, but discovering, analyzing, and interpreting the extraordinary mass of available evidence is an ongoing process.

Learn more about the ongoing restoration efforts: https://bit.ly/2EfOXhk

11/17/2023

Part of the George Washington Presidential Library's Symposium "The Great Experiment: From the Founding to the Future." Judge David S. Tatel and attorney Neal Katyal in conversation with President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, Jeffrey Rosen.

Hosted November 2-4, 2023, featuring an outstanding lineup of remarkable and thoughtful historians, authors, journalists, and leaders. Panelists discussed our nation’s outstanding example of constitutional democracy and predicted the future challenges of safeguarding democratic government for the next generation.

In November 1790, George Washington ordered new hats for his enslaved coachmen, Giles and Paris. To provide the hatmaker...
11/17/2023

In November 1790, George Washington ordered new hats for his enslaved coachmen, Giles and Paris. To provide the hatmaker with accurate dimensions, the president measured the old caps of the two men with this strip of paper.

He sent the measurements to his secretary Tobias Lear, requesting that he “have two handsome [caps] made, with fuller and richer tassels at top than the old ones have.” Giles and Paris would wear the elaborate hats as they accompanied Washington’s carriage through the streets of Philadelphia.

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

11/17/2023

Boston College Law Professor Mary Sarah Bilder, Harvard Law Professor Michael J. Klarman, and President and CEO of the National Constitution Center Jeffrey Rosen join Mount Vernon President & CEO Douglas Bradburn to discuss the history of the US Constitution.

Hosted November 2-4, 2023, featuring an outstanding lineup of remarkable and thoughtful historians, authors, journalists, and leaders. Panelists discussed our nation’s outstanding example of constitutional democracy and predicted the future challenges of safeguarding democratic government for the next generation.

Although Martha Washington destroyed most of the correspondence between her and her husband, three letters and two posts...
11/16/2023

Although Martha Washington destroyed most of the correspondence between her and her husband, three letters and two postscripts survive. Read one of Martha's postscripts to George Washington: https://bit.ly/3eAL6Rm

11/16/2023

Part of the George Washington Presidential Library's Symposium "The Great Experiment: From the Founding to the Future." Washington Library Director Patrick Spero moderates a conversation about democracy with Founding Era historians Denver Brunsman, Lindsay Chervinksy, and Annette Gordon-Reed.

Hosted November 2-4, 2023, featuring an outstanding lineup of remarkable and thoughtful historians, authors, journalists, and leaders. Panelists discussed our nation’s outstanding example of constitutional democracy and predicted the future challenges of safeguarding democratic government for the next generation.

Mount Vernon was home to Native communities for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Washington family.Archaeo...
11/15/2023

Mount Vernon was home to Native communities for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the Washington family.

Archaeological investigations on the property currently owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association have led to the identification of at least 26 archaeological sites associated with human occupation in the deep past. These sites are located both inside the historic core and throughout the broader property.

The artifacts pictured are just a few of the many objects that have been found at Mount Vernon that showcase the history of Native Americans in the area.

Learn more as part of : https://bit.ly/43RiHem

(Image Credits)
1. Early archaic projectile points recovered from the Mansion vicinity. (MVLA)
2. A flaked, pecked, and ground stone ax. Such tools were used from the Middle Archaic through the Woodland periods. (MVLA)
3. A “lug” handle for a ceramic pot. Note the crushed steatite mixed into the clay body of the fragment. (MVLA)

11/15/2023

Part of the George Washington Presidential Library's Symposium "The Great Experiment: From the Founding to the Future." Join some of America's most preeminent historians, H. W. Brands, Douglas Brinkley, Joanne Freeman, and Edna Greene Medford, as they discuss the history of our nation's democracy. Moderated by C-SPAN founder Brian Lamb.

11/13/2023

Hosted November 2-4, 2023, in celebration of the George Washington Presidential Library’s tenth anniversary, Mount Vernon hosted its largest symposium yet, "The Great Experiment: Democracy from the Founding to the Future," featuring an outstanding lineup of remarkable and thoughtful historians, authors, journalists, and leaders. While discussing our nation’s outstanding example of constitutional democracy, the panelists predicted the future challenges of safeguarding democratic government for the next generation.

We will stream some highlights every evening this week at 7 p.m. ET. Up first is "The Role of the Military in a Democracy," featuring Generals Joseph F. Dunford, John Kelly, and Jim Mattis in conversation with Pulitzer Prize-Winner Rick Atkinson.

To watch all the videos, please visit www.mountvernon.org/democracy

Joe Sliger, Mount Vernon’s vice president for operations, leads the team that keeps George Washington’s historic estate ...
11/12/2023

Joe Sliger, Mount Vernon’s vice president for operations, leads the team that keeps George Washington’s historic estate running around the clock.

His staff works tirelessly behind the scenes—and often before and after hours—to ensure that the estate runs smoothly, despite the wear-and-tear that comes with keeping a historic property open 365 days a year.

Learn more about Sliger's time at Mount Vernon: https://bit.ly/3QwkW2i

Closets in the 18th century were different than how we think of them today. When we think of a closet, we generally thin...
11/11/2023

Closets in the 18th century were different than how we think of them today. When we think of a closet, we generally think of a clothes closet, a small room off a bedroom used for storing clothing.

This kind of closet was rare 200+ years ago because most people did not have as many clothes as we do now, and they stored their clothes in chests or clothes presses. In our ancestors’ homes, closets were more commonly used for general storage or a place to withdraw to perform private functions, such as relieving oneself or bathing.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3Fkj7ik

Today, on  , all active duty, former, or retired military personnel receive free admission to Mount Vernon.Learn more: h...
11/11/2023

Today, on , all active duty, former, or retired military personnel receive free admission to Mount Vernon.

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

Our very own Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture and Livestock, was featured in the Clemson World Magazine in Septembe...
11/09/2023

Our very own Dean Norton, Director of Horticulture and Livestock, was featured in the Clemson World Magazine in September. Dean is a Clemson University alumni and has worked at Mount Vernon for over 50 years.

Read the full article here: https://bit.ly/3Q9OP71

  in 2001, CBS aired an hour-long episode of Martha Stewart Living devoted to George Washington's estate. Martha Stewart...
11/09/2023

in 2001, CBS aired an hour-long episode of Martha Stewart Living devoted to George Washington's estate. Martha Stewart and her crew spent 8 hours filming at Mount Vernon, and she described the estate as "one of my favorite places in the world."

Did you see the episode when it aired?

Learn more about Martha Stewart's visit: https://bit.ly/3ZUllhP

Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-1765) was an armed conflict between the British Empire and Algonquian, Iroquoian, Muskogean, a...
11/08/2023

Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-1765) was an armed conflict between the British Empire and Algonquian, Iroquoian, Muskogean, and Siouan-speaking Native Americans following the Seven Years’ War.

Also known as “Pontiac’s War” or “Pontiac’s Uprising,” the violence represented an unprecedented pan-Indian resistance to European colonization in North America, in which Indigenous nations – Ottawa, Delaware, Potawatomie, Shawnee, Mingo (Seneca), Wyandot, Ojibwe, Huron, Choctaw, Piankashaw, Kickapoo, Tunica, Peoria, and Mascouten – challenged the attempts by the British Empire to impose its will and abrogate Native sovereignty.

Learn more as part of : https://bit.ly/3FmRZPD

(Image Credit)
Conspiracy of Pontiac, by Gari Melchers, 1921. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Mount Vernon’s distillery was one of the largest in the nation in 1799, producing more than 11,000 gallons of whiskey. E...
11/07/2023

Mount Vernon’s distillery was one of the largest in the nation in 1799, producing more than 11,000 gallons of whiskey.

Enslaved distillers Hanson, Peter, Nat, Daniel, James, and Timothy performed the hot and tiring work of making whiskey from a combination of rye, wheat, corn, and malted barley. These men likely slept above the distillery during the busy season.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/45sDYLa

11/06/2023

Learn from George Washington about the farming techniques he uses to yield prosperous crops each year and hear from Priscilla, an enslaved farm worker, about a typical workday at Dogue Run Farm.

Watch the full video here: https://bit.ly/3tG4Xpq

Diego de Gardoqui, a shrewd businessman, was commissioned by King Carlos III of Spain to oversee Spain’s financial and m...
11/05/2023

Diego de Gardoqui, a shrewd businessman, was commissioned by King Carlos III of Spain to oversee Spain’s financial and material support of American colonies during the War for Independence.

After the war, he was appointed Spain’s first ambassador to the Continental Congress, and in 1789 attended the swearing-in of George Washington as the first President of the United States.

Learn more about Diego de Gardoqui: https://bit.ly/3RUv71t

  in 1792, Elizabeth Powel sat down and drafted a letter that she knew could change the future of the fragile United Sta...
11/04/2023

in 1792, Elizabeth Powel sat down and drafted a letter that she knew could change the future of the fragile United States government.

Just three days earlier, her good friend President George Washington had confided in her that he was thinking of resigning. Since Washington was running unopposed, Powel believed that his resignation would be injurious to the order of society. As his close friend, Powel used both her emotional relationship with Washington and her own political understanding to convince him that the country could not continue without his leadership.

Learn more about Powel and her letter to Washington: https://bit.ly/3WefEcW

When George Washington changed his cash crop from to***co to wheat, he was faced with the challenge of how to separate t...
11/03/2023

When George Washington changed his cash crop from to***co to wheat, he was faced with the challenge of how to separate the wheat berry from the top of the wheat stalk.

In a method called treading, animals walked over the sheaves of wheat, and the impact of their hooves separated the grain from the straw. Treading was often performed outdoors, which exposed the wheat to the elements and resulted in a portion of the grain being ruined or lost.

George Washington brought treading indoors at Mount Vernon by inventing a 16-sided treading barn. In this two-story structure, the top level has gapped floorboards on which the horses tread grain. The horses’ hooves knock 90% of the seed from the top of the stalk and down through the floorboards to the clean wooden granary floor below.

Learn more about Washington's invention: https://bit.ly/3xWkD74

First referenced in 1787, the dung repository was located near the stable, making it convenient for horse manure to be d...
11/02/2023

First referenced in 1787, the dung repository was located near the stable, making it convenient for horse manure to be deposited and mixed with other organic matter to produce fertilizer for the nearby gardens, orchard, and fields.

The structure was built by enslaved workers, who were instructed by the farm manager how to prepare and pave the bottom of the manure pit with cobblestones, in accordance with the instructions from a letter George Washington sent.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/48H7src

11/01/2023

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.

Happy  ! Every Wednesday this month, we will be sharing the histories of Native Peoples and George Washington's connecti...
11/01/2023

Happy ! Every Wednesday this month, we will be sharing the histories of Native Peoples and George Washington's connections to them. ⁣

Washington had complicated relationships with Native Americans. He was born into a world where native peoples were still major players in the Americas, despite having suffered through three centuries of European diseases, dispossession, and warfare. Throughout his life, Washington negotiated with and served alongside Native peoples, fought against others, and sought their land for his own prosperity.

Today, George Washington’s Mount Vernon encourages scholarship surrounding Washington and Native Americans. We cannot tell the story of the Virginia Washington knew and the nation he helped to found without including indigenous voices.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/3kVkGK6

(Image Credits)
George Washington engraved peace medal. 65.21. Kravis Discovery Center. circa 1792. Tulsa: Gilcrease Museum

  from Mount Vernon! 🎃 👻
10/31/2023

from Mount Vernon! 🎃 👻

Who can guess what year this photo was taken? 📸Check back on Monday, the 30th, for the answer!
10/28/2023

Who can guess what year this photo was taken? 📸

Check back on Monday, the 30th, for the answer!

10/26/2023

Hear from award-winning historian Cassandra A. Good, author of First Family: George Washington's Heirs and the Making of America. Dr. Good shows how the outspoken stepgrandchildren of George Washington played an overlooked but important role in the development of American society and politics from the Revolution to the Civil War.

Over time, you may have noticed that the wall colors inside the Mansion have changed. The Front Parlor's walls had been ...
10/26/2023

Over time, you may have noticed that the wall colors inside the Mansion have changed. The Front Parlor's walls had been blue for nearly 40 years before they were painted a cream color in 2018.

These changes are the result of paint analysis and documentary research. We examine paint samples under a microscope and study historic documents, including letters and inventories, to determine what the Mansion looked like in the last year of George Washington's life, 1799.

Thanks to new technology, recent analysis has identified more paint layers and allowed us to investigate the composition of individual paint layers. This new understanding of the Mansion's appearance has led to some dramatic color transformations.

Learn more about paint analysis: https://bit.ly/3U8bL7I

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Mount Vernon, VA
22121

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