A-Z Index

Explore the wide range of subjects related to George Washington’s world and the colonial and founding eras.

The George Washington Digital Encyclopedia was generously supported by Richard and Bonnie Dial in memory of Irby and George Prendergast.

Agriculture

Tobacco

The dried leaves of the tobacco plant became the major cash crop in colonial Virginia after John Rolfe brought the seeds of a South American variety, Nicotania tabacum, to Virginia in 1612. Oronoco tobacco…

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American Revolution

François-Jean de Chastellux

Major General François Jean de Beauvoir, Marquis de Chastellux, was a French officer in Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau's expeditionary force sent to North America…

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American West

The "Indian Prophecy"

In October 1770, George Washington, his personal physician Dr. James Craik, and a group of fellow soldiers journeyed to the Ohio Country. According to Craik's recollections, an indigenous sachem (local…

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Animals

Dogs

There were many dogs living at Mount Vernon during George Washington's lifetime. These animals were owned?

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Artists

Francis Hopkinson

A lawyer, statesman, judge, scientist, and inventor, Francis Hopkinson was intimately involved in shaping and reporting upon America's pre-Revolutionary, Revolutionary and Constitutional eras.  Yet more…

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Enslaved Community and Slavery

Hercules

Hercules, a member of the Mount Vernon enslaved community, became widely admired for his culinary skills?

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Family

Lawrence Washington

Lawrence Washington was the elder half-brother of George Washington, being the oldest living child of Augustine Washington and his first wife Jane Butler. George Washington idolized his elder brother from…

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Food and Drink

Recipe for Small Beer

George Washington’s recipe for “Small Beer” appears in a 1757 notebook of his, which can be found today in its original form at the New York Public Library.1 According to the notebook’s date, Washington…

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Gardens

Upper Garden

The upper garden was established in the 1760s and paralleled the lower or kitchen garden to its south?

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Mansion

Palladian Window

The Palladian (also called Venetian) window on the north elevation of Mount Vernon is one of the house's most distinctive features. The window illuminates the large dining room (known as the new room)…

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Military

Prisoners of War

Prisoners of War (POWs) are combatants captured and held by the enemy during periods of open conflict. During the American Revolution, thousands of soldiers, militiamen, and civilians were taken prisoner…

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Mount Vernon

Mansion

In 1759, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis (later, Martha Washington). During the preceding?

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Objects

The Bull-Finch

The Bull-Finch is a songster, that is, a bound collection of lyrics to songs without musical notation of their melodies.  The Mount Vernon copy, inscribed "Martha Washington 1759" on the title page in…

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Personal

The Legend of George Washington's Baptism

Although George Washington was baptized into the Anglican Church by sprinkling as an infant on April 5, 1732, descendants of the Baptist chaplain John Gano (1727-1804) claimed that Washington asked Gano…

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Politics

Alexander Dallas

Alexander Dallas was a Pennsylvania lawyer, financier, and politician who served as President James Madison’s secretary of the treasury. While serving in this capacity, Dallas helped to lead a movement…

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Preservation

West Ford New

West Ford was born about 1784 at Bushfield Plantation in present Mount Holly, Virginia. He grew up there with his mother Venus, and grandparents Billy and Jenny. Bushfield, 95 miles south of Mount Vernon…

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Presidency

Edmond Charles Genet New

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