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

Anthony Walton White

Siding with the opposition to the royal government, Anthony Walton White was recommended to General George Washington in the first weeks of his command of the Continental Army by George Clinton, a delegate…

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American West

Bullskin Lands

Bullskin Run, also known as Bullskin Creek, is a tributary of the Shenandoah River, located in present-day Jefferson County West Virginia, formerly part of Frederick County in Virginia.  The surrounding…

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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

Washington Irving

Washington Irving was one of the most famous American authors of the nineteenth century. While he is primarily remembered for short stories such as “Rip van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” he…

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Enslaved Community and Slavery

William (Billy) Lee

William Lee arrived at Mount Vernon in 1768, after George Washington purchased him from Mary Lee, a wealthy Virginia widow, for £61.15s.1 Washington also bought William?s younger brother Frank, who went…

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Family

Martha Parke Custis Peter

Martha Parke Custis was born on December 31, 1777, in one of the second-floor bedchambers at Mount Vernon. She was the second child of Martha Washington’s son, John Parke Custis, and his wife, Eleanor…

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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

Bastille Key

In 1790 George Washington received the key to the Bastille prison from an appreciative Marquis de Lafayette. It remains at Mount Vernon to this day.

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Personal

King's College

King’s College in New York City (today Columbia University), was created in 1754 by a Royal charter from King George II as an Anglican college, headed by the Church of England. At its founding King’s was…

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Politics

Aurora General Advertiser

Founded by Benjamin Franklin Bache, the Aurora General Advertiser was published in Philadelphia between 1794 and 1824. Bache, the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, established the Aurora as a Republican newspaper…

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Preservation

Ann Pamela Cunningham

Ann Pamela Cunningham created the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in 1853

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Presidency

George Washington and the Supreme Court

Article III of the Constitution specifically called for a Supreme Court and other inferior courts as Congress saw fit to establish. Once the new federal government began operation in the spring of 1789…

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Servants and Laborers

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