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

16-Sided Barn

The 16-Sided barn on Washington's Dogue Run farm was one of the most innovative structures at Mount Vernon

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American Revolution

Resignation of Military Commission New

On December 23, 1783, then commander in chief of the Continental Army, George Washington, addressed the Continental Congress in Annapolis in order to resign his military commission. The resignation not…

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American West

Bullskin Lands New

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 New

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…

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Family

Mary Ball Washington

Mary Ball Washington (b. approximately 1707 – d. 1789) is primarily known as the mother of George Washington. Limited information about Mary and her personal life has survived, although the historical…

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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

Fort Necessity New

On the morning of July 4, 1754, Colonel George Washington marched his wounded and battle weary men out of the flimsy, wooden, palisaded circular defensive structure named Fort Necessity. Defeated on the…

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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

Acts of Congress

One of the early responsibilities of the Congress' official printer was to prepare bound copies of the…

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Personal

Eulogies

After George Washington died on the evening of December 14, 1799, news spread slowly from Mount Vernon to the rest of the young republic. However, once people heard the surprising news, they expressed…

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Politics

Robert Dinwiddie New

Robert Dinwiddie poured his ambitions into becoming a successful merchant, as well as a colonial administrator and politician for more than 30 years, including six and a half years as Governor of the Royal…

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Preservation

Mount Vernon Guidebooks: 1876-1936 New

In the first sixty years of the Mount Vernon guidebooks, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association (MVLA) advertised the plantation as an idyllic shrine to George Washington.

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Presidency

Pierre L'Enfant

Noted as one of the most influential architects and city planners in American history, Pierre “Peter” Charles L’Enfant is most famous for designing the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.  Though today…

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Servants and Laborers

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