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

Anthony Walton White New

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

Hercules

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

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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

Prisoners of War New

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

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

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

First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen." These famous words about George Washington come from a eulogy written by Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee. Lee was a major general…

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Preservation

Allied visits to Mount Vernon during the Second World War

From 1939 to 1945, an unprecedented number of foreign dignitaries visited Mount Vernon during their official tours of the United States.

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Presidency

George Washington and the Supreme Court New

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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