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 New

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

New Windsor Cantonment

The American victory at the Battle of Yorktown in October 1781 marked the last major campaign of the Revolutionary War in North America. Until victory was declared, however, General George Washington remained…

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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

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

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

Daniel Morgan New

Daniel Morgan was a Brigadier General in the War of Independence. An impressive battlefield tactician, his military strategies enabled the Continental Army to deliver crushing defeats in the Battle of…

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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

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

Aurora General Advertiser New

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

Mount Vernon Guidebooks: 1937-1976

The Regents, Vice Regents and managerial staff of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association (MVLA) authorized significant physical and ideological alterations to the guidebooks during the mid-twentieth century…

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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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