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

Muddy Hole Farm

Muddy Hole Farm was one of the five farms that made up the Mount Vernon estate. Located in the northeast corner of the plantation, running alongside Little Hunting Creek, Muddy Hole is said to have lived…

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American Revolution

Hugh Mercer

In the summer of 1776, when British military operations shifted from New England to the Mid-Atlantic, George Washington dispatched Brigadier General Hugh Mercer to confer with the Governor of New Jersey…

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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

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

Fort Necessity

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

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

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

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

MVLA Early Refurnishing Efforts: The Yellow Room

Located on the southeast corner of the second floor, the Yellow Room overlooks the Potomac River. It connects the central portion of the mansion to the south wing through a door installed by John Augustine…

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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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