This event will feature Caribbean flavor and flare as we celebrate the publication of George Washington’s Barbados Diary. We will debut a small batch of rum made at Washington’s own distillery. This is an event not to be missed and a wonderful opportunity to introduce new guests to Mount Vernon’s beautiful vistas and important mission of education and preservation.
Washington’s Barbados Diary
George Washington’s Barbados Diary is the only document that exists from his formative years. Written when Washington was 19 years old, the diary chronicles his observations from his journey down the Potomac River to Bridgetown, Barbados with his older half-brother Lawrence in 1751-1752.
The diary’s condition is fragile, and with the support of the Life Guard Society, a team of experts from the Washington Papers has undertaken considerable research to create an annotated, transcribed edition of the diary that every historian studying Washington’s early life will need to reference. This definitive edition will be more accurate than any other and include maps, a scholarly introduction, and four appendices. Washington’s Barbados Diary will be released in both print and digital forms this spring.
Highlights Mentioned in Washington's Barbados Diary
- Open sea sailing
- Capture of sharks and dolphins
- Fireworks display
- Professional theater performance
- First taste of exotic produce: pineapple, avocado, China orange
Washington’s trip to Barbados was his only journey abroad, and as the only known Washington document surviving from 1751, this diary is one of the best ways to discover a young George Washington. His entries record how he acquired a life-long love of pineapple and his first taste of avocado. On the long journey to Barbados, he tells of catching dolphins and a shark. He was taken with the lush green of the island and the fields of sugar cane, fruit trees and corn.