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.


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

Guy Carleton

Guy Carleton, First Baron of Dorchester, was the Governor of Quebec from 1768 to 1778, and Commander-in-Chief of British forces from 1782 to the conclusion of the Revolutionary War.

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American West

Northwest Ordinance

After gaining independence from Great Britain, one of the many contentious issues facing the United States were competing claims to western lands. These lands were generally referred to as the Northwest…

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There were many dogs living at Mount Vernon during George Washington's lifetime. These animals were owned?

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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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Mary Ball Washington

Mary Ball Washington (b. approximately 1707 – d. 1789) is primarily known as the mother of George Washington.

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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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Upper Garden

The upper garden was established in the 1760s and paralleled the lower or kitchen garden to its south?

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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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Jumonville Glen Skirmish

On May 28, 1754 Virginia Regiment Lieutenant Colonel George Washington and Mingo chief Tanacharison led a party of roughly forty men in a raid against twenty-nine French soldiers in present-day western…

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Mount Vernon


In 1759, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis (later, Martha Washington). During the preceding?

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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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Christ Church, Alexandria

Located in Alexandria, Virginia, Christ Church opened its doors in 1773 to serve the Church of England's Fairfax Parish. George Washington helped fund the construction of the church, and his personal bible…

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Thirteen centuries after the Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D., the compendium of Roman classics served as an ideological guidebook for the American founders. Classical Roman concepts and figures exerted a…

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Elizabeth Bryant Johnston

Elizabeth Bryant Johnston (July 12, 1833-January 13, 1907) wrote, prepared, and owned the earliest Visitors? Guide to Mount Vernon (1876).[1] Johnston created new editions of the guidebook according to…

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Creek Nation

The Creek or Muscogee Nation (Este Mvskokvlke) is a modern, federally-recognized Native American tribe in the United States. In the eighteenth-century, though, the Creek Nation was instead the Creek Confederacy…

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