George Washington purchased this Bible for Martha Washington in New York on August 18, 1789. Martha signed her name on several of its pages. Martha's will did not specify who she wished to inherit the Bible, but five pages of handwritten family history contained within indicate it went to her youngest granddaughter, Eleanor "Nelly" Parke Custis Lewis. The Bible descended to Nelly's eldest daughter, who added a beautiful inscription that it provided Nelly "consolation for a load of sorrows, which without their guiding councils, she never could have sustained." More





  • Published - England


Leather, gilt, marbleized paper, ink, laid paper


Overall: 11 1/4 in. x 9 1/2 in. x 5 in. (28.58 cm x 24.13 cm x 12.7 cm)
Other (book box): 12 3/8 in. x 10 1/2 in. x 5 7/8 in. (31.43 cm x 26.67 cm x 14.92 cm)


Gift of Esther Maria Lewis, 1951


First title page, bottom center, above publication information, in brown ink: Martha Washington / 1789
Note: This signature was entirely obliterated during conservation treatment, but a photograph of the title page with this signature is located in the object file.

Dedicatory page to King James, center, above text, in brown ink: Martha Washington her Book - 1789
Note: This signature is now extremely faint due to damage during conservation treatment.

Title page to the New Testament, center of top half of page, below "Testament," in brown ink: Martha Washington / 1789

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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