In the late 1790s, George Washington gave this diminutive trunk to the infant child of his eldest granddaughter, Eliza Parke Custis. According to an inscription on the inside of the trunk, Eliza retained the keepsake to preserve it for when her daughter could appreciate its significance. A second inscription relates that Eliza once again took stewardship after her daughter's untimely death, and subsequently passed the trunk on to her grandchild, Elizabeth Parke Custis Rogers.


Small rectangular trunk made of wood boards covered in a green composite material, lined in decorative paper, and ornamented with brass tacks, and a brass handle, escutcheon plate, and latch; trunk walls are made from four butt-joined and glued boards; the interior is covered in a decorative striped paper; two paper notes are glued into the bottom of the inside of the trunk and the inside of the lid. The exterior of the trunk is covered in a composite of green leather and paper; the covering butts all edges with the exception of the exterior rear wall of the lid and case base, the uninterrupted swath serves as the lid "hinge"; the front of the case base and the top of the lid are outlined with brass tacks, the lower right and left hand corners of the front are further decorated with two quarter-fans, a half circle of tacks envelopes the escutcheon, quarter-fans decorate the four corners of the lid and the handle is encircled with an oval of tacks; the handle is presumably screwed to the lid whereas the escutcheon plate and latch are attached with nails and tacks, respectively; the trunk also has an iron barrel key with an oval bow.





Leather, wood, paper, brass, fire gilding, iron


Overall: 3 3/4 in. x 8 in. x 4 3/8 in. (9.53 cm x 20.32 cm x 11.13 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. David Garth Holdsworth, Vice Regent for New Jersey, and Mr. Holdsworth, in honor of Emily Whitesides Hammond and Magdalena Crowninshield Hammond, 2008

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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