Family history maintains George Washington wore this sword while an aide to Major General Edward Braddock (ca. 1695-1755) during the French and Indian War. Sent to drive the French out of the Ohio country, the campaign was a military disaster for the British, culminating in Braddock's defeat at the Battle of Monongahela on July 9, 1755, and his death four days later. Washington never forgot this humiliating and demoralizing rout at the hands of a smaller combined French and Indian force, and it proved to be a turning point in his career.

Description

Smallsword. Hilt with silver cast and chased elements featuring twisted or swirled fluting (gadrooning) on the ovoid pommel, center of the knucklebow, quillon, quillon block, edges of the symmetrical shell guards, and both ferrules. No forward quillon. Two, fairly large arms-of-the-hilt or finger rings. Plain, wooden grip (wire binding missing). Blade is of hollow triangular form with a pronounced central channel inside and a spine outside; tapers to the point.

Date

1753-1754


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Steel (blade), wood, silver (hilt)


Dimensions

Overall (Overall length): 37 1/4 in. (94.62 cm)
Overall (Blade length): 30 in. (76.2 cm)
Overall (Hilt width): 4 in. (10.16 cm)


Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Hilary Herbert, Vice Regent for Alabama, 1884


Marks

Four stamps (London Hallmarks) near the terminal of the on the inner side of the knucklebow: lion's head, leopard's head (London assay marks); “JC” maker's mark; lower-case cursive "S" in an incuse shield (date letter).


Object Number

W-82


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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