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 “George Washington: the Entrepreneur” is not a moniker that most students associate with our nation’s first President, but it is one of the most illuminating, biographical aspects when looking to understand how Washington saw ideas, hopes, and challenges for the young nation. The American Revolution and the establishment of a new government meant that the economic policies and systems needed to be reinvented or re-invested at all levels. 

Engaging debate between Thomas Jefferson & Alexander Hamilton as President and in his own life at Mount Vernon, Washington was constantly looking for opportunities to sustain the new nation through a strong economy.  His work and ideas as a plantation farmer, invite exploration of the contrast of enlightenment thinking and the plantation economy during the revolutionary and founding eras, including the unjust enslavement of men, women, and children who labored within this system at Mount Vernon and throughout the Atlantic World. 

Through hands-on experiences at recreated 18th-century sites and written primary sources such as account books, farm reports, and maps, participants can envision the changing modes of operation at Mount Vernon as Washington would have; a democracy at work. In studying George Washington's success and failures as a businessman throughout his life, participants will be given the tools to integrate inclusive narratives, historical thinking, and STEAM concepts into the classroom.

Past Program Speakers










Lead Scholar - Dr. Kate Elizabeth Brown, Assistant Professor of History at Western Kentucky University.

Dr. Bruce Ragsdale, Author of A Washington at the Plow: The Founding Farmer and the Question of Slavery 

Steve Bashore, Director of Historic Trades at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Morgan Smith, Social Science and Global Studies Specialist at Loudoun County Public Schools in Northern Virginia. 

Sample Program Schedule

Participant Testimonials

Coming face-to-face with the work of the farm - the treading barn, the mill, the distillery, etc., put a new face on Washington's curiosity and drive as a business man.

I really appreciated the diversity and the focus on the non-white voices in Washington's story and how it is important to know and teach, his entire story.

...the ability to drive inquiry using sources from the past and comparing it to modern day; various interactive technologies and resources to implement in both science and social studies.