Classroom Tips

The coat is a man's double-breasted coat with a turn-down collar. It is made of wool, cotton, and linen. The coat does not retain any of its buttons; only the thread which once held them remains. The coat is unlined and the edges are unfinished. The coat was made in the United States between 1790-1800 by Hartford Woolen Manufactory. 

Washington sought to encourage civic pride and US industries during his presidency and retirement by supporting American manufacturers and buying their goods, noting in 1789 that "we have already been too long subject to British prejudices." To that end, he wore American-made clothing to public speeches and private events. This blue coat survives as an example of these actions. A note written by his granddaughter, Elizabeth "Eliza" Parke Custis, indicates that it is "made of the first American cloth sent to General Washington and much worn by him."



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