A-Z Index

Explore the wide range of subjects related to George Washington’s world and the colonial and founding eras.

The George Washington Digital Encyclopedia was generously supported by Richard and Bonnie Dial in memory of Irby and George Prendergast.

Agriculture

Tobacco

The dried leaves of the tobacco plant became the major cash crop in colonial Virginia after John Rolfe brought the seeds of a South American variety, Nicotania tabacum, to Virginia in 1612. Oronoco tobacco…

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American Revolution

Siege of Savannah

The Siege of Savannah (September 23 to October 18, 1779) refers to the failed attempt by American and French forces to retake the port city from its British occupiers. It was one of the costliest battles…

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American West

Northwest Ordinance

After gaining independence from Great Britain, one of the many contentious issues facing the United States were competing claims to western lands. These lands were generally referred to as the Northwest…

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Animals

Dogs

There were many dogs living at Mount Vernon during George Washington's lifetime. These animals were owned?

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Artists

Washington Irving

Washington Irving was one of the most famous American authors of the nineteenth century. While he is primarily remembered for short stories such as “Rip van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” he…

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Enslaved Community and Slavery

William (Billy) Lee

William Lee arrived at Mount Vernon in 1768, after George Washington purchased him from Mary Lee, a wealthy Virginia widow, for £61.15s.1 Washington also bought William?s younger brother Frank, who went…

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Family

John Augustine Washington III

John Augustine Washington III was the great-grand nephew of George Washington and the last private owner of Mount Vernon.

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Food and Drink

Recipe for Small Beer

George Washington’s recipe for “Small Beer” appears in a 1757 notebook of his, which can be found today in its original form at the New York Public Library.1 According to the notebook’s date, Washington…

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Gardens

Upper Garden

The upper garden was established in the 1760s and paralleled the lower or kitchen garden to its south?

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Mansion

Palladian Window

The Palladian (also called Venetian) window on the north elevation of Mount Vernon is one of the house's most distinctive features. The window illuminates the large dining room (known as the new room)…

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Military

Pontiac's Rebellion

Pontiac’s Rebellion (1763-1765) was an armed conflict between the British Empire and Algonquian, Iroquoian, Muskogean, and Siouan-speaking Native Americans following the Seven Years’ War. Also known as…

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Mount Vernon

Mansion

In 1759, George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis (later, Martha Washington). During the preceding?

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Objects

Acts of Congress

One of the early responsibilities of the Congress' official printer was to prepare bound copies of the?

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Personal

The Legend of George Washington's Baptism

Although George Washington was baptized into the Anglican Church by sprinkling as an infant on April 5, 1732, descendants of the Baptist chaplain John Gano (1727-1804) claimed that Washington asked Gano…

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Politics

Robert Dinwiddie

Robert Dinwiddie poured his ambitions into becoming a successful merchant, as well as a colonial administrator and politician for more than 30 years, including six and a half years as Governor of the Royal…

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Preservation

Mount Vernon Guidebooks: 1937-1976

The Regents, Vice Regents and managerial staff of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association (MVLA) authorized significant physical and ideological alterations to the guidebooks during the mid-twentieth century…

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Presidency

Neutrality Proclamation

On April 22, 1793 President George Washington issued a Neutrality Proclamation to define the policy of the United States in response to the spreading war in Europe. “The duty and interest of the United…

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Servants and Laborers

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