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

16-Sided Barn

The 16-Sided barn on Washington's Dogue Run farm was one of the most innovative structures at Mount Vernon

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American Revolution

Henry Knox

Henry Knox was a Revolutionary War general whose efforts to build a robust American militia were paramount to the colonies? victory against Britain, as well as the development of the early Republic?s armed…

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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

Hercules

Hercules, a member of the Mount Vernon enslaved community, became widely admired for his culinary skills?

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Family

Martha Parke Custis Peter

Martha Parke Custis was born on December 31, 1777, in one of the second-floor bedchambers at Mount Vernon. She was the second child of Martha Washington’s son, John Parke Custis, and his wife, Eleanor…

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Food and Drink

Rum

During the colonial era, rum was the preferred alcoholic drink of American colonists.

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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

New Room

Washington's New Room is the largest and most ornate of the rooms found within the Mount Vernon mansion.

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Military

George Baylor

George Baylor was born on January 17, 1752, into the affluent family of John & Fanny Baylor of Caroline County, Virginia.  His father owned a large plantation named “Newmarket” as an homage to the…

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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

The Bull-Finch

The Bull-Finch is a songster, that is, a bound collection of lyrics to songs without musical notation of their melodies.  The Mount Vernon copy, inscribed "Martha Washington 1759" on the title page in…

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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

Timothy Pickering

A Federalist politician, Timothy Pickering was appointed to several federal positions by President George Washington, most notably Postmaster General, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State. He later…

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Preservation

Mount Vernon Guidebooks: 1876-1936

In the first sixty years of the Mount Vernon guidebooks, the Mount Vernon Ladies? Association (MVLA) advertised the plantation as an idyllic shrine to George Washington.

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Presidency

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton was a founding father of the United States, who fought in the American Revolutionary War, helped draft the Constitution, and served as the first secretary of the treasury. He was the…

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