Objects

Writing in the 18th Century

Writing in the 18th Century New

Writing in George Washington’s era was a complex technical process that required a diverse array of materials and techniques, often difficult or expensive to acquire, and laden with social meaning.

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Acts of Congress

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

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Bastille Key

In 1790 George Washington received the key to the Bastille prison from an appreciative Marquis de Lafayette. It remains at Mount Vernon to this day.

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Charles Willson Peale's Cabinet Portrait

Between 1772 and 1798, twenty-four artists painted George Washington. Charles Willson Peale was the first?

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Chinese Porcelain

The wide array of ceramics and Chinese porcelains that made their way to George Washington's residence at Mount Vernon were a testament not only to his own personal taste but also reflected a popular fashion among the American elite. Elegantly furnished dining and tea tables were common among the aristocracy in eighteenth-century England and France, and prosperous Americans eagerly imported similar luxury goods both before and after the Revolution.

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Chippendale Side Chair

The Chippendale side chair was one of the fourteen plain mahogany side chairs that George Washington used in New York City.

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Copy Press

George Washington used an innovative copy press to help create duplicates of his written correspondence.

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Don Quixote

George Washington spent the summer of 1787 in Philadelphia presiding over the Federal Convention that?

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False Teeth

George Washington suffered from poor dental health throughout his adulthood; beginning in his twenties?

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George Washington's Mastodon Tooth

In 1780, about seventy miles north of New York City in Orange County, New York, some strange bones and teeth were discovered by a ditch digger on the farm of the Reverend Robert Annan.  General George Washington and the Continental Army were in winter quarters nearby and word of the discovery reached Washington; his curiosity aroused, he gathered some officers and took a sleigh ride to see the bones for himself.  Robert Annan wrote an account of Washington’s visit revealing that Washington owned a strange tooth: “He told me, he had in his house a grinder which was found on the Ohio [River]”1      Washington’s grinder was the tooth of an unknown animal collected from Big Bone Lick near the Ohio River in Kentucky. 

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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 George Washington's handwriting, includes two sections, or parts, each with a first line index, bound together into a single volume.1  The songs are mostly about love and of a pastoral nature, reflecting the idealized tastes of the English elite around the middle of the 18th century.

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Watermark

George Washington's watermark featured a central figure of Liberty leaning on a plow, holding a liberty?

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Writing in the 18th Century New

Writing in George Washington’s era was a complex technical process that required a diverse array of materials and techniques, often difficult or expensive to acquire, and laden with social meaning.

Learn More
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