Gorgets were worn about the neck by on-duty officers during the Revolutionary War. From a distance their crescent shape was recognized as a symbol of rank, and close-up their engraved decoration often testified to their owner's regimental affiliation and patriotic fervor. This example belonged to Lieutenant Alexander Hume of the Second South Carolina Regiment. Its face is ornamented with the liberty pole, crossed flags and the arms of war above the regiment's motto: "Libertas.Portior.Vita," or "liberty is more important than life". According to legend George Washington presented the gorget to Hume who wore it for the rest of his military career. More


c. 1776-1779





Overall: 4 3/16 in. x 4 1/8 in. x 1 3/8 in. (10.64 cm x 10.49 cm x 3.51 cm)
Overall (including ribbon): 10 in. (25.4 cm)


Gift of Alexander Hume Ford and Mrs. Lewis Williams, 1926
Conservation courtesy of the Life Guard Society of Historic Mount Vernon

Object Number



Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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