At the recommendation of his new farm manager, Scotsman James Anderson, George Washington began building a rye and corn whiskey distillery at Mount Vernon in 1797. In operation by Spring 1798, the distillery did a brisk business - the ledger records over 80 transactions in 1799, for a total sale of 10,942 gallons of whiskey valued at $7,674. A fishery, located half a mile from the distillery site, salted and barreled herring caught in the Potomac for sale and shipment, as well as to feed Mount Vernon's enslaved community. The ledger provides a detailed chronicle of these little-known but highly important business ventures of Washington's last years.






Leather, paper board, ink, laid paper


Overall: 19 in. x 12 in. x 1 1/2 in. (48.26 cm x 30.48 cm x 3.81 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds donated by Mr. and Mrs. Robert A. Best of Omaha, Nebraska, 1996

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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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