Philadelphian David Rittenhouse (1732-1796) was a gifted astronomer, mathematician and scientific instruments maker. President George Washington acknowledged his skills by appointing him first director of the United States Mint on April 14, 1792. Rittenhouse died in June 1796, and this print - after a portrait Peale painted upon Rittenhouse's election as president of the American Philosophical Society in 1791 - was published that December. Washington purchased his copy on January 9, 1797, for $3.00. At Mount Vernon, he placed it in the Small Dining Room alongside other American heroes of science and military valor, including Benjamin Franklin, Anthony Wayne and Nathaniel Greene. More


December 10, 1796



  • Published - United States


Ink, wove paper


Overall: 20 1/4 in. x 14 7/8 in. (51.44 cm x 37.78 cm)


Gift of James K. Cleary, 1887

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.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save