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"The letter without date, with which you were pleased to honor me, accompanied by a plan of this Seat, came to my hands by the last Post-for both I pray you to accept my sincere and hearty thanks.
The plan describes with accuracy the houses, walks, shrubs beries &ca except in the front of the Lawn - west of the Ct yard. There the plan differs from the original - in the former, you have closed the prospect with trees along the walk to the gate - whereas in the latter the trees terminate with two mounds of earth one on each side on which grow Weeping Willows leaving an open and full view of the distant woods - the mounds are at 60 yards apart. I mention this because it is the only departure from the origl." - George Washington to Samuel Vaughan, November 12, 1787

During the 45 years he owned Mount Vernon, George Washington significantly enlarged the Mansion and improved the adjacent lands using fashionable English landscape designs. The resulting picturesque landscape features sweeping vistas accented by dramatically placed plantings of exotic trees and shrubs. Informal serpentine walks outline the guitar-shape bowling green, which Washington first laid out in early 1785. Samuel Vaughan drew this detailed view of the house and grounds from sketches and notes he made in his journal while visiting the estate in 1787. His drawings provide invaluable documentation of how the estate looked during Washington's lifetime.






Ink, watercolor, laid paper


Overall: 32 in. x 16 1/4 in. (81.28 cm x 41.28 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1975

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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