Ink, watercolor, laid paper, papier-mÃ¢chÃ©, gesso, wood lathe (globe), mahogany, mahogany veneer, brass (stand)
Overall: 47 1/2 in. (120.65 cm)
Other (wood base): 34 1/4 in. x 36 in. x 36 in. (87 cm x 91.44 cm x 91.44 cm)
Other (globe): 28 in. (71.12 cm)
Transferred to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association through the generosity of John Augustine Washington III, 1860
Conservation courtesy of T. Eugene and Joan H. Smith
- Ask students to look at a modern day globe or map either physically or digitally in the classroom. Tell students to study both their globe/ map and Washington’s globe, and explain the difference they see. Are the boundaries of nations the same? Are there areas that look unfamiliar? In which language are they written?
- Hold a class discussion about why Washington ordered a globe at the beginning of his presidency. Ask students if they have a globe in their home. Why do people have globes? For what purpose would Washington have used it? Do we use globes for the same purposes today?
- Pair this object with the eighteenth-century map of North America that shows the French and British land holdings in North America. Ask students to compare and contrast the map and globe. Many scholars today note that native holdings and the tenuous level that the European empires held the land are rarely reflected in eighteenth-century maps. Guide students to see what groups of people are on the map and globe and who is absent. Note that North America during the late eighteenth century was a conglomerate of tenuous ownership under French, Spanish, Native Americans, British, and American people.
- Much of the language on Washington’s globe is in Latin. During the late eighteenth century, upper-class young men would learn Greek and Latin as part of their formal education before entering college. Washington was not able to study a foreign language as his older brothers did due to the timing of their father’s death. Ask students why they think the globe was designed in Latin? Based on the knowledge of young men educated in classical languages, for whom would globes be made? Discuss what types of jobs those people might go on to have. Ask students why they think Greek and Latin are not a part of their own school’s education curriculum today. Should they be, and why?
- During Washington’s presidency, a number of foreign policy issues arose, including but not limited to the Genêt Affair, the Treaty of Tripoli, and Pinckney’s Treaty. How would Washington’s globe have been a useful tool during these trans-Atlantic events and others?
Classroom Materials are ZIP files that include, when available: object images (JPEGS) and teaching tips for the classroom. These materials are for educational uses only.
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