In 1888, Miss Alice Longfellow, the daughter of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, donated this chair to Mount Vernon Ladies' Association with the understanding that it had been used by George Washington at the Craigie house, which served as his headquarters during the siege of Boston in 1775-1776. Recent research has revealed that the style and construction of the chair postdate the Revolution, and thus that it would not have been used by Washington.


Shield-back armchair with curvilinear arms, ogee- or concave-curved arm supports, a pierced and carved six-rib splat, and a serpentine-front seat with straight sides upholstered over the rails on molded, square, tapered front legs joined by H-stretchers and a rear stretcher mounted higher between the rear legs. Splat consists of three pairs of ribs joined by four abstract carved beads, the innermost pair form an elongated teardrop and the outermost pair have flared capitals. Flat-faced crest rail, stiles, and stay rail with a narrow, incised line along their outside edges and rounded backs. Raked-back rear legs. Corner blocks and open corner braces in three corners. The corner block in the proper left rear corner is a replacement.

Upholstered over the rails in a quilted, natural-colored cotton printed in red with sprigs of flowers and rural vignettes. A border of red gimp secured by a line of decorative brass tacks outlines the lower edge of the seat rail on all sides.





Mahogany (primary), ash (side seat rails), white oak (front and rear seat rail and corner braces)


Overall: 38 1/2 in. (97.79 cm)

Credit Line

Mount Vernon Collection

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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