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This may be one of the "Six strong hair Trunks well clasped and with good Locks" that General George Washington requested from New York merchant Daniel Parker in June 1783 to transport and safeguard his official wartime papers. In November, an armed guard escorted several wagons laden with the trunks to Mount Vernon, where Washington intended to build a structure "for the accommodation & security of my Military Civil & private Papers." While Washington never realized his goal, the papers ultimately found a secure and fitting home at the Library of Congress.


Rectangular hair trunk; wooden case and lid with remnants of rawhide on the exterior; bound with three iron plates on the back and front of each side, fragments of two iron plates on each side of the lid, four iron plates along base of front and back, and fragments of four iron plates along the front and back edges of the lid; an iron bail handle is mounted to a rectangular iron bar on each short side of the trunk; a continuous double line of decorative iron tacks outlines the lower edge and sides of the front of the trunk and the front edge and sides of the top of the lid; a continuous single line of iron tacks outlines the lower front and side edges of the lid; fragments of thin leather trips are found among each of these rows of tacks; a square brass plate is nailed over the lock opening on the center front of the trunk and the square opening behind it has been left empty; nailed on the center of the lid is an oval copper plate engraved "Genl. Washington"; iron nails used to construct the case are visible throughout, as are rows of nails on the sides and back edges of the trunk that were originally used to affix the rawhide covering; a small rectangular copper plaque nailed to the top center of the back of the trunk is engraved "W 1878"; the interior is unlined.

see also 53-202 Outbuilding number


c. 1783




Rawhide, wood, leather, iron, copper


Overall (H x W x D): 12 in. x 34 3/4 in. x 18 1/8 in. (30.48 cm x 88.27 cm x 46.05 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1953


Engraved on an oval copper plate on the center top of the lid: "Genl. Washington".

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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