Quick Facts

Condition: Original

Where is it Located

About the Stables

The area around the stable and coach house was always a hub of activity at Mount Vernon. George Washington was an excellent horseman who paid careful attention to the care of his animals. Martha Washington, who encouraged women to ride for exercise, was an avid equestrian in her younger years. The stable dates back to Washington’s lifetime, but the coach house was reconstructed on the original site in 1894.

Under the direction of Peter Hardiman, an enslaved worker whose talent with horses and mules greatly impressed Washington, other enslaved individuals fed and groomed the animals, cleaned harnesses and saddles, and collected manure for use as fertilizer. Their work increased rapidly with the delivery of mares sent to the plantation for breeding and when the horses of visitors needed tending.

Travel by small coach was difficult during the 18th-century. Poorly maintained roads meant that even short journeys could be hazardous and that vehicles wore out quickly. Enslaved workers such as Joe, a driver, and Jack, a wagoner, took care of Mount Vernon’s vehicles. These included a small coach similar to the one displayed here, which, like Washington’s coach, was crafted by well-known Philadelphia carriage makers David and Francis Clark.

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