Mount Vernon

George Washington was not a great soldier.  As a young man, the French forced him into a humiliating surrender after he built a stockade at an indefensible position in a Pennsylvania meadow.  His advice to British General Braddock contributed to the disastrous defeat by the French and Indians near Fort Duquesne (present-day Pittsburgh).  In the Revolutionary War, he had a bad habit of allowing his army to be outflanked.  America’s French allies outnumbered his own troops at his one great victory, the siege of Yorktown.  Washington’s great contribution to the country was not military but political: he set a precedent for the United States that still sets us apart from much of the world by peacefully and voluntarily relinquishing executive authority within a constitutional order.  It is appropriate, then, that his most important memorial be the working plantation for which he yearned throughout his public service, and to which he returned after retiring from the presidency, Mount Vernon.  The private Mount Vernon Association preserves George Washington’s plantation near Washington, D.C.  Mount Vernon was the home of Washington and his wife, the former Martha Custis, for over 45 years.  (Much of the time, of course, he was away on campaign or serving in office.)  Washington inherited the property, which had been in his family since 1674, at the death of his brother’s widow in 1761. The home has been restored to its appearance in 1799, the year of Washington’s death.  In recent years, archaeologist have been busy excavating near the mansion, at the communal slave quarters, the grist mill and other sites that were important parts of Washington’s working plantation.

Address: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22309
Web Address:
Phone:(703) 780-2000

Click here for a map of Historic Mount Vernon and surrounding areas.

Leave a Reply