Academy News Program

George Washington’s Mount Vernon

George Washington has positively contributed to American society by leading the Continental Army to triumph, establishing the role as the First President of the United States, and leading the nation towards national unity by signing the bank bill to establish a national bank. Although George Washington did have many positive attributes to American Society, he did have some negative ones too. George Washington owned slaves, had substantial debt, did not have a formal education, and lacked confidence in leading the Continental Army in the American Revolution. Learning and discovering Mount Vernon is a unique experience because George Washington is depicted as a person and not as a perfectionist.

George Washington had many visitors come to Mount Vernon every day, and he would allow them to stay for 1-3 months because of the long travel. After the war, George Washington gained popularity and spent more of his time at Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon has over 15 guest rooms and also has a distillery, garden, smokehouse, storage room, and a plantation. The rooms in Mount Vernon are very unique because of the craftsmanship of the fireplace and the variations in the colors of the wall. The walls varied from blue, green, yellow, and white and most of the furniture came from Asia.

As a child, George Washington’s family owned slaves, and he viewed slavery firsthand. Although this is not the case, George Washington was taught that slavery was all right. He inherited slaves when his father died and bought more slaves because he married into wealth. Although it does not excuse the unhumanitarian ways and cruelty of slavery, George Washington treated his slaves better than most slave owners. He even wrote in his will to free the slaves that he owned. Compared to someone like Robert E. Lee, he did not hurt or torture his slaves. In Mount Vernon George Washington owned over 50 slaves to work in the distillery, plantations, smokehouse, or mansion.

On December 14, 1799 George Washington died of a throat infection. He laid in his bed in Mount Vernon with his wife, Martha Washington besides him. His last words were “Tis well” and then he passed away. He was buried in a tomb in Mount Vernon which still today lies there. There are many visitors that pass to see the tomb and pay their respects to our First President of the United States. George Washington has his flaws but he was certainly a great leader.