Sunday, January 13, 2013

George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

After buying tickets online the night before I made my way south down the George Washington Parkway to George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate.  Every child in America learns about our Founding Father and first president, and looks at pictures of Mount Vernon in school.   I arrived on a gray January morning and when I arrive the parking lot was empty and there was virtually no line to get in.  It was the end of the Christmas season and the visitor's center was still decorated with tress and other ornaments.  

 After watching a short introductory film about George Washington and Mount Vernon, I headed out onto the grounds.  I rounded a corner on a trail and looked across a large expanse of still green grass and saw the mansion for the first time.  As usual when I see something so historical for the first time, a slight chill goes up my spine.  This time was no different.  

George Washington lived and died in this house in 1799, dying of an infection in his throat.  His wife Martha died two years later in a bedroom on the third floor, both are buried on the property.  

The view from the back of the house overlooks the Potomac River, and just several miles north (to the left) one can see the monuments of Washington, DC. 

George and Martha Washington are buried on the property (see casket above).   George Washington's casket is to the right (below) and Martha Washington's to the left.  Over 25 family members are buried behind the black door in the picture. 

George Washington freed slaves that belonged to him upon his death, but this did not include slaves belonging to his wife, which she brought to the marriage from her first marriage.  On the grounds there are two memorial stones paying tribute to all the slaves buried in unmarked graves.  One is below. 

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