NE Va., overlooking the Potomac River near Alexandria, S of Washington, D.C.; home of George Washington from 1747 until his death in 1799. The land was patented in 1674, and the house was built in 1743 by Lawrence Washington, George Washington's half-brother. Mount Vernon was named for Admiral Edward Vernon, Lawrence's commander in the British navy. George Washington inherited it in 1754 and made additions that were not completed until after the Revolution. The mansion is a wooden structure of Georgian design, two and one-half stories high, with a broad, columned portico; wide lawns, fine gardens, and subsidiary buildings surround it. The mansion has been restored, after Washington's detailed notes, with much of the original furniture, family relics, and duplicate pieces of the period. The estate was purchased in 1860 by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association (organized 1856), its permanent custodian. In the tomb (built 1831–37) are the sarcophagi of George and Martha Washington and the bodies of other members of the family.
See E. Thane, Mount Vernon Is Ours (1966) and Mount Vernon: The Legacy (1967); J. Manca, George Washington's Eye: Landscape, Architecture, and Design at Mount Vernon (2012).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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