United States Virginia Washington DC

Adorning the Banks of the Potomac: Mount Vernon

We concluded our eight months gone from Colorado by visiting the home of the first President on our last day. Mount Vernon wrapped up our short and unofficial tour of Founding Fathers’ sights (following our visit to the North Bridge in Concord MA and Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville).

When not leading the revolutionary forces in war or leading the country as our first President, Washington was at Mount Vernon, a majestic plantation home high above the banks of the Potomac River. Lovingly restored and meticulously preserved, a visit to the mansion is like stepping back in time to the late 18th century with artwork hung and furniture used by the former President and his wife. In the entryway, proudly displayed where George and Martha themselves hung it, is one of the official keys to the Bastille Prison, where the French Revolution was born, presented to Washington by Lafayette.

Additionally, the out-buildings provide a good glimpse into life as a slave, indentured worker or other hand at Mount Vernon. Like Jefferson, Washington was conflicted on slavery, freeing most (but not all) of them upon his death, though not until after his death and only about two thirds of them (actually, his order was to free the ones designated for freedom after Martha’s death, but she freed them when he passed away).

After touring the buildings, take a few minutes to stroll around the gardens, visit Washington’s grave and take in the beautiful views of the Potomac, much like Washington did in his lifetime.

The museums, beautiful grounds and home of America’s first President are worth the visit just a short drive alongside the Potomac south of Washington DC. If you have a car or mode of transport during your visit to the Capitol it’s worth an afternoon stop. Come here to pay homage to our first President.

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