Visiting Washington, D.C. is an exciting and inspiring experience. There is more history in this city than anyone can absorb or explore in several lifetimes. Virginia is known as the “birthplace of Presidents”. In our Nation’s founding years Virginians made their presence known by their active leadership in the Revolution and early Republic. Exposure to so much grandeur, marble statues of heroes, the business of government and the busy traffic in DC can be a little overwhelming. Why not plan a trip to the green country outside the Capitol and spend time seeing what George Washington saw before and after he led the Colonies and then the new Nation to victory and freedom?
Mount Vernon was the home of Washington’s half-brother Lawrence, whom Washington greatly admired and he inherited it from his estate. George Washington had dreamed of being a gentleman planter since youth and he began to form Mt. Vernon into the Virginia gentleman’s plantation of his dreams. He enlarged the estate, actually five farms on 5,000 acres, and it grew to be a model of the homes of the wealthy planter class. But George Washington was drawn into the service of his King, Colony and then his Nation as a militia colonel in the French and Indian War and then as a representative to the Continental Congress. When the Congress realized that an army was necessary to confront the Regulars of their former King, Washington was commissioned commander in chief over several other notables, including John Hancock.
Today Mt. Vernon has been restored as a living history outdoor museum. Visitors can witness the lives of those who made Mt. Vernon a model for success in the 18th century. From the lives of everyone who lived and worked there, from craftsmen to slaves who worked the fields, barns and served in the mansion we can learn how America in 1790 worked, thought and spoke. 18th century America was a complex and sophisticated society and a visit to George Washington’s Mt. Vernon home can give us a look insde our past.