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Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON

MOUNT VERNON, George Washington's home, lies on the south bank of the Potomac River, near Alexandria, Virginia. The Washington family acquired Mount Vernon in 1690. The central part of the house was built about 1743 for Lawrence Washington, George's half-brother. Lawrence died in 1752, and the property passed to George a short time later.

In 1759 Washington and his wife, Martha, established household at Mount Vernon, and George lived as a tobacco planter there until the outbreak of war in 1775. After the revolution he returned to his home and completed improvements that he had begun earlier, including additions to buildings, gardens, and grounds. At the end of his presidency in 1797, Washington returned again to Mount Vernon, where he died in 1799. He and Martha Washington, who died in 1802, are interred there in the family vault.

The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, founded in 1856, assumed responsibility for restoration and maintenance at Mount Vernon. This organization acquired the


property from the last private owner, Col. John Augustine Washington, in 1858. The wood mansion and thirteen subsidiary structures have survived, and several others have been reconstructed. Together they constitute one of the best remaining examples of the eighteenth-century plantations that were the center of a highly developed social and economic life.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Dalzell, Robert F. George Washington's Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionay America. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

West, Patricia. Domesticating History: The Political Origins of America's House Museums. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1999.

Charles C.Wall/s. b.

See alsoGardening ; Landscape Architecture ; Museums ; National Trust for Historic Preservation ; Preservation Movement .

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Mount Vernon (cities, United States)

Mount Vernon:1 City (1990 pop. 16,988), seat of Jefferson co., SE Ill.; settled 1819, inc. 1872. It is a trade, rail, and industrial center in a farm and coal region. Tools, tires, transformers, coal-mining equipment, and neon signs are manufactured, and there is diversified agriculture. Nearby is a state game farm.

2 City (1990 pop. 67,153), Westchester co., SE N.Y., between the Bronx and Hutchinson rivers and adjacent to the Bronx; settled 1664, inc. 1892. Although primarily a residential suburb of New York City, it has manufactures that include pharmaceuticals and electronic components. Mount Vernon is also notable for being a city with an African-American majority in a predominantly white county. John Peter Zenger was arrested there for libel in 1733. The city itself was not founded until 1851, when a cooperative group bought the land and built a planned community. St. Paul's Church (c.1761), a national historic site, is there.

3 City (1990 pop. 14,550), seat of Knox co., central Ohio, on the Kokosing River; laid out 1805, inc. as a city 1880. It has livestock and dairy farms and manufactures diesel engines, steel, turbines, and glass.

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