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Title: George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia - National Park Service Historical Handbook Series No. 26
Author: Hudson, J. Paul
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "George Washington Birthplace National Monument, Virginia - National Park Service Historical Handbook Series No. 26" ***

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    [Illustration: U. S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR • March 3, 1849]

                      Fred A. Seaton, _Secretary_

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                      Conrad L. Wirth, _Director_


This publication is one of a series of handbooks describing the
historical and archeological areas in the National Park System
administered by the National Park Service of the United States
Department of the Interior. It is printed by the Government Printing
Office and may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
Washington 25, D. C. Price 25 cents.

                           National Monument

                          _by J. Paul Hudson_

    [Illustration: Surveyor]

                        Washington, D. C., 1956

_The National Park System, of which George Washington Birthplace
National Monument is a unit, is dedicated to conserving the scenic,
scientific, and historic heritage of the United States for the benefit
and enjoyment of its people._



  JOHN WASHINGTON                                                       5
  LAWRENCE WASHINGTON                                                   6
  AUGUSTINE WASHINGTON                                                 10
      Early Life                                                       10
      First Marriage                                                   10
      Purchase of Popes Creek Farm                                     12
      Building the Birthplace Home                                     12
      The Birthplace                                                   12
      Second Marriage                                                  14
      Virginia in 1732                                                 14
  GEORGE WASHINGTON                                                    16
  THE DISASTROUS FIRE                                                  22
  A CENTURY OF NEGLECT                                                 23
  THE SAVING OF WASHINGTON’S BIRTHPLACE                                27
  GUIDE TO THE AREA                                                    33
  HOW TO REACH THE MONUMENT                                            43
  ABOUT YOUR VISIT                                                     43
  RELATED AREAS                                                        44
  ADMINISTRATION                                                       44
  SUGGESTED READINGS                                                   44

    [Illustration: _George Washington, colonel of the Virginia militia
    at the age of 40._ From a painting by Charles Willson Peale.
    Courtesy, Washington and Lee University.]

                          _GEORGE WASHINGTON_

_”... His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I
have ever known, no motives ... of friendship or hatred being able to
bias his decision. He was, indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise,
a good, and a great man.... His heart was not warm in its affections;
but he exactly calculated every man’s value and gave him a solid esteem
proportioned to it.... Although in the circle of his friends ... he took
a free share in conversation, his colloquial talents were not above
mediocrity, possessing neither copiousness of ideas, nor fluency of
words.... Yet he wrote readily, rather diffusely, in an easy and correct
style.... On the whole, his character was, in its mass, perfect, in
nothing bad, in few points indifferent; and it may truly be said, that
never did nature and fortune combine more perfectly to make a man great,
and to place him in the same constellation with whatever worthies have
merited from man an everlasting remembrance. For his was the singular
destiny and merit, of leading the armies of his country successfully
through an arduous war, for the establishment of its independence; of
conducting its councils through the birth of a government, new in its
forms and principles, until it had settled down into a quiet and orderly
train; and of scrupulously obeying the laws through the whole of his
career, civil and military, of which the history of the world furnishes
no other example....”_

 Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Dr. Walter Jones, January 2, 1814, more
                                 than 14 years after Washington’s death.

    [Illustration: _A scene along Popes Creek, 200 feet from the
    birthplace home of George Washington._]

    [Illustration: Sundial]

  “A place of rose and thyme and scented earth,
  A place the world forgot,
  But here a matchless flower came to birth—
  Time paused and blessed the spot.”
           —_Inscription on the sundial in the herb garden, Washington’s

The story of the Washington family plantation in Westmoreland County,
Va., where George Washington was born on February 22, 1732, may be
divided into 3 main parts. The first relates to the activities of the
early Washingtons who lived on the plantation during the latter third of
the 17th century and fourscore years of the 18th century—a period
covering 115 years. During that time the plantation between Bridges
Creek and Popes Creek grew; successive members of the Washington family
became prosperous planters, acquired large landholdings, and attained
important civic and political offices in their county and colony. The
climactic year of this first period was 1732—the 6th year in the reign
of King George II and the 125th year in the history of the colony—when
George, the son of Augustine and Mary Ball Washington, was born. The
period ends during the American Revolution when the home in which George
first saw the light of day accidentally caught fire, burned to the
ground, and was abandoned as a homesite.

The second period spans a hundred years—a century when the birthplace
site was neglected, and was all but forgotten by a growing nation which
showed little or no interest in preserving the birthplace of its great
military leader and first president. Wild honeysuckle and bramble
thickets covered the foundations of the burned home; the place was
forgotten for so many years that knowledge of the exact location and use
of many of the plantation buildings became lost.



  Born 1632, founder of Washington family in Virginia, 1656-57.
  Died Sept. 1677.

  Daughter of Lt. Col. Nathaniel Pope.
  Married 1658, died 1669.

    Born Sept. 1659, Westmoreland Co., Va.
    Died 1698.

    Daughter of Augustine Warner.
    Married 1690, died 1701.

      Born 1694.
      Died 1743.

      (1) JANE BUTLER
      Born 1699.
      Married 1715.
      Died 1729.

        Butler, died young.
        Lawrence, of Mt. Vernon.
        Augustine, inherited Wakefield.

      (2) MARY BALL
      Daughter of Joseph Ball.
      Born 1708.
      Married 1731.
      Died 1789.

        Born February 11, 1732 (Old Style); or February 22, 1732 (New
        Married Jan. 19, 1759.
        Died Dec. 14, 1799.

        Widow of Daniel Parke Custis.

        John Augustine.

    [Illustration: _Wine bottle seal found near homesite of John
    Washington, and drawing of a bottle of the period._]

The third and last period of the story covers the years when the Federal
Government, various individuals, and patriotic organizations became
interested in preserving the historic site; a period culminating in the
preservation of the ancient plantation by the Wakefield National
Memorial Association and the United States Government.

                           _John Washington_

In late 1656, or early 1657, John Washington, about 24 years old,
arrived in the Potomac River in Westmoreland County, Va., as mate of the
Ketch, _Sea Horse of London_. Owing to a disagreement with the owner and
captain of the vessel, Edward Prescott, John decided to remain in

Of John’s early history little is known. He was born in England about
1632, son of the Reverend Lawrence Washington (M.A., B.D., Fellow of
Brasenose College, Oxford, Rector of Purleigh, Essex) and Amphillis
Twigden of Northamptonshire. In November 1640, Charles I presented John
with a “scholar’s place” at Sutton Hospital (Charterhouse School), but
owing to a long waiting list he did not receive an appointment and
appears to have been educated elsewhere.

A year or two after his arrival in Virginia, John married Anne Pope and,
in 1659, was given land on Mattox Creek by his father-in-law, Col.
Nathaniel Pope. Here their first son, Lawrence (George’s grandfather),
was born in September 1659. John quickly took rank with the important
men of his community. In 1661 he was elected a vestryman of his church.
The same year he was appointed coroner, and in 1662 he was made justice
of Westmoreland County Court. In 1664 a distinct honor was accorded
him—the changing of the name of Appomattox Parish in Westmoreland County
to Washington Parish, the one it bears today.

On December 3, 1664, John Washington purchased from David Anderson 100
acres on the east side of Bridges Creek (only a short distance from its
confluence with the Potomac River), and there he and Anne established
their second home. Known as the Bridges Creek plantation, it was the
first tract of land acquired by a Washington on the area which today is
designated as George Washington Birthplace National Monument. There John
and his family lived and prospered, and there he developed his tidewater
plantation and carried out many important duties for his King and
colony. (Seventy-eight years after John acquired the Bridges Creek
property it was purchased by George’s father, Augustine Washington, and
for the first time became a part of the plantation which later became
known as “Wakefield”.)

About 1672, John was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the county
militia and, in 1675, was directed to raise troops to conduct a campaign
against the Doeg Indians in Maryland who had made forays into Virginia
and murdered three citizens. On at least two occasions, John represented
his county in the Virginia House of Burgesses and attended its sessions
at Jamestown, the “Capital Cittie” of the colony. In 1676 he actively
supported Royal Governor William Berkeley against rebellious Nathaniel
Bacon and his followers, and later was awarded 9,950 pounds of tobacco
for his part in raising forces to aid in suppressing the rebellion.

By importing servants whose land “headrights” he could claim by
purchase, by original patent, and by taking up grants of deserted land,
John yearly added to his holdings, and at the time of his death owned
several thousand acres of land in tidewater Virginia, including the
property on the Potomac which later became known as Mount Vernon. John
died in 1677 and was buried in the family cemetery at Bridges Creek,
about 1¼ miles northwest of the site where his illustrious
great-grandson, George, was born 55 years later.

                         _Lawrence Washington_

Lawrence Washington was 5 years old when his parents moved from Mattox
Creek to the Bridges Creek plantation. Except for a few months when he
may have attended grammar school in England, he lived at Bridges Creek
until early manhood. He was 18 when his father, John Washington, died;
being the eldest son, he inherited the largest share of the land. As he
grew and matured, he became a man of means, culture, and ability, and
during his short life-span of 39 years he was honored with the highest
political offices which the citizens of Westmoreland County could

    [Illustration: _The memorial house built in 1931 by the Wakefield
    National Memorial Association to commemorate the birthplace of
    George Washington._]

    [Illustration: _Ax and hoe of the 17th century unearthed at Bridges
    Creek, near where John Washington lived, 1664-77._]

Following in his father’s footsteps, he served as justice of the Court
of Westmoreland County, as an officer in the county militia, and a
member of the Virginia House of Burgesses. He was first elected to the
latter office when only 25, serving four terms as a burgess in the
Colonial Assembly at Jamestown. Another position he held for several
years was sheriff of Westmoreland County.

In 1690 Lawrence married Mildred Warner of Gloucester County, Va.,
daughter of a prominent planter, Augustine Warner, who at one time had
been speaker of the House of Burgesses and a member of the Governor’s
council. Their second son, Augustine, born in 1694, was destined to
become the father of George Washington.

Lawrence Washington died in 1698, and was interred in the family
cemetery at Bridges Creek. He left a sizeable estate to his wife and
three children (his personal property alone consisted of £406 and 32,509
pounds of tobacco), and to each of the two Anglican churches in
Washington Parish he provided for “a Pulpett Cloth & Cushion.”

    [Illustration: The Popes Creek-Bridges Creek Plantation (_known as
    Wakefield about 1773_) & adjacent lands where the early Washingtons
    lived & prospered.]


                          _Mattox Creek Farm_

_John Washington, great-grandfather of George and founder of the
Washington family in Virginia, landed near here in 1656-57. Here John
and his wife, Anne Pope, were given land by John’s father-in-law, Col.
Nathaniel Pope. Here their first son, Lawrence (George’s grandfather),
was born in 1659. Lawrence inherited the Mattox Creek farm when his
father died in 1677._

                        _The Bridges Creek Farm_

_John Washington (George’s great-grandfather) purchased 100 acres of
land here in 1664 and established his second home in Virginia, where he
lived for 15 years—until his death in 1677. Here Lawrence Washington
(George’s grandfather) lived as a boy. George’s father, Augustine
Washington, acquired the land in 1742. Here John Washington, the
emigrant, established the family burying ground; and in the cemetery are
buried George’s father, grandfather, and great-grandfather._

_Here young George made one of his first surveys—in 1747, at the age of

                             _Church Point_

_Mattox Episcopal Church was located here about 2½ mi. from Popes Creek
where Geo. Washington was born. George may have been Baptized here on
April 5, 1752._

                              SCHOOL HOUSE

_George Washington may have attended the school Henry Williams conducted
here near Mattox Creek, but no direct evidence of this has been found._

                             POTOMAC MILLS

_Mill owned by George’s father, Augustine Washington. Acquired by him in

                           _Popes Creek Farm

_Augustine Washington, George’s father, purchased 150 acres here in
1717-18 from Joseph Abbington. Here he built a brick home between 1723
and 1726. Here George Washington was born on February 22, 1732. The home
burned to the ground in 1779._

    [Illustration: _Part of the court record in a suit over the building
    of Washington’s birthplace._ From Westmoreland Records and
    Inventories, 1723-46.]

                         _Augustine Washington_


George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, was born at Mattox
Creek, Westmoreland County, Va., in 1694. He remembered little of his
father, as Lawrence Washington died when Augustine was only 4 years old.
Two years later his mother married George Gale, and during the autumn of
1700, the family moved to England. Their family life abroad was
short-lived, however, as Augustine’s mother died a year later, when he
was only seven. His stepfather, who seems to have been a kindly man,
sent Augustine and his brother, John, to Appelby School. Their
schooling, too, was cut short, for a year or two later the boys returned
to Virginia to live with their elder cousin, John Washington of
“Chotank,” whose plantation was located on the Potomac, about 20 miles
up the river from Bridges Creek. While little is known of Augustine’s
teen-age activities one can surmise that he enjoyed plantation life to
the utmost while living with various relatives whose farms were located
on the wooded south shore of the Potomac River.


Augustine Washington became of age in 1715, and shortly thereafter
married Jane Butler, daughter of Caleb Butler, a successful Westmoreland
County lawyer and planter. Four children were born of this union:
Butler, 1716 (who died in infancy); Lawrence, 1718 (who built and named
Mount Vernon); Augustine, Jr., 1719 or 1720; and Jane, 1722.

    [Illustration: _Popes Creek._]


In 1717-18 Augustine Washington bought from Joseph Abbington 150 acres
of land on Popes Creek—a beautiful tract overlooking the tidal creek and
the Potomac River. Popes Creek, running along the east side of the
tract, was approximately one-half mile wide, and joined the Potomac
half-a-mile away. From Augustine’s land the river could be seen clearly,
as it was over 5 miles wide from the Virginia side to the distant
Maryland shore. Augustine’s historic piece of property is described in
_Westmoreland Deeds and Wills_:

  All that one hundred and fifty acres of lands scituate in the said
  County of Westmoreland aforesd and bounded Viz. Beginning at a marked
  hiccory on the head of the dancing marsh and so running down the said
  line to Popes Creek thence up the said Creek to the line of Nathaniel
  Washingtons and then up that line to include the aforesd One hundred
  and fifty acres of land which was given to Lawrence Abbington & his
  daughter Lydia Abbington together....

The tract probably included Joseph Abbington’s home, for the purchase
covered “all houses, edifices, buildings, tobacco houses, fences,
orchards, and gardens.”


Some time between 1723 and 1725 Augustine Washington hired David Jones,
a local carpenter and undertaker, to build a house on his Popes Creek
property for 5,000 pounds of tobacco with extra amounts in cash for
incidentals. The late Charles A. Hoppin, authority on the Washington
family, believed that George’s father had the brick for his new home
made on the plantation grounds, the foundations built, and many timbers
hewed for the building before Jones began construction of the house.
Jones also contracted to build for Augustine “2 bedsteads,” “1 cradle,”
“2 Mantoll [mantel]pieces,” and “a small Poplar Table.” David Jones died
in 1725, before the Washington house was completed, and Augustine
entered a claim against his estate asking the sum of 500 pounds of
tobacco. It may be inferred that the home was completed in 1726 and was
about 6 years old at the time of George’s birth.


While little is known about the appearance of the home in which George
was born, the foundations and cellar floors uncovered during
archeological excavations revealed that it was built either partially or
entirely of brick. Several foundations of outbuildings were unearthed,
and all were constructed of brick. So, also, all walls, cellar
stairways, wine vaults, and fireplaces that have been excavated were
built of brick.

The location of the new home was superb, being on a rise of ground 26
feet above Popes Creek and a little over 200 feet inland from its high
western bank. To the east and northeast were pretty water views; to the
north, beyond cleared fields, was Dancing Marsh, green with lush grass
and swamp plants; and to the southeast, 100 yards or so away, was a
little peninsula which jutted out into Popes Creek (now heavily wooded
with a beautiful grove of eastern redcedar, _Juniperus virginiana_). To
the west of the house were pastures and cleared fields, and beyond the
clearings was the dense forest—a mixed stand of broadleaf trees and
evergreens. A farm road ran in a northwesterly direction for a mile or
so, passing by the family burying ground where rested Augustine’s father
and grandfather and other early members of the family. A short distance
beyond the burying ground the road came to an end at the sandy south
shore of the Potomac River.

The new home must have been rather commodious for a 1762 inventory of
its furnishings lists 10 bedsteads, 13 tables, 57 chairs, 8 mirrors, 8
chests, accessories for 8 fireplaces, and scores of other furnishings
and household items befitting a fairly large establishment. Certainly,
the house in which George was born could not have been the humble
1-story clapboard structure portrayed in 19th-century imaginative
sketches by artists who probably knew little about the social and
economic status of George’s father.

Though not a man of great wealth, Augustine was able to send two sons to
England for schooling. Early 18th-century objects unearthed near the
foundations of his Popes Creek home, offer ample proof that he imported
fine quality silver, pewter, glassware, and pottery from the mother
country, and could afford to have his monogram stamped on his wine
bottles. He was a man of some influence in his community, having held at
various times the positions of justice of Westmoreland County Court,
captain in the county militia, sheriff of Westmoreland County, and a
vestryman of his church. He was part-owner of two iron-furnaces—Accokeek
in Virginia and Principio in Maryland—and was financially able to visit
England on two occassions to deal directly with his partners. He owned
land and buildings in 3 Virginia counties and was master of at least 49
slaves. Though not as wealthy as certain other planters in the Northern
Neck (the tidewater counties lying between the Potomac and Rappahannock
Rivers), he was a man of good social standing.

    [Illustration: _Photocopy of the signature of Augustine Washington,
    father of George._ From Westmoreland Court Orders, 1731-39.]

Jane Butler Washington did not enjoy the new Popes Creek home many
years, for in 1729 (when only 30) she died, leaving Augustine with the
care of the 3 children. Lawrence, the eldest, was only 11.


Sixteen months after Jane’s death, Augustine married another young lady
from the Northern Neck, Mary Ball, on March 6, 1731. Mary was born at
“Epping Forest” in Lancaster County, and was left an orphan at the age
of 12. Between that time and the day of her marriage to Augustine
Washington (when she was 23) she had lived with two prominent
Westmoreland County families—the George Eskridges and the Samuel Bonums.
George Eskridge, a kindly guardian, was like a real father to Mary and
it is believed that she later named her first-born child after him.

Following her marriage to Augustine, Mary moved to his Popes Creek home
where his 3 children were in need of their new mother. She soon gained
the respect of her stepchildren—Lawrence 13, Augustine 12, and Jane
about 9. Accustomed to farm life, Mary quickly assumed her new duties as
mistress and manager of the household, and time passed quickly for her.

As February 1732 approached, Augustine and Mary Washington knew that
their first son or daughter soon was to join the family. What they did
not know was that their beloved first born would be a son who, one day,
would become the first President of the United States of America—an
office and a nation not yet dreamed of by any man. They did not know
that their tiny son’s deeds and character would, in time, make him an
immortal figure in the history of the new nation. Nor did they know
that, before 200 years would pass, a city given his name would be the
capital of a great World Power.


In 1732, 125 years had passed since the founding at Jamestown of the
first successful English colony in America. The county of Westmoreland
had been established for 79 years, and three-quarters of a century had
gone by since Augustine’s grandfather, John Washington, had settled in
Virginia. Williamsburg had been the capital of the colony for 33 years,
and William and Mary College was in its 40th year. Some of Augustine’s
older friends remembered Bacon’s Rebellion, which had flared up and had
been extinguished by Governor Berkeley 56 years earlier. Augustine
himself certainly remembered news of the fight between Blackbeard’s
pirates and Virginia sailors, for only 14 years had gone by since the
ruthless pirate leader had been killed off Ocracoke Island on the Outer
Banks of North Carolina. Augustine also remembered accounts of the
expedition Governor Spotswood had led to the distant Blue Ridge
Mountains in 1716, for this adventuresome exploit was still discussed by
the tidewater planters who coveted the little-known lands beyond the
distant mountains.

    [Illustration: _Washington family coat of arms._]

    [Illustration: _Ball family coat of arms._]

There were only two towns in Virginia of any considerable
size—Williamsburg and Norfolk—by 1732. The population of the colony was
estimated at 114,000, of which 76,000 were whites and 38,000 Negroes.
George Gooch was Lieutenant Governor of the Royal Province and George II
was in the 6th year of his reign.

In 1732 William Byrd of “Westover” and Peter Jones were surveying the
North Carolina-Virginia boundary line, and another year was to go by
before Petersburg and Richmond would be laid out as townsites. There was
not a single newspaper in Virginia in 1732; Augustine may have read _The
Maryland Gazette_ (published in Annapolis by W. Parks at 15 shillings a
year) or one printed in London.

Tobacco was the important money crop, and almost every ship that sailed
from a plantation wharf carried hogsheads of the “delightful weed” in
its hold. Many other commodities, too, were shipped to the mother
country as well as to New England, the middle colonies, Barbados,
Madeira, Bermuda, and Jamaica. Exports from one Virginia shipping
district—Porth South Potomac—in 1732 included (besides tobacco) staves,
timber, corn, wheat, peas, beans, masts, pig iron, feathers, pork,
cotton, earthenware “parcels,” woodenware “parcels,” bacon, hides,
deerskins, beaver skins, oak and walnut logs, cider and cider casks,
beef, wine pipes, snakeroot, tallow, pewter and brass “parcels,” and
copper ore casks. Items imported included rum, salt, Irish linen, fish,
chocolate, molasses, sugar, earthernware, “woodware,” millstones,
Madeira wine, cheese, rice, ironware, and “parcels from Great Britain.”
The latter “parcels” included furniture fabrics, rugs, pottery and
porcelain, silver, pewter, copper and brassware, and other household
furnishings and accessories needed by the colonists.

                          _George Washington_

On February 11 (Old Style), 1732—when jasmine and jonquils were
beginning to bloom and dark purple berries were forming on the native
“cedar” trees—Mary Ball Washington gave birth to her first child, a boy
she named George. The time was about 10 o’clock in the morning. At a
later date the event was recorded with brevity in the family Bible:

  George Washington son to Augustine & Mary his Wife was Born ye 11th
  Day of February 1731/2 about 10 in the Morning & was Baptis’d the 5th
  of April following Mr. Beverley Whiting & Capt Christopher Brookes
  godfathers and Mrs. Mildred Gregory godmother.

The date, “11th Day of February,” was “Old Style.” By the Gregorian
calendar, adopted by Great Britain in 1752 and now in use in the United
States, the date was February 22, 1732, “New Style.”

The place where George was baptized on the 5th of April is unknown,
although the christening probably took place in the Popes Creek home. If
not there, it may have occurred at Mattox Church (located at Church
Point about 2½ miles away) or at Round Hill Church about 16 miles from
the Popes Creek home by road. The Reverend Roderick McCullough was the
minister in charge of the Episcopal churches in Washington Parish in
1732, but of his actual administering of the rite there is no record.

Very little is known about the godparents. A Beverley Whiting served as
a burgess from Gloucester County, and a Christopher Brooke was captain
of a Virginia ship, the _Cambridge_, but there is no evidence that these
men were the ones, with similar names, recorded in the family Bible. The
godmother, Mildred Washington Gregory, was George’s aunt.

The first 3½ years of George’s life were spent at the Popes Creek
plantation. At some unknown date between March 25 and November 18, 1735,
Augustine Washington moved his family up the Potomac River about 50
miles to his farm on Hunting Creek (known today as Mount Vernon). Three
years later Augustine purchased a 288-acre farm near Fredericksburg, and
about December 1, 1738 (when George was almost 7 years old) moved there
with his family.

In 1742 Augustine acquired another tract of land between Popes Creek and
Bridges Creek—within sight of the home where George was born. With the
exception of one piece of property on the river all of the Popes
Creek—Bridges Creek peninsula was now owned by George’s father.

In 1743, a few weeks after George’s 11th birthday, Augustine Washington
was stricken with a stomach disorder, and died on the 12th of April. He
was interred in the family burying ground at Bridges Creek, where his
father, Lawrence, and grandfather, John, were buried. Augustine left the
Popes Creek—Bridges Creek plantation to his second son and namesake,
Augustine, Jr. (one of George’s elder half brothers).

After his father’s death it appears that George resided variously with
his mother on her farm near Fredericksburg; at Mount Vernon with another
half brother, Lawrence; at “Chotank” in King George County with other
relatives; and at his birth home on Popes Creek with his elder half
brother, Augustine, Jr.

The frequency and length of these visits of George to Popes Creek are
not known, but there is ample evidence that he stayed with his elder
brother and sister-in-law on many occasions for long periods. During
such visits he must have become familiar with every nook and cranny in
his birth home, as well as with its outdoor attractions—the green fields
of tobacco, corn, and wheat; the sweet-scented herb garden; the domestic
animals, and other aspects of farm life beloved by all boys fortunate
enough to know them.

    [Illustration: _Survey of Bridges Creek area by George Washington at
    the age of 15._]

    [Illustration: _A copy of a chain, compass, and scale drawn by
    George Washington when he was 14 years old._]

Beyond the cultivated fields grew the dense forest, which only a century
before had been the hunting ground of the Indians. The dominant trees in
the majestic woods were the broadleaf species—oak, maple, walnut,
hickory, chestnut, holly, dogwood, persimmon, and
tulip-poplar—interspersed with a few conifers, including cedar and
several species of pine. Wild animals were abundant and young George
probably hunted deer, bear, turkey, and other woodland creatures.

Tranquil Popes Creek must have had a special appeal to the growing boy,
for along its edge, ducks and wild geese searched for food, and in its
waters swam large turtles and many kinds of fish. More inviting than the
creek, however, was the broad Potomac River—an invitation to fish, swim,
and sail boat.

All was not play at the Popes Creek plantation. For when George visited
his elder brother he undoubtedly helped with the numerous farm chores.
Then, too, he may have attended the school Henry Williams conducted near
Mattox Creek, although no direct evidence of this has been found. There
is, however, reliable evidence that he mastered his first lessons in
surveying while visiting his birthplace, for an existing survey of the
Bridges Creek area was made by George in 1747, when he was only 15 years


_12′×12′ Foundation of 17^th century building located ¼ mile northeast
of the Washington Family burying ground. Believed to be a building
constructed by Henry Brooks, who patented the land in 1657. Excavated in


_20′×14′ Foundation of building unearthed 180 feet southeast of
Washington family burying ground, Bridges Creek, 1930 and 34. The
structure—on land acquired in 1664 by John Washington (George’s
great-grandfather)—was probably an outbuilding._

_21′×36′ Foundation of early 18^th century building unearthed by the War
Department in 1896, traditionally the one in which George Washington was
born in 1732._

_Source—From a “Map Showing foundation of the Wakefield Mansion—Where
tradition affirms Washington was born”. Map drawn by John Stewart, C.E.,


_Foundation of early 18^th century chimney unearthed in 1896._

_14′×14′ Foundation of early 18^th century building (probably a
smokehouse) unearthed by the National Park Service in 1936._

                            COLONIAL GARDEN

_Foundation of small brick structure unearthed in 1936. Use of structure

_30′×58′ Foundation of old structure known as building “_X_.” Uncovered
by National Park Service in 1930. Re-excavated 1936._

    [Illustration: _Drawn by George Washington in 1750 (copy)_]

It is not known when George left the Popes Creek plantation for the last
time as a youth, but he must have departed with a touch of sadness. The
joys and pleasures of life on such a busy and beautiful tidewater
plantation must have been unforgettable to the tall, teenage boy.

                         _The Disastrous Fire_

George’s elder half brother, Augustine Washington, Jr., the second owner
of the Popes Creek home, died in 1762. The plantation passed to his son,
William Augustine Washington, George’s eldest nephew. William Augustine
took title in full in 1774 when his mother, Ann Washington (who had a
dower life interest in the estate), died. About this time the Popes
Creek plantation, for the first time, was called “Wakefield,” a name
said to have been inspired by Oliver Goldsmith’s _Vicar of Wakefield_,
and which has endured.

During the latter part of the American Revolution, when General
Washington was leading the Continental Army in the north, his birth home
in faraway Virginia caught fire and burned to the ground. Indirect
evidence and tradition indicate that the house was destroyed Christmas
Day, 1779. At the time of the fire the structure was owned by its third
and last owner, William Augustine Washington. According to his daughter,
Sarah Tayloe Washington, her father noticed the roof burning while
returning from a ride. It is believed that a spark from the chimney blew
through the small garret window and set fire to the house. The home
which had sheltered three generations of Washingtons for half a century
was never rebuilt by them.

                         _A Century of Neglect_

After the disastrous fire at Wakefield, 36 years passed before the
birthsite was marked. Finally, in 1815, George Washington Parke Custis
(a grandson of Martha Washington and a ward of George Washington)
visited Popes Creek and, in an imposing ceremony, marked what he
considered to be the spot. Custis, in a letter to the editor of the
Alexandria _Gazette_, described his visit in the following language:

  In June, 1815, I sailed on my vessel, the “Lady of the Lake”, a fine
  topsail schooner of ninety tons, accompanied by two gentlemen, Messrs.
  Lewis and Grimes, bound to Popes Creek in the County of Westmoreland,
  carrying with us a slab of freestone, having the following

                The 11th of February, 1732, (Old Style)
                           George Washington
                               Was Born.”

  We anchored some distance from the land, and taking to our boats, we
  soon reached the mouth of Pope’s or Bridge’s Creek, and proceeding
  upwards we fell in with McKenzie Beverly, Esq., and several gentlemen
  composing a fishing party, and also with the overseer of the property
  that formed the object of our visit. We were kindly received by these
  individuals, and escorted to the spot, where a few scattered bricks
  alone marked the birthplace of the chief.

  Desirous of making the ceremonial of depositing the stone as imposing
  as circumstances would permit, we enveloped it in the “star spangled
  banner” of our country, and it was borne to its resting place in the
  arms of the descendants of four revolutionary patriots and soldiers.

  We gathered together the bricks of an ancient chimney that once formed
  the hearth around which Washington in his infancy had played, and
  constructed a rude kind of pedestal, on which we reverently placed the
  FIRST STONE commending it to the respect and protection of the
  American people in general, and the citizens of Westmoreland County in

  Bidding adieu to those who had received us so kindly, we re-embarked,
  and hoisted our colors, and being provided with a piece of cannon and
  suitable ammunition, we fired a salute, awakening the echoes that had
  slept for ages around the hallowed spot.

Custis’ visit to Washington’s birthplace is important for two reasons.
First, the freestone slab which he placed at the birthsite was one of
the earliest monuments erected in the United States as a memorial to
George Washington. Secondly, Custis describes the site as it appeared in
1815 as a “spot where a few scattered bricks alone marked the birthplace
of the chief.”

In 1832, the 100th anniversary of Washington’s birth, the Alexandria
_Gazette_ noted how the nation had forgotten the ancient Popes Creek
farm: “It is surprising that it [Wakefield] should be so little known
and visited. Not one in a thousand of the passengers in Steamboats had
any knowledge that this ‘solum natale,’ of him whom the whole world
honors, is remote but a mile over the waters surface; and hid from his
view only by a fringe of wild shrubbery. Will not Wakefield like Mt.
Vernon, in after time, be the resort of Patriotic Pilgrims?”

In the July 1833 issue of _The North American Magazine_ an unknown
contributor gives a bit of important information about the birth home:
“The old house of his [Washington’s] birth has long since mouldered. The
cellar over which it stood, now mostly filled up, is about fifty feet in
length from east to west, having what seems to be a wine vault in the
corner. An orchard of apple trees of modern growth interspersed with
other fruit trees, surrounds the old cellar; westerly of which are
scattered some apple trees of a very ancient growth, with fruit of a
delicious flavour. These trees are monuments of olden times;
contemporaries probably with the childhood of the Great Statesman.”

As the years passed during the 19th century, others who visited
Washington’s birthplace commented on the neglected condition of the
site. James K. Paulding of New York, a friend of Washington Irving and
author of _A Life of Washington_, described Wakefield in 1835 as a place
where “A few scanty relics alone remain to mark the spot.... A clump of
old decayed fig trees, probably coeval with the mansion, yet exists; a
number of vines, and shrubs, and flowers still reproduce themselves
every year as if to mark the spot.”

In 1851 the Richmond _Whig and Public Advertiser_ observed: “The
birthplace of George Washington is ... marked only by an old brick
chimney, a mammoth fig tree, and a freestone slab.... The slab is broken
in two.... The neglected condition of the spot bears shame against his
country for neglecting to lift up a monument there, to his memory.”

Five years later, in 1856, Bishop William Meade visited Wakefield and
found Custis’ freestone slab broken into fragments. The Bishop wrote: “I
recently paid a visit to the old family seat of the Washingtons.... The
brick chimney is all that remains of the Washington mansion ... except
the broken bricks which are scattered about over the spot where it was
built. The grandson of Mrs. General Washington, Mr. Custis, of
Arlington, some years since placed a slab with a brief inscription on
the spot, but it is now in fragments.” The same year Bishop Meade
visited Wakefield, Lewis W. Washington offered to the State of Virginia
“sixty feet square of ground on which the house stood in which General
Washington was born” together with the family burying ground, provided
“that the State shall cause the premises to be permanently enclosed by
an iron fence, based on a stone foundation, and shall mark the same by
suitable, and modest, though substantial tablets, to commemorate for the
rising generation these notable spots.”

    [Illustration: _The old kitchen chimney at Wakefield in 1872, the
    last surviving structure. It fell the next year._ From a painting
    made by Sarah Pierrpont Barnard in 1872.]

Gov. Henry A. Wise was greatly interested in the offer, and visited
Westmoreland County on April 27, 1858, for the purpose of inspecting the
birthplace site and the Washington family burying ground. As a result of
his visit and consequent recommendations, the Commonwealth of Virginia
accepted the donation and appropriated $5,000 to carry out the wishes of
Lewis W. Washington. Before the protective steps could be carried out,
however, the drumbeats of war were echoing across the land, and only the
ancient fig trees and wild shrubbery continued to mark the venerable

Five years after the Civil War, a visitor to Wakefield observed that the
freestone slab which George Washington Parke Custis had placed over the
presumed birthsite with such loving care had disappeared. It had
remained there only about 55 years before falling a victim to the
vandalism of that time.

Some time in 1873 the old kitchen chimney, which had withstood the
ravages of the elements for a century and a half, finally collapsed and
fell to the ground. It had stood above ground longer than any other part
of Augustine Washington’s plantation buildings which he had built in the
1720’s on Popes Creek.

    [Illustration: _Ruins of the old kitchen chimney at Wakefield._ From
    a sketch made by Charles C. Perkins in 1879.]

                _The Saving of Washington’s Birthplace_

The saving of Washington’s Birthplace was the work of many individuals
and organizations, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Wakefield National
Memorial Association, and the United States Government.

In 1859 John E. Wilson, owner of most of the Popes Creek-Bridges Creek
land, deeded to the Commonwealth of Virginia a right-of-way through his
farm to the birthsite and the Washington family burying ground, together
with one-half acre of land near the latter place and about 1 acre near
the birthsite.

In 1882 the Commonwealth of Virginia vested title in the United States
of America to its holdings at the birthsite and burying ground. By an
act of Congress approved in 1879, and amended in 1881, the construction
of a monument to mark the birthsite and the acquisition of the necessary
ground and right-of-way had been authorized. In 1883 Mr. and Mrs. John.
E. Wilson sold to the United States nearly 12 acres of land surrounding
the birthsite and 9.85 acres constituting a right-of-way 50 feet wide
and 1.6 miles long, connecting the birthsite, the family burying ground,
and the Potomac River near the mouth of Bridges Creek.

Although Congress had authorized the construction of a monument to mark
the birthsite in 1881, 15 years passed before the shaft of Vermont
granite was erected. It was a time in our Nation’s history when
historical conservation was crowded into the background in favor of more
materialistic aims.

In the 1920’s a group of public-spirited women became interested in the
old Washington family plantation. They wanted more than a granite
monument to memorialize the site where our first President was born, and
dreamed of a restored tidewater plantation. On February 23, 1923, under
the able leadership of Mrs. Josephine Wheelright Rust, they organized
the Wakefield National Memorial Association. Their main objective was to
restore the Wakefield plantation and make it a shrine for all people,
the date set for completion of the task was 1932—the 200th anniversary
of Washington’s birth.

Shortly after the Wakefield National Memorial Association was
incorporated in 1924, its members raised funds for acquiring land
between the birthsite and the Washington family burying ground, and
induced John D. Rockefeller, Jr., to purchase 273 acres of the old
Wakefield plantation and transfer it to the United States Government. By
an act of Congress, approved June 7, 1926, the association was given
authority to construct a house at Wakefield as nearly as possible like
the one built by Augustine Washington. In 1929 the association acquired
additional land, and 2 years later donated its holding at Wakefield
(about 100 acres) to the United States.

    [Illustration: _The walk from the colonial-style garden to the
    memorial house._]

By an act of Congress on January 23, 1930, the 394.47 acres owned by the
Federal Government was designated as George Washington Birthplace
National Monument, to be administered by the National Park Service of
the United States Department of the Interior.

In 1930-31 the Wakefield National Memorial Association, under its
authority from Congress, built an early 18th-century style brick home as
a memorial to mark the approximate site of the home in which George
Washington was born. (The granite shaft which had marked the site since
1896 was moved to a new location.) As intensive research had produced
very little reliable evidence concerning the appearance of the original
Popes Creek home, the memorial house erected could not be a replica. It
is, however, in keeping with the Virginia plantation scene at the time
of Washington’s association with the place.

The new memorial house was opened to the public in July 1931, and a
special open house was held on February 22, 1932, the 200th anniversary
of George Washington’s birth. Since then the Wakefield National Memorial
Association has been active in furnishing the home with suitable pieces
of the 1700-50 period. In many instances 18th-century artifacts
unearthed near the site of the original home have served as guides in
selecting certain items. The objects excavated were surprisingly varied
and revealed the nature of many furnishings which were in the original
home between the time it was completed in 1726 and the time of the
disastrous fire in 1779. Only a few types of the more important
artifacts unearthed can be described:

    [Illustration: _Wine bottles, glasses, seals, and bronze spigot of
    1700-80 period found at Wakefield._]

    [Illustration: _Fragments of kettle and spoons unearthed at


Hundreds of pieces of broken wine bottles were found, including 11 wine
bottle seals bearing the initials of George’s father, “AW”. During the
18th century only well-to-do planters imported wine bottles from England
with their names or monograms stamped on the necks of the containers.
Many wine-glass stems were also found, revealing the fine assortment of
drinking glasses used by the Washingtons. Numerous windowpane fragments
were unearthed.


Many bonehandled knives and forks of excellent quality were excavated,
together with several types of pewter and latten metal spoons. A few of
the knife and fork handles found were dyed green, described in the 1762
inventory as “green Ivory handled knives & forks.”

Furniture hardware.

Many brass upholstering tacks, knobs, drawer pulls, and keyhole
escutcheons, which at one time embellished high quality English
furniture of the 1725-75 period, were unearthed.

Clay pipes.

Hundreds of fragments of English white clay pipes were found in the
vicinity of the birthsite.

Lighting devices and fireplace equipment.

Brass candlesticks, candlesnuffers, and brasshandled fireplace tools
excavated revealed that the Washingtons imported fine metalware from the
mother country.

Pottery and porcelain.

Countless fragments of colorful earthenware and stoneware pottery were
found, together with a fine assortment of oriental porcelain. Much of
the pottery (including slip-decorated earthenware, Delftware, white
salt-glazed stoneware, “Whieldon” ware, hand-decorated Staffordshire,
and creamware) was made in England; some was imported from Holland
(tin-glazed Delftware) and Germany (stoneware), whereas most of the
porcelain came from China.

    [Illustration: _Tools unearthed near the site of the home in which
    George Washington was born—iron hoes, an iron pestle, small ax, and
    fragment of an ice saw. All tools shown date from 1690 to 1775._]

    [Illustration: _Sgraffito (scratched) earthenware bowl._]

All pieces of furniture acquired by the association for the memorial
house are of the early 18th-century English styles, having been made
between 1700 and 1750. Only one item in the house, a tilt-top tea table,
is said to have been in the original home. The last owner of the house,
William Augustine Washington (George’s eldest nephew), saved it at the
time of the fire in 1779.

The Wakefield National Memorial Association has also acquired
appropriate cooking utensils of the early 18th-century period for the
colonial-style kitchen. Once again, excavated artifacts—including
pot-hooks, kettle fragments, skewers, ladles, and numerous other cooking
accessories—were used as guides in locating suitable kitchen equipage.

Since 1932 over a million people from all parts of the world have
visited Wakefield and enjoyed its natural beauties and historical
associations. The serenity of the restored plantation with its
cultivated fields and oldtime flower garden, its fragrant boxwood and
sweet-scented herbs, and the lovely water views afforded by Popes Creek
and the Potomac River, make unforgettable impressions. The memorial
house furnished with beautiful and appropriate pieces from a bygone day,
the early 18th-century style kitchen with its huge fireplace and ancient
cooking equipment, and the family burying ground at Bridges Creek,
almost 300 years old, are integral parts of the scene. In addition to
these glimpses of colonial life are the well-kept grounds, the carefully
tended flower beds, and the grove of native cedar trees which stand like
venerable sentinels on Burnt House Point.

Such enchanting scenes which impress the senses and mind are taken for
granted today, as few pilgrims realize that not so many years ago the
birthplace of our Nation’s First Citizen was all but forgotten. Without
the dedicated labor of many people and organizations there would be no
Wakefield plantation today, and to these individuals our Nation will
forever owe a debt of gratitude.

But the restored plantation is more than a monument to the people who
saved it. It is a memorial to the boy who played in the red brick house
by the tidal creek, in the stables, barns, tobacco sheds, and other
outbuildings; in the smokehouse and summer kitchen; in the spinning and
weaving house and buttery; and near the forge where the blacksmith beat
red-hot iron rods into tools and hardware and farm implements. The
restored plantation is a shrine to the young boy with reddish-brown hair
and blue eyes who romped through the green meadows and fields of corn,
and watched the growing wheat, rye, and tobacco; the youth who picked
luscious figs, climbed the gnarled apple trees, and played games in the
cedar grove of that day.

Countless times he must have walked along the high banks of Popes Creek
and the sandy shore of the Potomac River, and stalked game in the nearby
forest. Wakefield is a monument to the growing boy who returned to the
place of his birth when he was 11 years old and learned his first
lessons in surveying. The impressions which the peaceful farm made on
his mind were lasting ones, and as he grew from youth into manhood and
assumed greater responsibilities, the happy memories of days spent on
his father’s plantation were never forgotten.

    [Illustration: _The memorial house._]

                          _Guide To The Area_

The information which follows, supplements that contained in the
narrative of this handbook. It has been arranged to enable you to make
your own tour of the area. The numbers given correspond to the numbers
on the map of the national monument on pages 34-35.

1. Granite shaft.

This shaft, of Vermont granite, weighs about 50 tons. It is nearly
one-tenth the size of the Washington Monument in the Nation’s capital,
and of the same relative proportions. First erected in 1896 by the War
Department (at or near the foundations of the home in which George
Washington was born), it was moved to its present location near the
entrance to the national monument in 1930.

    MONUMENT—_Westmoreland County, Va._]

    _Points of interest within the National Monument area:_
  11 DUCK HALL PICNIC AREA. _(Parking)_

    [Illustration: _Tilt-top table in the dining room. The only piece of
    furniture in the memorial house believed to be from the home in
    which Washington was born._]

    [Illustration: _Dining room. Many of the items of tableware shown
    are similar to types unearthed at Washington’s birthplace._]

    [Illustration: _Brick foundations of a part of Building “X”, an
    early building unearthed at Washington’s birthplace._]

2. Superintendent’s office.

Visitors seeking information are always welcome here.

3. Main parking area.

4. Post office, Washington’s Birthplace, Va.

Souvenirs, postcards, potted plants, and soft drinks may be purchased in
the post office building.

5. Site of Building “X.”

So-called because its history is unknown, the brick foundations of
Building “X” were discovered in 1930. They were partially unearthed that
year, and completely excavated in 1936. The boxwood plants outline only
one room of the building, known as Unit “A.” The brick foundations of
Building “X” were the most extensive ones unearthed at Wakefield.
Including the projecting wings, the foundations were almost 70 feet
long. The center of the building was approximately 19 feet wide. One
wing was 22 feet wide, the other 32 feet wide. The possibility that it,
rather than the smaller foundation on the memorial mansion site about 60
feet away, was the exact spot where George Washington was born cannot be
ignored and will perhaps always remain an intriguing question.

6. Memorial house.

This was built in 1930-31. The furnishings are of the 1700-50 period.
One item, a tilt-top table, is the only existing piece of furniture said
to have been in the original house at Wakefield, having been saved at
the time of the fire in 1779. Much of the pottery, porcelain, glassware,
tableware, and metalware in the house are similar in period and style to
many of the artifacts which were unearthed near the birthsite during
archeological excavations.

7. Colonial-style garden.

South of the memorial house is a colonial-type garden enclosed by a
handsplit picket fence. It is connected with the memorial house by a
boxwood-lined brick walk. The English boxwood is well over a century
old, and was transplanted from the home, 8 miles away, of Sarah Tayloe
Washington (a daughter of the last occupant and owner of the home in
which George Washington was born.) It is believed to have grown from
cuttings originally taken from Wakefield. In this fragrant,
old-fashioned garden, will be found many plants that were common to
Virginia gardens during the period of George Washington’s youth. Here
are sweet-scented herbs such as sage, thyme, hyssop, wormwood, marjoram,
rue, tansy, pennyroyal, basil, hoarhound, snakeroot, true lavender,
caraway, and others used for cooking and medicinal purposes. Among the
colorful flowers are old roses, hollyhocks, lilies, bleedinghearts,
forget-me-nots, love-in-a-mist, narcissi, iris, and heliotrope.

    [Illustration: _A part of the parlor._]

    [Illustration: _Master bedroom._]

    [Illustration: _The children’s room._]

    [Illustration: _Interior of reconstructed colonial kitchen._]

8. Grove of eastern redcedars.

South of the colonial garden is a magnificent grove of eastern
redcedars, _Juniperus virginiana_. The grove covers Burnt House Point,
which juts out into Popes Creek.

9. The kitchen and historical museum.

The colonial-style kitchen building is located about 50 feet west of the
memorial house. Its old chimney was the last above-ground brickwork of
the original buildings at Wakefield owned by George Washington’s father.
Still standing in 1872, when it was sketched by a visiting artist, it
finally collapsed and fell to the ground the following year. In 1930 the
foundations of the old kitchen were uncovered, and subsequently a
colonial-style building was constructed on the site. The east room in
the building has been furnished with cooking utensils, kitchen
accessories, fireplace equipment, and furniture of the 1700-50 period.
The west room is used for the display of colonial artifacts which were
unearthed at Bridges Creek and from various foundations found near the
site of the original home on Popes Creek. The exhibits relate to the
history of the Bridges Creek and Popes Creek plantations as well as to
the activities of the early Washingtons who lived there.

    [Illustration: _Colonial-type kitchen. One room is furnished as an
    18th century kitchen; another room houses excavated objects and
    exhibits relating to the early Washingtons who lived at Bridges
    Creek and Popes Creek._]

10. Site of smokehouse.

The boxwood plants mark the site of an old building foundation believed
to be that of an early 18th-century smokehouse. Excavated in 1936, the
building had brick foundations as well as a brick floor. The foundations
were located about 65 feet west of the kitchen building.

11. Duck Hall parking and picnic area.

This section of the national monument is located approximately
three-quarters of a mile northeast of the granite shaft. It may be
reached over a paved road which runs north from the granite shaft for
about one-fourth of a mile, then turns eastward. From the Duck Hall
picnic area may be seen magnificent views of Popes Creek and the Potomac

12. Site of 17th-century brick building.

In 1934 brick foundations of a small 17th-century building were
unearthed about 180 feet southeast of the Washington family burying
ground. One glass bottle seal found near the building site was inscribed
with the name “John Washington.” The structure was probably an
outbuilding which belonged to George Washington’s great-grandfather.

    [Illustration: _Washington family burying ground._]

13. Washington family burying ground.

Established by John Washington, the founder of the Washington family in
Virginia, the family burying ground is located about 1 mile north of the
granite shaft. In his will, John, the great-grandfather of George, asked
“to be buried on ye plantation wheire I now live, by the side of my wife
yt is already buried.” In the years that followed, members of succeeding
generations of Washingtons found final resting place in the ancient
cemetery. Here the father, grandfather, and great-grandfather of George
Washington, together with 29 other early members of the family, are
interred. In 1906 the Colonial Dames of Virginia made some improvements
at the burying ground. In 1930, under the auspices of the Wakefield
National Memorial Association, the burying ground was enclosed by a wall
of handmade bricks. Five new tablestones were erected and the area was
appropriately landscaped. A parking area is located about 300 feet east
of the burying ground.

The tract of land surrounding the burying ground was purchased by John
Washington in 1664 from David Anderson. The site of his home is in the
vicinity of the burying ground.

14. Potomac River view.

About a quarter of a mile north of the Washington family burying ground
is the south shore of the Potomac River. Here may be seen a delightful
view of the river, approximately 5 miles wide at this point. President
James Monroe, the fifth President, was born on a farm facing the deep
bay on the extreme left.

                      _How To Reach the Monument_

George Washington Birthplace is 72 miles south of Washington, D. C., via
the Potomac River Bridge. It may also be reached from Washington by way
of Mount Vernon and Fredericksburg, a distance of 83 miles. The national
monument is 69 miles northeast of Richmond, by way of Bowling Green and
Port Royal, or 75 miles via U. S. 360, and State Routes 3 and 204. It is
100 miles from Williamsburg and 123 miles from Norfolk over good roads.
Washington’s Birthplace is on the Potomac River, and should not be
confused with Wakefield, Va., which is in Sussex County, south of the
James River.

                           _About Your Visit_

George Washington Birthplace National Monument is open from 8 a. m. to 5
p. m., Eastern Standard Time, every day of the year including Sundays
and holidays, except Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the area
is 25 cents for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free. Special
interpretive talks are given to school classes and other organized
groups if arrangements are made in advance with the superintendent.

Soft drinks, postcards, potted plants, herbs, and souvenirs may be
purchased at the Washington’s Birthplace Post Office, located at the
main parking area.

                            _Related Areas_

There are several other areas in the eastern United States administered
by the National Park Service which illustrate various aspects of George
Washington’s life and public career. These include: Fort Necessity
National Battlefield Site, Pa.; Independence National Historical Park,
Pa. (which includes the Deshler-Morris House in Germantown, where
Washington lived for a short while in 1793 and again in 1794);
Morristown National Historical Park, N. J.; Colonial National Historical
Park (including Yorktown), Va.; and Federal Hall National Memorial, N.


George Washington Birthplace National Monument, now containing about 400
acres, was authorized by an act of Congress on January 23, 1930. It is
administered by the National Park Service of the United States
Department of the Interior. Communications concerning the national
monument should be addressed to the superintendent whose address is
Washington’s Birthplace, Westmoreland County, Va. Inquiries _should not_
be sent to Wakefield, Va.

                          _Suggested Readings_

Eaton, David W. _Historical Atlas of Westmoreland County, Virginia._
      Dietz Press. Richmond, Va. 1942.

Eubank, H. Ragland. _Touring Historyland: The Authentic Guide Book of
      Historic Northern Neck of Virginia._ Northern Neck Association.
      Colonial Beach, Va. 1934.

Fitzpatrick, John C. _Writings of Washington._ 39 vols. Government
      Printing Office. Washington, D. C. 1931-44.

Ford, Worthington C. Editor. _The Writings of George Washington._ The
      Washington Family, Appendix to Vol. 14. G. P. Putnam’s Sons. New
      York. 1893.

Freeman, Douglas Southall. _George Washington, A Biography._ Vol. I.
      Charles Scribner & Sons. New York. 1949.

Hoppin, Charles A. _The Washington Ancestry and Records of the McClain,
      Johnson, and Forty Other Colonial American Families._ Vol. I.
      Privately printed by Edward Lee McClain, Greenfield, Ohio, 1932.

Smith, H. Clifford. _Sulgrave Manor and the Washingtons._ Jonathan Cape.
      London. 1933.

                         U. S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1956 O—389002

                         NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                       HISTORICAL HANDBOOK SERIES

                 PRINTING OFFICE, WASHINGTON 25, D. C.

  Bandelier (No. 23), 35 cents
  Chickamauga and Chattanooga Battlefields (No. 25), 25 cents
  Custer Battlefield (No. 1), 20 cents
  Custis-Lee Mansion (No. 6), 20 cents
  Fort Laramie (No. 20), 25 cents
  Fort McHenry (No. 5), 25 cents
  Fort Necessity (No. 19), 25 cents
  Fort Pulaski (No. 18), 25 cents
  Fort Raleigh (No. 16), 25 cents
  Fort Sumter (No. 12), 25 cents
  George Washington Birthplace (No. 26), 25 cents
  Gettysburg (No. 9), 25 cents
  Hopewell Village (No. 8), 25 cents
  Independence (No. 17), 25 cents
  Jamestown, Virginia (No. 2), 25 cents
  Kings Mountain (No. 22), 25 cents
  The Lincoln Museum and the House Where Lincoln Died (No. 3), 20 cents
  Manassas (Bull Run) (No. 15), 20 cents
  Morristown, A Military Capital of the Revolution (No. 7), 25 cents
  Ocmulgee (No. 24), 25 cents
  Petersburg Battlefields (No. 13), 30 cents
  Saratoga (No. 4), 20 cents
  Shiloh (No. 10), 25 cents
  Statue of Liberty (No. 11), 25 cents
  Vicksburg (No. 21), 25 cents
  Yorktown (No. 14), 25 cents

    [Illustration: _Copy of survey made by George Washington at the age
    of 16._]


          _A Plan of Major Larw. Washington’s Turnip Field as
                             Survey’d by me
                   This 27 Day of February 1747/. GW_

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Corrected a few palpable typos.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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