Discovering George Washington

Little-known facts about the nation's first president

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association (Mount Vernon Ladies' Association)

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— Charles Willson Peale painted the earliest known portrait of Washington in 1772.

— One of Washington's most interesting innovations was a nearly round, 16-sided barn for thrashing wheat.

— He established a spy ring in 1780 to reveal that Major General Benedict Arnold was a traitor.

— Washington died on December 14, 1799 of a throat infection and was mourned by the nation for months.

— At his death, Washington owned more than 300 slaves. They were emancipated in his will and some were paid pensions for decades.


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