Washington Slept Here

A look at the first president’s “best bed” leads to a recollection of the real man and his exemplary life

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George Washington died at age 67 in the big family bed on the second floor at Mount Vernon, on December 14, 1799. He was exhausted; a sudden inflammation of the throat stopped his breathing. At Mount Vernon, you can see the room as it was, complete with blood-letting implements and bloody rags. "'Tis well," he whispered as he died, perhaps thinking of a lifetime of effort, perhaps merely that the hours of pain were over. Martha died just two years later. She had never slept in that bed again.


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