George Washington

Charles Syphax was among the slaves taken to George Washington Parke Custis’ plantation in Arlington, Virginia. He ran the dining room at the huge mansion known as Arlington House (above), which still stands on the grounds of the cemetery.

How the African-American Syphax Family Traces Its Lineage to Martha Washington

Resources at the African American History Museum deliver a wealth of opportunity for genealogical research

Parson Weems’ Fable by Grant Wood, depicting Parson Weems and his famous story of George Washington and the cherry tree.

Some Stories About George Washington Are Just Too Good to Be True

But there's a kernel of truth to many of them because Washington was a legend in his own time

Gilbert Stuart Williamstown Portrait of George Washington

Lock of Washington’s Hair Found in 18th-Century Almanac

It was once common practice to give away locks of hair as gifts and keepsakes

The frontispiece of Wheatley's poetry collection describes her as a "Negro servant" rather than a slave, though she wasn't freed until after the book's publication.

The Most Notorious Poet in 18th Century America Was An Enslaved Teenager You've Never Heard Of

Phyllis Wheatley was a prodigy, but her ultimate fate reflects the gross racial disparities of 1700s America

An illustration of Washington's imagined deathbed scene, painted about 50 years after his death.

George Washington’s Hard Death Shows the Limits of Medicine in His Time

He’s one of the United States’s most revered figures, but his last hours were plagued by excruciating illness

The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.

You've Seen The Washington Monument. Now See the Other Washington Monuments

Unsurprisingly, the obelisk in Washington, D.C. is not the only monument to America's first president

A vintage Thanksgiving postcard featuring pardoned turkeys.

Presidents From Lincoln to FDR Kept the Thanksgiving Tradition Going

Lincoln started the process of making it a federal holiday in 1863, crystallizing something that had been around since the days of the Pilgrims

The 18-month restoration of Gilbert Stuart's portrait of George Washington, the Lansdowne (above: the portrait before conservation treatment is on the left) is completed.

A Rainbow Shines Anew in National Portrait Gallery's Iconic George Washington Portrait 

A glistening Lansdowne Portrait refresh harkens the reopening of "America's Presidents"

You can see the resemblance in his eyes.

This Nineteenth-Century Genealogist Argued Norse God Odin Was George Washington’s Great-Great-Great... Grandfather

Albert Welles's ideas about whiteness were a reflection of his time, and would be continued into the future

The Whiskey Rebellion

The First Presidential Pardon Pitted Alexander Hamilton Against George Washington

How to handle the Whiskey Rebellion was the first major crisis faced by the new government

A census enumerator's records from the 1790 census, the first-ever to be conducted in the United States.

The First US Census Only Asked Six Questions

America’s founders agreed that the census was important, but it wasn’t long

Candles were an important source of after-dark light in the early United States, so it makes sense that one of the first patents would be related to improving them.

What the First Three Patents Say About Early America

Gunpowder, fertilizer, soap, candles and flour were all important to Americans

The United States's version of the Imperial system is based on an older British version.

America Has Been Struggling With the Metric System For More Than 200 Years

The United States is the one of the world's only holdouts at this point, but it could have been the first country outside of France to adopt the system

Horatio Greenough’s 12-ton marble statue of George Washington heralds the newly reopened west wing gallery.

Renovated Museum Wing Delves Into Untold Chapters of American History

“The Nation We Build Together” questions American ideals through exhibits on democracy, religion, diversity and more

A Nude Sculpture of George Washington Is Coming to New York

The work was made in preparation for a larger, clothed statue by the Italian artist Antonio Canova

Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was a Prussian soldier designated inspector general of the American Continental Army. He was in charge of training the troops in 1778 during the period of the American Revolutionary War.

The Prussian Nobleman Who Helped Save the American Revolution

When American troops faltered, Baron von Steuben helped whip them into shape

George Washington, 1795-1796

George Washington Had Nothing Good to Say About Nepotism

The first president was exceedingly wary of any semblance of impropriety

These reproduction huts in Jockey Hollow are similar to what Washington's army would have used during the brutal winter of 1779-1780.

Washington’s Army Celebrated St. Patrick’s Day to Cure Winter Blues

Washington declared the day a holiday in an attempt to raise morale and acknowledge the army's many soldiers of Irish descent

George Washington's handwritten inaugural speech, currently on display at the National Archives.

The Speech and Bible From George Washington's First Inauguration Made History Many Times Over

The first president created the tradition of giving an inaugural address and swearing the oath of office on a Bible

Whiskey? Check. Man bun? Check. Presidential presence? Check.

In This New Portrait, George Washington Trades His Curls for a Man Bun

The first president turns hipster at a new D.C. restaurant

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