Mount Vernon

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Mount Vernon, located near Alexandria, Virginia, was the plantation home of the first President of the United States, George Washington. The mansion is built of wood in neoclassical Georgian architectural style, and the estate is located on the banks of the Potomac River.

Mount Vernon was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is owned and maintained in trust by The Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and is open every day of the year, including holidays and Christmas.

Contents

Name

When Augustine Washington owned the estate, it was known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation after the nearby Little Hunting Creek. Lawrence Washington, George's older half-brother, inherited the estate and changed its name to Mount Vernon in honor of Vice Admiral Edward Vernon famed for the War of Jenkin's Ear and capture of Portobelo, Colón. Vernon had been Lawrence's commanding officer in the British Navy, and Lawrence greatly admired him. When George Washington inherited the property he kept the name Mount Vernon.[3]

History

The early history of the estate at Little Hunting Creek is separate from that of the home, which wasn't occupied until 1743. In 1674, John Washington and Nicholas Spencer came into possession of the land from which Mount Vernon plantation would be carved.[4] The successful patent on the acreage was due largely to Spencer, who acted as agent for his cousin Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper,[5] the English landowner who controlled the Northern Neck of Virginia, in which the tract lay.[6] When John Washington died in 1677, his son Lawrence, George Washington's grandfather, inherited his father's stake in the property. In 1690, he agreed to formally divide the estimated 5,000 acre (20 km2) estate with the heirs of Nicholas Spencer, who had died the previous year. The Spencers took the larger southern half bordering Dogue Creek (originally called "Epsewasson") in the September 1674 land grant from Lord Culpeper, after the former name of the creek), leaving the Washingtons the portion along Little Hunting Creek. (The Spencer heirs paid Lawrence Washington 2,500 pounds of tobacco as compensation for their choice.)[7]

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