Owner of Mount Vernon (2023)

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Before the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association took possession of Mount Vernon in 1860, generations of Washingtonians called Mount Vernon home even before it was called Mount Vernon.

Juan Washington

Years of ownership: 1674 - 1677

After the successful establishment of a settlement at Jamestown in 1607, the tobacco trade between Britain and the Virginia colony flourished. In England, the Washington family ran into financial difficulties after the English Civil War, prompting George Washington's great-grandfather, John Washington, to seek new avenues to improve his social and economic position.

John Washington entered as first officer on theLondon Seahorse, a small trading vessel that sold supplies and other tobacco products along the Potomac River. He arrived in Virginia in 1657 and decided to remain in Virginia rather than return to London. He married Anne Pope in 1658. They settled in Westmoreland County, in the area between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers known as Northern Neck, to start a new lifePlateplanter

In 1674 John Washington and Nicholas Spencer received a land grant of 5,000 acres from Lord Thomas Culpeper, proprietor of Northern Neck. The concession consisted of a peninsula in the Potomac River bounded by Dogue Run and Little Hunting Creek. Land was divided between Washington and Spencer, but the entire grant would one day become George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Learn more about George Washington's English ancestry

Lorenzo Washington

Years of ownership: 1677 - 1698

Lawrence Washington, son of John Washington and grandfather of George Washington, was born in Virginia in 1659. He inherited the land that would become Mount Vernon after his father's death in 1677.

In 1690 the original lands granted by Lord Culpeper were divided equally between the Washington and Spencer families. Lawrence claimed the eastern half of the land bounded by Little Hunting Creek that would become the nucleus of George Washington's five farms.

Learn about Mount Vernon's growth

(Video) What It Was Like To Be A Slave At George Washington's Mount Vernon

Mildred Washington

Years of ownership: 1698 - 1726

After Lawrence Washington's death, Little Hunting Creek was bequeathed to Mildred Washington, Lawrence's youngest daughter.

When Mildred married Roger Gregory, her second of three husbands, in 1718, she retained her rights to Little Hunting Creek, although the estate was probably controlled by her husband. In 1726, Roger and Mildred agreed to sell the estate to Augustine Washington, George Washington's father.

Augustin Washington

Years of ownership: 1726 - 1743

Although Augustine bought the Little Hunting Creek plantation from his sister Mildred in 1726, he continued to live on his Pope's Creek plantation in Westmoreland County, the birthplace of George Washington, until 1734. His family, including young George Washington, moved to Little Hunting Creek.

Augustine and his family eventually moved to Ferry Farm near Fredericksburg, with ownership passing to Lawrence Washington, Augustine's eldest son by his first marriage.

The Augustine House, built on Little Hunting Creek in 1734, was the basis for the house that George Washington inherited and was the nucleus of the mansion that stands on the property today.

Learn more about Papa's Creek

Lorenzo Washington

Years of ownership: 1743 - 1752

Lawrence Washington was George Washington's older half-brother by his father Augustine's marriage to his first wife Jane Butler.

He inherited Mount Vernon, then known as Little Hunting Creek, upon his father's death in 1743 and renamed it after British Admiral Edward Vernon. Lawrence served with Admiral Vernon when he commanded a company of Virginian soldiers fighting the Spanish fortress of Cartagena during the Jenkins-Ear War.

(Video) Welcome to George Washington's Mount Vernon

When Augustine Washington died, George Washington was spending a lot of time with Lawrence at Mount Vernon. George, the eldest at 14, began to come to regard Lawrence as a father figure whose leadership and connections to the powerful Fairfax family had a tremendous impact on George Washington's rise in Virginia society.

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Sarah Washington

Owner of Mount Vernon (6)


Lawrence Washington died of tuberculosis in July 1752, leaving Mount Vernon Sarah, his only surviving daughter. His will also stated that if Sarah died childless, the estate would go to Lawrence's wife, Anne Fairfax Washington. Sarah died just two years later.

Anne FairfaxWashington

Years of ownership: 1754 - 1761

By the time Sarah died, Anne Fairfax Washington had remarried and was no longer living in Mount Vernon. After taking possession of the property, he began renting it to George Washington in late 1754. An additional provision in Lawrence's will stated that Mount Vernon would pass to George Washington upon Anne's death. When Anne died in 1761, George Washington became the owner of Mount Vernon.

Learn more about the Fairfax family

George Washington

Years of ownership: 1761 - 1799

Owner of Mount Vernon (9)Although George Washington leased Mount Vernon from Lawrence Washington's widow, Ann Fairfax Washington Lee, beginning in 1754, he did not officially own Mount Vernon until Ann's death in 1761.

George Washington began living in the house his father built in 1734, but he greatly expanded the mansion and holdings during his 38 years as owner and his 45-year residence at Mount Vernon.

Unfortunately, Washington was turned away from Mount Vernon at various times during his time there. His service during the American Revolution meant Washington was away from his beloved home for eight years, with brief stops before and after the Yorktown siege. Washington's election as the first President of the United States in 1789 meant he would be absent for most of his two terms, a total of eight years. Longing to retire, Washington noted in a letter dated June 15, 1790 to David Stuart that “I can truly say I hadI would ratherat Mount Vernon with a friend or two along with me, than to be received at the seat of government by the officials and state representatives of all the powers of Europe..." However, he sacrificed his personal desires and continued his service to the country.

When George Washington left the presidency, he began his retirement under his "vine and fig tree" in Mount Vernon. Unfortunately, this long-awaited hiatus from public life lasted only two years before his death on December 14, 1799.

Learn more about George Washington

(Video) Washington's Mount Vernon Has A Seriously Twisted History

Marta Washington

Years of ownership: 1799 - 1802

Marth Dandridge Custis married George Washington in 1759 and moved from New Kent County, Virginia to Mount Vernon, where she lived out the rest of her life.

After her husband's death, Martha Washington continued to administer Mount Vernon with the help of James Anderson, the executor. In his will, George Washington wrote that he bequeathed "the use, gain, and benefit of all my property, real and personal, for the duration of his natural life..."

The Washingtons had no children, so ownership passed to Bushrod Washington, the general's nephew, after Martha Washington died in 1802.

Learn more about Martha Washington

Bushrod Washington

Years of ownership: 1802 - 1829

Owner of Mount Vernon (13)In 1802, after the death of Martha Washington, Bushrod Washington inherited the Mount Vernon estate. Bushrod, the eldest son of George Washington's brother John Augustine, was an accomplished judge admitted to the United States Supreme Court in 1798.

Though Bushrod spent most of his time on legal matters and away from Mount Vernon, he left his mark on the property. Bushrod experimented with a construction technique called pisé, which used rammed earth to replace brick or wood as the building material. EITHERPortiersquartierbuilt at Mount Vernon's west gate are an example of structures built by Bushrod using this technique.

Unfortunately, Bushrod did not share his uncle's passion or skills for farming, and the property began to fall into disrepair. It certainly didn't help that Bushrod's ownership of Mount Vernon also coincided with a period of general decline in Virginia agriculture. Tourists also contributed to the physical decay of the mansion and surrounding area, and steamboat trips to the estate began in 1822.

More about Bushrod Washington

John Augustinus Washington II

Years of ownership: 1829 - 1832

Bushrod Washington died childless, so Mount Vernon passed to his nephew, John Augustine Washington II. John Augustine and his wife Jane also owned Blakely, a 900-acre property in what is now Jefferson County, West Virginia, and divided their time between the two properties.

Perhaps the most notable achievement of John Augustine's brief tenure as owner of Mount Vernon was the construction of the new family vault. In his 1799 will, George Washington stated that "the family vault at Mount Vernon is in need of repair and, moreover, in disrepair is commonly referred to as the compound of vineyards...". Although no progress was made on this project during Bushrod's lifetime, a new vault for the remains of the Washington family was completed in 1831, with later additions to be made after his death.

Learn about the tombs

Jane Charlotte BlackburnWashington

Years of ownership: 1832 - 1850

Jane Washington took an active role in the administration of Mount Vernon after the death of her husband, John Augustine Washington II, but continued to divide time between Mount Vernon and Blakely.

(Video) The Home & Estate of George Washington | History Traveler Episode 121

Jane's time at Mount Vernon also included a great fire in 1835 that devastated George Washington's greenhouse and part of the slave quarters. In 1841 he began leasing Mount Vernon from his son, John Augustine Washington III, for five hundred dollars a year.

John Augustine Washington III

Years of ownership: 1850 - 1858

Owner of Mount Vernon (17)Although Augustine Washington officially assumed ownership of Mount Vernon in 1850, he had previously managed operations on the property for nearly a decade. Unlike previous owners, George Washington's great-grandnephew shared the general's interest in a scientific approach to agriculture, experimenting with new types of fertilizers and expanding plantation acreage. He also raised funds by selling timber and herring from the estate's fisheries.

Unfortunately, these efforts have been largely in vain. The total area of ​​Mount Vernon shrank from an elevation of 8,000 acres in George Washington's lifetime to about 1,200 acres, and the remaining farmland was insufficient to adequately support the Washingtons.

Even attempts to raise additional funds by capitalizing on Mount Vernon's iconic status failed. Augustine reversed Bushrod's decision to ban steamships and signed a contract with a company that offered regular, three-day-a-week sailings from Washington, DC. While Agostinho recovered about a quarter of the money brought in from the tourists, the increase in the number of guests only served to hasten the decay of the mansion and grounds.

As he continued to lose money, Augustine tried unsuccessfully to sell Mount Vernon to the federal government and the state of Virginia. Luckily, the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association stepped in in 1858 to become the estate's last owner.

Learn more about John Augustine Washington III

Mount Vernon Ladies Association

Years of ownership: 1858 - present

In 1853, Louisa Cunningham observed the ruined mansion from a ship. She lamented her daughter, Ann Pamela Cunningham, who was "so desperate ... Why shouldn't the women of this country try to fix it when the men couldn't?"

Inspired by this accusation, Ann Pamela Cunningham founded the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, gathering women from across the country to raise funds from the Washington family needed to purchase Mount Vernon. In 1858, John Augustine Washington III, George Washington's great-nephew, agreed to sell the mansion, grounds, and surrounding 200 acres to the Association. The purchase price was paid in 1860 and the property opened to the public that year.

Learn more about the Mount Vernon Ladies Association

Explore the mansion and its development.

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Who bought Mount Vernon estate? ›

The mystery owner of a Mount Vernon mansion built on land once owned by one of America's Founding Fathers, George Washington, is Dan Snyder — the billionaire owner of the NFL's Washington Commanders.

Who owned Mt Vernon before George Washington? ›

Mount Vernon was originally called Little Hunting Creek Plantation and owned by John Washington. John eventually passed the estate to his son Lawrence who then passed it to his daughter Mildred.

How much did George Washington pay for Mount Vernon? ›

On December 17, 1754, Washington leased Ann's life interest in Mount Vernon for yearly rent specified as his choice of 15,000 pounds of tobacco or £100 cash. Colonel Washington was just twenty-two years old. In 1757, Washington paid his neighbor Sampson Darrell £350 for 500 acres along Mount Vernon's northern boundary.

Who owns George Washington's property? ›

The mystery owner of a Mount Vernon mansion built on land once owned by Founding Father George Washington is NFL team owner Dan Snyder, who plunked down $48 million in cash for the property back in November, according to the Washington Business Journal, making it the most expensive purchase in the D.C. area.

How much is Mt Vernon worth? ›

Estate at George Washington's Mount Vernon Lists at Groundbreaking $60 Million – NBC4 Washington.

How much was Mt Vernon sold for? ›

It sold a year later on Oct. 29 for $48 million, with an additional $2 million for furniture and effects it contains, according to Mansion Global.

How many slaves did Mt Vernon have? ›

At the time of George Washington's death, the Mount Vernon enslaved population consisted of 317 people. Of the 317 enslaved people living at Mount Vernon in 1799, a little less than half (123 people) were owned by George Washington himself. Another 153 enslaved people were owned by the Custis estate.

What did the slaves at Mount Vernon do? ›

Within the world of the Mount Vernon Mansion, George and Martha Washington relied on enslaved people to operate their household. Frank Lee, Caroline Branham, Doll, and other domestic workers toiled long hours without pay to clean the Washingtons' rooms, launder clothes, prepare meals, and wait on guests.

How many slaves are buried at Mount Vernon? ›

Near his Tomb, you see the burying place of his slaves, containing 150 graves. We then walked to the Old tomb, which is situated on the Bank of the Potomac; it is in a very ruinous condition." Further details and evidence regarding the burial ground are provided by a Currier & Ives print from 1855 entitled "Plan of Mt.

Is George Washington a billionaire? ›

Most presidents before 1845 were extremely wealthy, especially Andrew Jackson and George Washington.
List of presidents by peak net worth.
NameGeorge Washington
Net worth (millions of 2022 US$)707
Political partyNone/Independent
Years in office1789–1797
44 more columns

How Much Would George Washington be worth in today's money? ›

But comparing Washington's net worth of $780,000.00 to the worth of the average modern American would equate to $594.2 million in current value. Despite this vast wealth, it was largely made up of valuable assets as opposed to cash reserves, so Washington can be described as asset rich but cash poor.

How did George Washington get so rich? ›

Most of this wealth can be traced to Washington's success as a land speculator, an enterprise that grew out of his early career as land surveyor. Added to that was his firsthand experience of the frontier country beyond the Allegheny Mountains gained during the French and Indian War.

Was Mt Vernon sold? ›

In 1858, Washington sold the mansion and a portion of the estate's land to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, which was under the leadership of Ann Pamela Cunningham.

Did George Washington inherit Mount Vernon? ›

A further provision in Lawrence's will stated that upon Anne's death Mount Vernon would pass to George Washington. Thus, when Anne died in 1761, George Washington became the owner of Mount Vernon.

Who owns the land of the White House in Washington DC? ›

The Executive Residence is made up of six stories: the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park.

Who bought George Straits Dominion House? ›

The home at 10 Davenport Lane dwells in the gated community of the Dominion Country Club in the San Antonio foothills. Texas doesn't publicly disclose selling prices, but its last listing was in October for $6.9 million. The buyer was Shannon Ralson, owner of a San Antonio medical staffing company Angel Staffing Inc.

Was Mount Vernon sold? ›

In 1858, Washington sold the mansion and a portion of the estate's land to the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, which was under the leadership of Ann Pamela Cunningham.

What is the most expensive house in Mount Vernon? ›

Virginia's most expensive mansion now belongs to one of the most famous men in the commonwealth. River View, once part of George Washington's Mount Vernon, in Alexandria, was sold on Oct. 29, 2021, for $48 million, according to TTR Sotheby's International Realty.

Who owns Mount Vernon Barn company? ›

Beth and Doug Morgan, owners of Mount Vernon Barn Company , have spent the last 10 years breathing new life into historic Ohio barns, specializing in restoration and adaptive reuse of timber frames and other historic structures.

Where is Oprah's promised land estate? ›

Oprah's Promised Land estate main house, Montecito, California. As her forever home, Promised Land is where Oprah and her long-term boyfriend Stedman Graham love to spend time. Beautifully decorated and filled with mementoes, books and artwork, it's been lovingly put together over the years.

Does George Strait own a jet? ›

Country music superstar George Strait knows the value of business aviation, using his business jet to travel from his Texas home to concert sites, personal appearances and charity events across the country.

Who owns the biggest house in the country? ›

Largest houses
1178,926 sq ft (16,622.8 m2)The Biltmore Company
2109,000 sq ft (10,100 m2)Gary Melius
3105,000 sq ft (9,800 m2)Richard Saghian
4100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2)(demolished in 1980)
47 more rows

Does anyone live in Mount Vernon? ›

Mount Vernon is a town in Washington with a population of 34,824. Mount Vernon is in Skagit County.


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