Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Last of a Trilogy: Hail to the Chief

Washington's digs aren't nearly as big as Jefferson's or even James Madison's. But he
had alot more land/various outbuildings.
(plus, at Mt. Vernon there is an actual food court in the visitor's cream sure hits the spot, much more so then a lukewarm cola from some vending machine)

Anyway, we finally made it up to Mt. Vernon on Memorial Day. Place was packed,as usual.(its open 365 days a year)
It was the final stop on the "3 Presidents" tour, having been to Monticello and Montpelier over the past 2 years.

Washington preferred simplicity, but even he would have balked at this:

Family Bible:

Washington family pew:

Watering can:

A cooking pot so large you could take a bath in it:

Washington is watching you:(this was pretty freaky, as you moved his eyes moved with you)

His surveying equipment:

The dock:(during spring fishing, they could catch up to 1.6 million herring in just 6 weeks!)


This is how they got around:(riding chair, which was apparently much more comfortable then the carriage)

and a carriage:

His tomb:

Inside the main house, of course, no flash photography was allowed. We also took the audio tour(headphones,device) and that was definatly worth it,found out alot of extra stuff that guides weren't around to tell us.
All in all, I must agree his assessment of the place:

I would love to live there...situated on a hill RIGHT above the Potomac River, thus breezy + a temperate climate. I would not love to be bled four times before dying, but apparently Washington died of the throat infection(went out riding, got sore throat, it progressed, had difficulty breathing/fever, his doctors bled him four times the day he died, he suffocated-it was a 36 hour illness) Today, they theorize that antibiotics would have cleared it right up. Horrid way to go.
Interesting fact..his only surviving(well, the only one who had kids) offspring(a step great-grand daughter) married Robert E. Lee, they had 7 kids(none of whom died,during the Civil War) and I'm sure that's how the Custis-Washington legacy survived. Kudos to Lee, even if you don't like how he fought for the South.

"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.." he was truly a great leader, without which the United States may not have come into existence. And he could have been President for life, how many leaders today would voluntarily step down after just two terms?

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