George Washington's Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionary America

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Oxford University Press, Feb 24, 2000 - Architecture - 320 pages
4 Reviews
George Washington's Mount Vernon brings together--for the first time--the details of Washington's 45-year endeavor to build and perfect Mount Vernon. In doing so it introduces us to a Washington few of his contemporaries knew, and one little noticed by historians since.Here we meet the planter/patriot who also genuinely loved building, a man passionately human in his desire to impress on his physical surroundings the stamp of his character and personal beliefs. As chief architect and planner of the countless changes made at Mount Vernon over the years, Washington began by imitating accepted models of fashionable taste, but as time passed he increasingly followed his own ideas. Hence, architecturally, as the authors show, Mount Vernon blends the orthodox and the innovative in surprising ways, just as the new American nation would. Equally interesting is the light the book sheds on the process of building at Mount Vernon, and on the people--slave and free--who did the work. Washington was a demanding master, and in their determination to preserve their own independence his workers often clashed with him. Yet, as the Dalzells argue, that experience played a vital role in shaping his hopes for the future of American society--hope that embraced in full measure the promise of the revolution in which he had led his fellow citizens.George Washington's Mount Vernon thus compellingly combines the two sides of Washington's life--the public and the private--and uses the combination to enrich our understanding of both. Gracefully written, with more than 80 photographs, maps, and engravings, the book tells a fascinating story with memorable insight.
  

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Review: George Washington's Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionary America

User Review  - Constance - Goodreads

I became interested in this book whole reading Chernow's GW biography. This book is a very thorough look at GW's relationship with his estate. A good companion volume. Read full review

Review: George Washington's Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionary America

User Review  - Jill Phenix - Goodreads

This was a new perspective on one of the United States' greatest heroes. I suggest taking a trip to Mt Vernon along with reading this book. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

PATTERNS
3
An Uncommon Place
5
The Washingtons of Virginia 16571757
19
BUILDING
45
A New Mount Vernon 17581773
47
Things Not Quite Orthodox George Washington Architect
74
The Third Edition with Revisions 17741787
100
Toward Democracy
125
Artisans
150
Undertakers and Managers
171
THE USES OF A GREAT HOUSE
189
At Home and Away 17881799
191
To Give and Bequeath
216
Redivivus 1800Present
225
HouseBuilding in EighteenthCentury Virginia
228
Notes
244

THE BUILDERS
127
Slaves and Overseers
129

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About the author (2000)


Robert F. Dalzell, Jr. is Ephraim Williams Professor of American History at Williams College and the author of Enterprising Elite: The Boston Associates and the World They Made and Daniel Webster and the Trial of American Nationalism, 1843-1852.

Lee Baldwin Dalzell is the Head of the Reference Department at the Williams College Library.

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