Appearance is Everything: Mary Washington and Her Specialized Ceramics of Gentility – Some Seriously Fancy Dishes!

The story of Mary Ball Washington is one of overcoming a lifetime of adversity.  Often overshadowed by her larger than life son George, Mary’s place in history fluctuated from saint to shrew with many historians ignoring the obstacles she faced and overcame.  The archaeological record sheds light on some of the strategies Mary used to … Continue reading Appearance is Everything: Mary Washington and Her Specialized Ceramics of Gentility – Some Seriously Fancy Dishes!

True or False? Test Your Knowledge of Mary Washington

Mary Washington Monument in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Credit: Beth Hosier/The George Washington Foundation True or False? Mary Washington had a set of false teeth like her son George?FALSE - Mary did not have a famous set of dentures like her son George. All of Mary’s children lived to adulthood?FALSE - Mary and Augustine Washington had six … Continue reading True or False? Test Your Knowledge of Mary Washington

George Washington’s “Last Act of Personal Duty”

The Presidential election of 1789 looked quite different than our current election day. For one, the election had to last almost a month to ensure that each state had time for their voters to choose their candidate. Then, in February, the Electoral College announced that Washington would be the first president with a resounding 69 … Continue reading George Washington’s “Last Act of Personal Duty”

Lecture – Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm [Video]

On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Archaeologist Mara Kaktins, Ceramics & Glass Specialist at The George Washington Foundation, presented a lecture titled “Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm.” Mara explored a wide variety of beverage-related artifacts from teawares to punch bowls and discussed how cups and glasses reflected efforts by … Continue reading Lecture – Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm [Video]

The Legend of Mary Washington and the Deadly Lightning Strike

Originally, this post was going to explore colonial America’s fear and fascination with lightning and the practical tools created to help prevent destructive lightning damage.  During my research, however, I encountered a tale about Mary Ball Washington and a close encounter with lightning that supposedly traumatized her for the rest of her life.  If true, … Continue reading The Legend of Mary Washington and the Deadly Lightning Strike

When George Washington Almost Joined the British Royal Navy

Not long ago, we explored Three Military Adventures that Inspired George Washington and the influence that Lawrence Washington and his wartime service played in stoking George’s interest in military matters. Lawrence fought with the British in the War of Jenkins’ Ear in the early 1740s and spent time aboard the flagship of Admiral Edward Vernon, … Continue reading When George Washington Almost Joined the British Royal Navy

Video – Lecture: “The Mother of the Father of Our Country”

On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, Laura Galke, archaeologist, small finds analyst and site director at The George Washington Foundation, presented a lecture titled “The Mother of the Father of Our Country.” Laura examined how historical documents and newly-unearthed artifacts indicate that Mary Washington, George’s mother, faced challenges, governed her home, and managed the family’s plantations … Continue reading Video – Lecture: “The Mother of the Father of Our Country”