List of George Washington’s Slaves, 1799 June 1799
The list of Mount Vernon slaves which GW drew up, probably some time in June 1799, included those slaves owned...
Established in 1968 at the University of Virginia, The Papers of George Washington is working to publish comprehensive letterpress and digital editions of Washington's correspondence.Learn More
In the days after his death on December 14, 1799, and again after the bicentennial of his passing in 1999, historians and Americans generally reassessed their understanding of the Father of Our Country. While perhaps not going so far as to characterize him as “First in War, First in Peace, and First in Retirement,” it is clear that even in his final days Washington continued to be an example to the nation.
Accustomed as we are to Washington the young soldier and surveyor, Washington the general and leader of the war of independence, and Washington the president, his life in retirement may look like a peaceful ride into the sunset, an uneventful period in which the great man finally found rest in the shade of his own vine and fig tree. Washington certainly yearned for a peaceful retirement. Whether because of his own inability to sit idle or the public's incessant demand for his leadership, however, his final years ended up being some of the most active of his life.