Since the heady moment when he married Martha Custis in 1759, combining their estates into one of the preeminent holdings in northern Virginia, everything Washington touched had turned to brass. He had failed repeatedly to grow profitable tobacco crops. In London his leaf had acquired an unshakable reputation for mediocrity. Meanwhile the expenses of maintaining a great planter’s lifestyle, while keeping up a slave labor force and several plantations, had proved unrelenting. His own debtors — former comrades-in-arms who unhesitatingly touched him for loans, neighbors with whom he ran accounts, tenants who owed him rent — were slow to pay, and sometimes never did; yet he was too tightly bound by the expectations of gentlemanly behavior to refuse a loan when asked, or to press a debtor insistently when payment fell due. By 1763 Washington found himself deep in debt, doubting that he would ever extricate himself by growing tobacco, and casting about to find some way out of his predicament.
Harrison, Benjamin V
Charles City, VA — Built in 1726 by Benjamin Harrison IV, it became the home of Benjamin Harrison V, a signer of the Declaration of Independence; includes period furniture, antiques, and extensive grounds overlooking the James River.
Philadelphia, PA — Completed in 1770, this Georgian building was the meeting place of the First Continental Congress in 1774.
Philadelphia, PA — Site of the Second Continental Congress and of the signing of the Declaration of Independence; access is available through a Park Ranger tour.
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)