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.
Philadelphia, PA — Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram to promote
Useful Knowledge.Philosophical Hall (1789) is now a museum featuring art, scientific instruments, rare books, original manuscripts, natural history specimens, and curiosities.
NJ — 26 December 1776 (Second Battle of Trenton, 2 January 1777).
Orange, VA — Commemorates the life and times of the founding father and fourth president; includes period furniture, personal artifacts, and papers.
Orange, VA — Built c. 1764 and expanded twice, this was James Madison's lifelong home from infancy; full restoration completed 2008.
Philadelphia, PA — Opened in 2003, the nonprofit Center “illuminates constitutional ideals and inspires acts of citizenship” by providing a theatrical overview, multimedia history, interactive exhibits, and life-size statues of the signers of the Constitution.
Trenton, NJ — A 155-foot granite column that commemorates the 1776 Battle of Trenton; accessible by means of an elevator with good views of the capital of New Jersey.
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)