George Washington ordered his overseers to begin the 1767 wheat harvest on June 24, a hot, cloudy Saturday at the end of a dry week. Thus began twenty days of unrelenting exertion for Mount Vernon’s slaves and no little anxiety for their master, who for the first time had given over his holding almost entirely to the cultivation of grain. Much depended on the success of this experiment, which was a crucial element in Washington’s scheme to free himself of the debts he had accumulated over the years of failing to produce tobacco that would sell on London’s finicky market. Rich as he was in land, he feared that, like so many of his fellow planters, he too would become permanently dependent on his English merchant creditors. It was a fate he dreaded above all, for to suffer it meant that he would lose the essence of a gentleman’s character, independence, and with it the capacity to behave in a truly virtuous way.
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.
Williamsburg, VA — Built in 1715, the current church was the third Anglican Church for a parish founded in 1660.
Philadelphia, PA — A reconstruction of the house in which Thomas Jefferson rented rooms and where, in June 1776, he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
Williamsburg, VA — Built 170—20 for the colonial governors of Virginia, it later served as the residence for Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson during their respective terms as governor.
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.
Washington, DC — Established in 1800, the collection includes a recreation of Jefferson’s library of 6,487 books, which he donated in 1815.
Charlottesville, VA — Thomas Jefferson’s plantation and home which he designed, built, and rebuilt over 50 years.
Washington, DC — Contains the original of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and more
Forest, VA — Thomas Jefferson designed and began building this octagonal second home in 1806, during his second term as president.
Richmond, VA — Completed in 1741, it was the first church in Richmond; in 1775, it was the site of the famous speech by Patrick Henry ending with “Give me liberty or give me death.”
Crucible of War: The Seven Years’ War and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754 - 1766 (2000)