Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Mt. Vernon
VA

Washington’s home at Mount Vernon

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Originally a cottage built on 2,300 acres by his father, George Washington expanded both house and acres, and lived there until his death; he and first lady, Martha, are buried on the grounds.

As in the case of his career as commander-in-chief, Washington’s most important act as president was his giving up the office. The significance of his retirement from the presidency is easily overlooked today, but his contemporaries knew what it meant. Most people assumed that Washington might be president as long as he lived, that he would be a kind of elected monarch like the king of Poland. Hence his retirement from the presidency enhanced his moral authority and set a precedent for future presidents.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)