Bicycling through History


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Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington. In his years after being the leader of the Continental Army and the President, he is known to have said,

"..I can truly say I had rather be at Mount Vernon with a friend..than be the Officers of State and Representatives of every Power in Europe" -G.W., 1790

George Washington married a young widow and mother, Martha Dandridge Custis, in 1759. They came to live at Mount Vernon with her two young children, Jacky and Patsy. George Washington helped to raise Jacky and Patsy, and later he and Martha raised two of Jacky's children at Mount Vernon. George Washington never had children of his own. The Washingtons lived happily at Mount Vernon for 40 years. Although he was called away to war and later as president, there was no place George Washington loved more than Mount Vernon. The Washingtons loved to share their home with family and visitors alike.

George Washington made a good living from farming. He inherited Mount Vernon from his brother Lawrence and expanded the estate to 8,000 acres. Over 3,000 acres were under cultivation. The crops were planted and harvested by slaves. Washington was an early conservationist and innovative farmer. He stopped growing tobacco, the main crop of the time, because it depleted the soil. He began to grow wheat. He tested fertilizers and crop rotation to preserve and improve his land. He designed a 16-sided barn to thresh wheat. He built a mill so he could sell his wheat as flour and started a fishery. His experiments helped improve farming throughout America.

In speaking about farming or agriculture, the quotation goes that,

"It is honorable..and with judicious management, it is profitable." -G.W., 1788

There was no "White House" when George Washington was President. It would take years to build a suitable residence. The office of the President was essentially created by George Washington. He had four members of the first cabinet: Treasury, War, State, and Attorney General. His salary was $25,000 per year. He served as President from 1789 until 1797.

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American History from the perspective of a Casual Cyclist.

Bicycling Through History
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