"Kitchen at Mount Vernon"

"Kitchen at Mount Vernon"

"Kitchen at Mount Vernon," Eastman Johnson, 1857 (Private collection)


Wendell, Garrett D. George Washington's Mount Vernon. Monacelli Press, 1998. 

Lee, Jean B., editor. Experiencing Mount Vernon: Eyewitness Accounts, 1784-1865. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006.

Dalzell, Robert F. and Lee Baldwin Dalzell. George Washington's Mount Vernon: At Home in Revolutionary America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

King, Wilma. Stolen Childhood: Slave Youth in Nineteenth-Century America. Indiana University Press, 1997. 

Pogue, Dennis, "Mount Vernon," in Shackel and Little, eds. Historical Archeology of the Chesapeake. Smithsonian, 1996. 


1. This painting is set in one of the outbuildings on the Mount Vernon property. After the revolutionary war, Washington devised an ambitious improvement plan for Mount Vernon. Please describe the buildings and landscapes (other than the main house) that comprise the Mount Vernon plantation. Be certain to refer to the Vaughan plan in your description. 

2. When Eastman Johnson visited and painted Mount Vernon in 1857, George Washington had been dead for more than fifty years. Johnson was only one of thousands who visited the former president's home. Discuss why they came and what they experienced when there. Be certain to refer to the evidence presented in the painting as well as that offered in writing by visitors. 

3. Mount Vernon is most often associated with George Washington, yet there were hundreds of slaves on the property. Using George Washington's probate inventory and focusing on the interior of the main house, connect the objects and spaces of the interior with the daily life of domestic slaves. http://www.gunstonhall.org/library/probate/index.htm 

4. Compare George Washington's probate inventory with that of his elite contemporaries. In what ways were his possessions typical and in what ways were they unique?

"Kitchen at Mount Vernon"