The Diaries of George Washington: Voyage to Barbados 1751-1752
George Washington House Restoration Project in Barbados
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
The Portrait: George Washington, A National Treasure [Macromedia Flash Player]
George Washington Slept Here
Contemporaries of George Washington always praised his keen military abilities, and none other than America’s most beloved Renaissance man, Thomas Jefferson, remarked, “He was indeed…a wise, a good, and a great man.” As President’s Day approaches, these various facts and findings about Washington begin to appear on television, newspapers, websites, and a myriad of other places. What many people may not know is that Washington only visited one foreign country in his entire life. That country happened to be Barbados (a colonial possession of Britain), and like many after him, he came for the hospitable climate. To be more specific, his half-brother Lawrence came to the island because his doctors recommended that he would help him recover from tuberculosis and Washington came along for two months. During his time there, Washington found that he developed a taste for the “Pine Apple” and also found the opportunity to take in several plays. Regrettably, Lawrence died soon after returning to Virginia. In keeping with the tradition of Colonial-era inns that hang out a shingle stating, “George Washington slept here”, a home in Barbados has done just that. With a growing interest in heritage tourism, a number of historic preservation groups have worked to restore the yellow home where Washington and his half-brother resided in 1751. The museum and house director Penelope Hyman said, “Barbados had an incredible effect on the young George Washington. It was like a kid from the mountains going to Paris for the first time.”
The first link will take users to a news article from the Phillyburbs.com site that reports on the recent restoration of the home that played host to George Washington in 1751. The second link leads to the section of George Washington’s personal diary that discusses at length his time in Barbados. Here visitors can read more about his half-brother and Washington’s taste for the “avagado pair”. The third link leads to the homepage of the George Washington House in Barbados, and it includes historical information about the home its surroundings. Moving along, the fourth link leads to the website created for Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens, which contains a number of virtual tours and a fine rendering of a bust of Washington by Jean-Antoine Houdon. The fifth link leads to an interactive exhibit from the National Portrait Gallery which allows visitors to explore the highly regarded full-length portrait of Washington created by Gilbert Stuart in 1796. The last link leads to the text of the rather funny play “George Washington Slept Here”, which was produced at the Lyceum Theater in 1940. Penned by those two always-do-wells of Broadway, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the play concerns itself with the doings of a displaced New York couple who are attempting to fix up a rather rickety farmhouse where Washington supposedly once slept.