George Washington played three very important public roles during his lifetime. He served as the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, the President of the Constitutional Convention, and as the first President of the United States.
In addition to these important public roles, Washington also played a role that was very important to him. He served as a farmer and agricultural innovator.
Douglas Bradburn, the CEO and President of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, joins us so we can explore the history of Washington’s storied estate and his agricultural practices. Plus, we’ll also discover all that Mount Vernon has to offer us as a historic site.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
Douglas Bradburn, the CEO and President of George Washington’s Mount Vernon, joins us to explore the history of Washington’s storied estate and his agricultural practices. And to take us behind-the-scenes of how Mount Vernon has evolved as a historic site.
As we explore Mount Vernon and the life of George Washington the farmer, Doug reveals how the Washington family acquired Mount Vernon and developed it as an estate and plantation; George Washington’s work to build Mount Vernon into a model of agricultural sustainability; And, the remarkable story of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association and how and why they saved and continue to maintain George Washington’s estate for future generations.
What You’ll Discover
- Responsibilities of the CEO and President of Mount Vernon
- How the Washington family acquired Mount Vernon
- How Mount Vernon received its name
- How George Washington became the proprietor of the family seat
- Mount Vernon as a working farm during George Washington’s lifetime
- George Washington as a farmer and agricultural improver
- Outbuildings of Mount Vernon
- Slavery and enslavement at Mount Vernon
- Washington as slaveholder
- Mount Vernon Ladies Association
- Initial preservation of Mount Vernon
- Interpretations of Mount Vernon over time
- The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center at Mount Vernon
- Lives Bound Together exhibit
- Mount Vernon out in the world
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Douglas Bradburn
- Mount Vernon
- George Washington Family Tree
- Lives Bound Together Exhibit
- The Papers of George Washington Editorial Project
- George Washington Library
- Episode 114: Karin Wulf, Genealogy in Early America
- Transatlantic Slavery Database
- Georgian Papers Programme
- Mount Vernon Teacher Programs
- Be Washington Experience
Episode 033: Douglas Bradburn, George Washington & His Library
Episode 060: David Preston, Braddock’s Defeat
Episode 061: Edward Larson, George Washington in Retirement
Episode 077: Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail
Episode 103: Sara Bon-Harper, James Monroe & His Highland Estate
Episode 137: Erica Dunbar, The Washingtons’ Runaway Slave Ona Judge
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if the Mount Vernon Ladies Association had not saved Mount Vernon in 1858? What would have happened to the Estate and how would our knowledge of George Washington, Mount Vernon, and all the people who lived and worked on the estate be different?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
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