Mount Vernon Travel Blog› entry 3 of 26 › view all entries
In the history of the creation of the USA a few men stand out as more important than the rest. The names like Washington and Jefferson are a couple of the key names among many more. And Washington is probably towering above the rest of the crowd - after all the city I am flying to is carrying his name for a reason.
And why is this - he did not even sign the Declaration of Independence. Why not - is he just a bit too lazy to put his signature on a piece of paper? I got to figure out this part.
From the place I spent the night there only a short ride to a special place. Mount Vernon at the banks of the Potomac River. The home of George Washington. Farmer, soldier, general and first president of the USA.
Washington lived from time to time during his life.
I went around the place going into the house where guides are station in every room to tell you something of the significance of the different rooms.
After visiting the house it is time to walk around and see the different fields where Washington had his fruit garden and kitchen garden - both pretty big. There is also a great view across the river just after you walk out the door of the house. You can also see the final resting place of George Washington. The politicians in power wanted him buried under the Capitol in Washington but his family insisted that he had asked to be buried on his beloved home of Mount Vernon.
Walking around the farm you will also get a bit of an insight into the darker side of Washington’s life - he was a big slave owner and through his life he bought and sold many slaves. So this man - one of the main fighters for freedom for the individual actually held other people as slaves
Around the estate you will be able to see different building where the slaves lived and there is some information about the life of the slaves on the estate. Today there is a memorial at the old slave burial ground but that have been placed long after the death of Washington.
In the end Washington became a silent opponent of slavery and he did eventually free his slaves in his will - but not until after Martha also died.
Now back to the question why did Washington not sign the Declaration of Independence? Well he was too busy trying to organize the continental army before the coming fight against the British.