George Washington, by Charles Willson Peale, 1787.
Close Window

Oil on canvas, head and shoulders of George Washington in uniform.

Credit: Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Bequest of Mrs. Sarah Harrison (The Joseph Harrison, Jr. Collection)

After eight long years of war, George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon on Christmas Eve, 1783. "Many, mistakenly, think that I am retired to ease," he repined, "but in no period of my life-not in the eight years I served the public, have I been obliged to write so much myself as I have done since retirement." The spring and summer of 1784 saw a steady stream of visitors pass through the doors of Mount Vernon. On September 1, 1784, Washington set out on horseback to tour his western lands with his old friend Dr. James Craik. What awaited him in Pennsylvania would be an unpleasant surprise.

Back to Top