February 22, 1732 – December 14, 1799
Victorious general in the American Revolution and first President of the United States, George Washington is often referred to as the Father of Our Country. Washington was known for his love of the land and farming, and the fact that he did not like war. George Washington was a distinguished General and Commander In Chief of the colonial armies. He married widow Martha Dandridge Custis and they lived at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s plantation on the Potomac River in Virginia.
George Washington became ill around 3:00am on Saturday, December 14, 1799. He awoke with severe difficulty breathing. As he was a believer in bloodletting, he ordered his estate overseer, George Rawlins, to drain nearly a pint of blood from his body. At this same time, three physicians were summoned. Once arrived, the three physicians began treatments of their own, which included even more bloodletting and other treatments of the period. By the time they had finished, more than half of Washington’s blood had been removed. Finally realizing that the end was near, Washington ordered two of the doctors out of the room. He then said to his personal physician, Dr. James Craik, “Doctor, I die hard, but I am not afraid to go.” George Washington was declared dead later that same evening, around 10:00pm on Saturday, December 14, 1799.
Washington’s funeral was held four days later on December 18, 1799 at his Mount Vernon Estate. Cavalry and foot soldiers of the Continental Army led his burial procession, with six Colonels whom had served under Washington as his pallbearers.
George Washington is buried in a tomb located at:
Mount Vernon Estate
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121
Martha Washington died a few years later, on May 22, 1802 and was entombed with her husband. There are two marble sarcophagi in the tomb, one inscribed “Washington,” the other “Martha, Consort of Washington” behind the iron gates of the tomb building.
George Washington was originally laid to rest in an old family tomb on his Mount Vernon Estate property. In 1830, an angry ex-employee of the estate tried to steal Washington’s skull from the tomb, but was unsuccessful. The next year, in 1831, a new and more secure tomb vault was constructed at Mount Vernon. George and Martha Washington’s remains, along with those of other relatives, were then moved to this new tomb.
The following is inscribed in stone over the entrance to the tomb vault…
“Within this Enclosure Rest the remains of Gen.l George Washington.”