Friday, December 14, 2018



Alexandria, Virginia (JFK+50) On December 14, 1799, George Washington*, former General of the Continental Army and first President of the United States passed away at Mount Vernon**.

The General, who was 67 years old, took a horseback ride on his estate two days before in snow, hail and freezing rain.  Late for his evening meal, the General dined in wet clothes.  The next morning he came down with a sore throat and hoarseness.

Dr. James Craik was called in when the General began to experience breathing difficulties.  George Washington told his old friend, "I die hard, but I am not afraid to go."

The General worshiped at Christ Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia.  The first diary entry he made of attending services there was on July 15,  1773. After becoming president, he attended on July 4, 1793.  One of his Bibles was presented to the church on April 12, 1804 by George Washington Parke Custis.

General Washington asked that his remains not be entombed until three days after his passing.  The body was placed in a mahogany casket in the New Room of Mount Vernon.

*George Washington (1732-1799) was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Augustine and Mary Ball Washington. GW served in the French & Indian War & was C&C of the Continental Army during the Revolution.  GW served as POTUS 1789-1797.

**Mount Vernon is located on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, VA.  MV was built by Augustine Washington in the 1730s. The funeral of GW was held here on Dec 18 1799 with burial in the family tomb on the estate.


"Christ Church, Episcopal, Alexandria, Virginia,"

"The Death of George Washington, Mount Vernon,"

Mount Vernon Estate
Photo by Martin Falbisoner (2013)