Monday, December 14, 2015


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1797


Mount Vernon, Virginia (JFK+50) 216 years ago this evening, December 14, 1799, George Washington*, former General of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States of America, passed away at his estate here in Mount Vernon.

According to "George Washington's Mount Vernon," the General took a horseback ride on his estate on December 12, 1799 and as not to be late for his evening meal, dined in his wet clothes.  The next morning he came down with a sore throat and hoarseness.

The family doctor, James Craik was sent for when the General began to experience breathing difficulties.  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 3 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. He began his military career in 1753 as a major in the Virginia Militia.

After service in the French and Indian War, Washington became Commander in Chief of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.  GW was president of the Constitutional Convention and elected the 1st President of the United States in 1789.  He was re-elected in 1793.


"Christ Church, Episcopal, Alexandria, Virginia,"

"The Death of George Washington, Mount Vernon,"

Christ Church Episcopal
118 N Washington Street
Alexandria, Virginia
Photo by Jennifer White (2015)