After George Washington’s return to Mount Vernon at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783, the Study became his retreat from ever-present family and visitors; a place where he could quietly and privately tend to business. Reportedly, no one was allowed in this room without Washington’s invitation. From here, he directed the management of his Estate, receiving reports from overseers, making daily diary entries, and posting his accounts.
The Study was also where Washington bathed, dressed, and kept his clothes. Each morning, he rose between 4 and 5 am and went to the study, using the private staircase that led down from the bedchamber. According to the recollections of his step-grandson George Washington (Washy) Parke Custis, he lit his own fire and dressed himself. Washington used this quiet time to write letters or review reports until breakfast at 7 am, after which he usually rode out to his farms. In the evening, unless he had a social obligation or lingered talking to visitors after dinner, he returned here to read or confer with his secretary until around 9 pm, when he went to bed.
In this room you will find a fan chair similar to Washington’s, which helped him to stay cool on hot summer’s days; Washington’s chair that he used as President, a portrait of Lawrence Washington, bookcases, a secretary, and other artifacts from Washington’s life.