Home libraries: George Washington

by Anna Blanch on May 25, 2013

We all need a place to hide out! This week’s home library belongs to a very busy man who really needed a place of quietness!

George Washington’s study was built during the Revolutionary War as part of the expansion of his home. When he returned to Mount Vernon in 1783, he was called upon to entertain countless family, friends, politicians, and well-wishers (basically lots of people who wanted things from him).

His study became the place where he could hide out and find solitude and no one was allowed in without an invitation. Here he read (it is reported that he had 884 books), handle the affairs of his estate, handle correspondence and write letters, and journal. He also used the room as a dressing and bathing room. He would get up between 4-5 in the morning and go down to the study by a private staircase that connected it to the master bedroom. In these quiet hours before breakfast, he’d get ready for the day, review reports, and write letters. In the evening before bed, he’d be back in the study to discuss issues with his secretary or do some more reading before bed at 9 o’clock.


The best feature of the room? I love those bookshelves – although that rocking chair with the fan above it is quite something.

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