Places: Images of Washington

Rare Images of Early American Places

The word 'places' is commonly understood to mean a specific space, area, or spot, such as cities and towns and landscapes. However, we will use that meaning to infer a sense of place that comes from experiencing those 'places.' And how those 'places' impacted early America.The places chronicled by the images in this section illustrate the depth and, even brilliance, of those who made the years of early America a unique experience in history. A man of vision, George Washington understood the role of building and architecture as a powerful force in establishing a sense of place in society but also a lasting national identity. His experience as a land surveyor from the age of 17 gave him an understanding for space and distance he would utilize later in life. When Washington chose to expand and remodel Mount Vernon, he used architecture to express his place among his peers. Eventually, this need to create 'place' allowed him to guide the creation of a federal city as a world-class capital. A capital city that offered monumental public buildings, wide laws and inspiring vistas.

Rare Images of Washington:

Harvard, Mount Vernon, Bridges Creek, site of George Washington's birthplace, in Westmoreland County, Virginia and more.

Click any of the images below for a larger view.

Harvard College

Harvard College in 1770. From an engraving by Paul Revere.

George Washington's Birthplace

George Washington was born in this one-story frame house in Virginia. Typical of the farm houses of the day, it had rooms on the ground floor, others in the attic, with two large chimneys at each end.

Bridges Creek, Virginia

Site of George Washington's birthplace, Bridges Creek in Westmoreland County, Virginia. The house commanded a sweeping view of the Potomac River.

City of Washington

The City of Washington in 1800. Site of the new federal city on the North bank of the Potomac. Congress held its first session here on Nov. 17th, 1774.

Mount Vernon

An early view of Mount Vernon. Washington inherited the property upon the death of his older brother's widow. It was Washington's home from 1747 until his death in 1799.

Washington at Mount Vernon

Washington at his Mount Vernon home in 1790. The house overlooking the Potomac was remodeled and enlarged after his marriage to Martha. It remained their home until their respective deaths.

These images, in effect clip art, can be downloaded at no charge for personal use only. To download the large image to your computer, right-click the small image and select “Save target as” (Internet Explorer) or “Save link as” (Firefox). In exchange we would appreciate it if you gave us a credit line “Courtesy of Archiving Early America” and a link to our site, These same images are also available for commercial use in a high resolution format. Clients who license our images include publishers, film production companies and graphic design studios. Please refer to our Licensing Fees and Terms and Conditions.

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