10.07.2017

Exploring Georgetown and Tudor Place


We are still on the first day, September 8th. After our tour of Mount Vernon, we visited the gift shops where I was tempted to buy about ten books and we then ate vegetarian burgers at the Mount Vernon food court. Sometime later we began our drive to Georgetown in Washington, D.C. I've always heard so many lovely things about this neighborhood. It was as quaint as I had imagined it to be. The homes were as alluring as they were colorful. We explored the shops, including a bookshop, and enjoyed our stroll in the neighborhood.


We eventually found our way to Tudor Place after stopping to smell the roses, as they say, a few too many times. We were several minutes late to our tour, and it began without us, but once we got there the woman who greeted us allowed Lea and I to join the rest of the group. What I liked about this tour was that there were only five us with the tour guide; Lea, myself, and three other girls. It was much more intimate than the tour at Mount Vernon and we got to see much more of the home up close and personal.

Tudor Place was once the home of Martha Washington's granddaughter, Martha Parke Custis Peter, who was born a year and a half after America's Declaration of Independence inside the Blue Room at Mount Vernon. This room was under reconstruction during our tour of Mount Vernon earlier in the day so we were unable to see it. Martha Parke Custis Peter, who went by the nickname "Patty", was said to have been particularly fond, proud even, of her step-grandfather George Washington. In 1795, the seventeen-year-old Patty requested a miniature portrait of her step-grandfather as a wedding gift. George Washington fulfilled this request. Patty was also noted for being politically outspoken, she was a staunch Federalist.

After her step-grandfather's death in 1799, she inherited 1/32 of George Washington's estate, along with $8,000 which was used to purchase the land in Georgetown where Tudor Place was established. The Peters appointed Dr. William Thornton, the architect of the U.S. Capitol, to design their home. After the death of her grandmother, Martha Washington, in 1702, the Peters purchased many items of Mount Vernon in order to preserve the Washington legacy. Patty's husband, Thomas Peter, was left as an executor of Martha Washington's estate. Patty also inherited objects from her grandmother, including a writing desk in which she found two letters written by George Washington to his wife. These letters are said to have been accidentally missed by the former First Lady as she had burned all of the correspondence with her husband after his death.


FIVE FACTS ABOUT TUDOR PLACE:

1 | Marquis de Lafayette visited Tudor Place in October of 1824.

2 | The eight children of Martha and Thomas Peter were raised in the mansion.

3 | Tudor Place was home to the Peter family for six generations.

4 | The last owner, Armistead Peter III (1896-1983), arranged for Tudor Place's preservation as a museum.

5 | Tudor Place is home to the second largest collection of items belonging to the Washington family.


Touring the Tudor Place is an absolute must if you are ever in Washington D.C. The mansion itself is a history timeline of America's politics, technology, social organization, industrial production, and culture. With each room we visited and discussed, we were able to grasp different periods of transition in American history.

CHARLENE ZALE

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