MEDIA
Vaughan Plan of Mount Vernon
Original Author: Samuel Vaughan, artist; Gavin Ashworth, photographer
Created: 1787
Medium: Watercolor-and-ink drawing

Vaughan Plan of Mount Vernon

An 1787 watercolor-and-ink sketch of Mount Vernon plantation, the home of George and Martha Washington, depicts a view of the mansion, at bottom, and an overhead plan of the estate, including the formal garden and outbuildings. (There is an alphabetical key to the various structures at middle right.) The view of Mount Vernon includes the adjacent Potomac River—spelled here "Potowmack"—and the Maryland shore on the other side.

This watercolor was created by Samuel Vaughan, an English merchant who settled in Philadelphia in 1783. Vaughan visited Mount Vernon in August 1787, while George Washington was presiding over the Continental Convention in Philadelphia, and sketched a plan of the estate in his journal. Using his sketch and field notes, Vaughan later created the plan shown here and sent it to Washington as a gift. Though there were minor errors in the overall plan, Washington acknowledged the gift and noted that it "describes with accuracy the house, walk and shrubs."

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