George Washington Papers
The papers of army officer and first U.S. president George Washington (1732-1799) held in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress constitute the largest collection of original Washington papers in the world. They consist of approximately 77,000 items accumulated by Washington between 1745 and 1799, including correspondence, diaries, and financial and military records. The collection documents Washington’s childhood education, his first career as a surveyor, his experiences as a militia colonel during the French and Indian War, his election as a Virginia delegate to the first and second Continental Congresses, his role as general of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, his presidency of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, his two terms as president (1789-1797), and his retirement. Also documented is his management of Mount Vernon, his plantation home in Virginia, and the lives of his family, servants, and slaves. Notable correspondents include John Adams, Benedict Arnold, Edward Braddock, Alexander Hamilton, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and the Marquis de Lafayette. Because of the wide range of Washington's interests, activities, and correspondents, which include ordinary citizens as well as celebrated figures, his papers are a rich source for almost every aspect of colonial and early American life.