Friday, July 10, 2015

Curious about George …

Do you ever think about the fact that Americans have been drinking tea for a long, long time? I remember learning a few years ago that the father of our country was a tea drinker, and for some reason that surprised me. (I believe I first read that here, in a book about a great English family of tea drinkers.)

This week, I was doing a little research on Washington and came upon even more information on our president's tea-drinking habits courtesy of the Mount Vernon website. I learned:

• Washington's first recorded order of tea was in 1757.

• According to the website, "The Washingtons used several varieties of tea throughout their time at Mount Vernon, including: Bohea, Congo, Green, Gunpowder, Hyson, and Imperial. Among the specialized objects purchased to serve tea in the Washington household imported from England, France, and China, were: tea boards, tea caddies, tea chests, tea china, tea cups, a pewter tea equipage, a copper tea kettle with chafing dish, a tea kitchen, tea pots, tea sets, silver tea spoons, tea tables, and a silver-plated tea urn." (They sure sound like tea lovers to me!)

• The slaves at Mount Vernon also had teawares, though it's noted that these may have been all-purpose drinking vessels, and one visitor to an outlying farm at Mount Vernon found in the slave quarters "some cups and a teapot."

• According to a granddaughter of Martha Washington, the president's "habitual meal" consisted of "three small mush cakes (Indian meal) swimming in butter and honey" and "three cups of tea without cream."

If you love this sort of tea history as much as I do, be sure to check out the Mount Vernon website for yourself!


  1. We knew GW was a smart man, this just confirms it!

  2. That's neat to know this bit of history!!! Thanks, Angela!

    Btw- I checked Homegoods for your "literary " teacup and still haven't found one, still looking though!

  3. George also had his own cow, maybe while he was in town?, so that he could have milk in his tea.

  4. I love learning the personal history about people of our past. This was fun to read. Thank you!

  5. Thank you for sharing this about George Washington. Our family history records show my relatives who fought with him. I followed some of the information you shared and found it very interesting.

  6. Thanks! I do love that sort of history. I get excited whenever I see tea mentioned in a fiction book too.

  7. From the title I was expecting to see a monkey. LOL I guess you can tell what my boys like to read.

  8. I love this post, Angela. Combining tea, history and George Washington - very neat!

    I had the privilege of working at The Pentagon for a few assignments (1990 - 1993) and had a chance to do some research at the Library of Congress: it was so interesting.

    The research covered presidential inaugurations and the military's involvement, going back to George Washington's time. Came across some wonderful letters, including one from a Mother who was trying to get a job for her daughter: the Mother was recommending her daughter (not an exact quote but her letter to President Washington went something like this: "Sir, my daughter has beautiful penmanship and she would be an asset to you, in handling correspondence and letters. When your Inaugural procession comes through our town, I will be there to see you and I will have some samples of 'her writing with me. Thank you for your consideration."

    I just loved being surrounded by all the history in Washington, D.C. Mount Vernon was so beautiful and my friends and I spent some wonderful weekends over there (great brunches at the restaurant! I really liked their selection of soups).

    Thank you for inspiring fond memories. Joanie

  9. Interesting tidbits of information!


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