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Mount Vernon is the name of the house and plantation on the south bank of the Potomac River near Alexandria, Virginia, where George Washington lived from 1759 to his death in 1799. Washington bequeathed the house to his wife Martha, to be given to his nephew Bushrod Washington after her death. George inherited the property from his elder half-brother Lawrence Washington (1718-1752), who had begun construction of a new manor house there around 1740. Lawrence named the estate Mount Vernon after Admiral Edward Vernon (1684-1757) under whom he had served in the West Indies. Lawrence left the estate to his widow, Ann Fairfax Washington (d. 1761), whose second husband leased it to George Washington in 1754. 

The house constructed by Lawrence Washington was a single story, four room structure. George Washington raised the structure to two and a half stories by 1759, essentially doubling the size of the house. In the mid 1780s Washington changed the house once again, adding a new roof, a greenhouse with adjoining housing for his enslaved people, and a large room on the north side of the house that the family referred to as the "New Room." Bushrod Washington struggled to maintain the Mount Vernon estate after he came into possession of in 1803. He added a balustrade around the roof of the piazza, and a new small porch. After his death much of the estate was divided among his nieces and nephews, and the house itself went to John Augustine Washington II.


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