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Investigate the context and meaning of George Washington’s life and legacy, from his leadership as commander in chief of the Revolutionary Army to his role as the first president of the United States.


Gordon S. Wood, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus, Brown University


Of all the illustrious figures involved in the creation of the American nation, George Washington was by far the greatest. Not only was he the commander in chief of the Revolutionary army, but he was also a leading figure in the formation of the Constitution of 1787, and of course, he became the first president of the new United States. Yet despite these great accomplishments he still remains strangely distant and inaccessible to us in the early twenty-first century. In our investigation of Washington’s life, we will explore the context and meaning of his greatness.

Travel & Accommodations

Mount Vernon is located 16 miles south of Washington, DC, and 8 miles south of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, at the southern terminus of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. There are several options for traveling to and from Mount Vernon.

The Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is located approximately 25 minutes from Mount Vernon. Washington Dulles International Airport in Dulles, VA, is an approximate 45-minute commute to Alexandria.

Amtrak provides service directly into Alexandria, Virginia, about a 15-minute cab ride from Mount Vernon.

Participants will be housed in the Quarters on the Estate. Due to space limitations, we will hold a “lottery” to assign some shared rooms. All rooms come equipped with linens, towels, and hair dryers. There is a washer and dryer on the premises.

Participants should plan to bring laptops, as computer access on campus will be limited.


Meals will be served at George Washington’s Mount Vernon and paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Travel reimbursement

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to and from the seminar. Each seminar participant will receive reimbursement of travel expenses up to $400. Please read our complete travel reimbursement policy before applying.

Graduate credit

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is proud to announce its agreement with Adams State University to offer three hours of graduate credit in American history to participating seminar teachers. For more information click here.

Course Reviews from Past Participants

“The Era of George Washington seminar was excellent. . . . Gordon Wood was a delight to listen to, and we all enjoyed talking to him at lunch and during breaks. The tours of Mt. Vernon were informative and interesting. . . . Overall, I would recommend this seminar to any teacher of US history.”

“Not one complaint. Gordon Wood’s lectures, the master teacher’s organization and leadership, and the staff at Mount Vernon were outstanding! I’m definitely going to recommend this seminar to others.”

“This was, by far, the best seminar that I have ever attended. Gordon Wood was amazing! Every activity was well-planned, informative, and full of relevant information. Accommodations were better than perfect. You outdid yourselves with this one!”

“Gordon Wood was everything I thought and more: His lectures were so informative and inspirational. He gave us multiple evidence to support the fact that George Washington should never be referred to as just another "President" or "Founding Father." He truly stands in a league of his own."


Email the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

July 10th, 2016 5:00 PM   through   July 16th, 2016 9:00 AM
George Washington's Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA
United States

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Event Fee(s)
Attending $25.00

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