Marker Monday: George Washington’s Southern Tour

This week’s #MarkerMonday highlights Georgia’s Washington’s Southern Tour after his inauguration as the first President of the United States. In May 1791, after touring the New England states, Washington came to Georgia. The tour of Georgia began in Savannah where the president was greeted with a festive water parade. While there, he attended Sunday services at Christ Church, dined with the Society of Cincinnati, and toured Revolutionary earthworks with General Lachlan McIntosh. Washington also visited Catharine Greene at her home, Mulberry Grove Plantation.

Portrait of George Washington. Image Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-pga-01740.

Greene was the widow of General Nathanael Greene, commander of the Continental Army in the southern theater during the Revolutionary War. From Savannah, Washington travelled north through Waynesboro to Augusta. In his diary, he described Augusta as “well laid out with wide and spacious streets. It bids fair to be a large town.”  In Augusta, the president met with Governor Edward Telfair where the two discussed the issue of fugitive slaves that fled to Spanish Florida to gain their freedom. Washington also visited Richmond Academy, and “viewed the ruins, or rather the small remnants,” of the British fortifications at Fort Cornwallis. Throughout his Southern Tour, Washington emphasized the importance of national unity and worked to familiarize himself with political sentiments, geography, and economic production of each region he visited.

Top Image taken from large image of Mulberry Grove Plantation. Image Courtesy of the Georgia Historical Society Collection of Photographs 1870-1960, 1361PH-01-17-6162.

Explore the links below to learn more about George Washington and his Southern Tour.

Washington’s Southern Tour I Historical Marker

Washington’s Southern Tour II Historical Marker

Washington’s Southern Tour III Historical Marker

Washington’s Southern Tour IV Historical Marker

Mulberry Grove Plantation Historical Marker

Today in Georgia History

George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Southern Tour

George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Washington’s Southern Tour: An Interview with Warren Bingham

Hidden Histories: Mulberry Grove Plantation

Further Reading

The Diaries of George Washington, eds. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1979, p.133-139.

Bingham, Warren L. George Washington’s 1791 Southern Tour. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2016.

Henderson, Archibald. Washington’s Southern Tour, 1791. Boston and New York: Houghton Miffin Company, 1923.

Related Marker Monday Posts:

Nathanael Greene Monument (Aug. 7, 2017)