Restoration uncovers Mount Vernon graffiti

Graffiti was discovered inside the cupola of Washington's home.
Graffiti was discovered inside the cupola of Washington's home.
Image: StudyHall.Rocks.
Even if you are the sort of person who memorializes every poop in a public potty by scratching your name on the stall, you probably would never pull out a pen at someone’s home -- especially if the place once belonged to George Washington.

     But in the 19th century, fans of the deceased first president did exactly that, signing boards of the cupola atop Mount Vernon. During a recent restoration project at Washington's home in Alexandria, Virginia, craftsmen stripping paint from the walls uncovered signatures dating back to 1823, explains Tom Reinhart, deputy director for architecture at Mount Vernon, in a video posted on the home’s website.
    Among the more notable signatures: Mary Custis Lee of Arlington, dated 1859. That was the name of Martha Washington’s great-great granddaughter -- and the wife of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The signature also could have belonged to the daughter of Mary and Robert E. Lee. 
    Most of the writing (signed and dated) is from the year 1869, Reinhart says, and the latest date is 1871. 
    The boards will be painted again, he explains. But Mount Vernon officials have photographed the signatures. The estate initially belonged to the first president's brother, Lawrence. George Washington inherited it in 1761, according to Mount Vernon's website. He lived there until his death in 1799.
    Watch Mount Vernon's video below:


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