Washington’s Revolutionary War Encampment at Tudor Place

3 Ways to Cover “The First Oval Office” in its Sole D.C. Appearance

First Oval Office photo and painting

(L) Washington’s Revolutionary War Encampment in 2015 (credit: The First Oval Office). (R) First Oval Office watercolor by Peter Waddell.

media advisory
contact
April 24, 2016 Communications Director Mandy Katz
Bicentennial Communications Assistant Jen Pollakusy
mobile: 202.486.7645
press@tudorplace.orgbicentennial@tudorplace.org

A Tudor Place Bicentennial Event

     George Washington Parke Custis’s most famous acquisition from his grandparents’ home at Mount Vernon was Gen. Washington’s Revolutionary War “marquee,” a hard-used tent in which Custis hosted parties and commemorations. But Custis’s Lee descendants lost it when they sided with the Confederacy, and after the Federal government took the tent for safekeeping, it took Lees descendants more than a century to reclaim it, later selling it for public exhibition. While the original undergoes conservation, reproductions of Washington’s headquarters tent and the dining tent that stood alongside are on tour, coming to just one site in the capital region for just one weekend, and featured during two public events.

Washington, DC –On April 29 and 30, George Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters and dining tents will be the site of three novel events at Tudor Place in Georgetown, during the exhibition’s only stop in the Washington, D.C., region. On the Tudor Place South Lawn, visitors can tour the scrupulous reproduction of “The First Oval Office” and many of its furnishings, experiencing the linen-walled spaces where General Washington and his staff slept, ate, and strategized during critical moments of the Revolutionary War.

Tudor Place has invited the public to view the tent in an adults-only “sneak peak” evening party, April 29, and a day-long “encampment,” April 30, featuring the tents, colonial crafts and activities, and story-telling and history discussion about the roles of women and African-Americans during the Revolutionary War. Also April 30, a private dinner for donors, served in the tent, will feature a menu and entertainment reminiscent of how Washington would have dined.

WHAT

Special exhibition of the dining marquee, office, and sleeping quarters that served as George Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters. The tents will open first for a “Sneak Peek” Tudor Nights cocktail party for adults, Friday evening, April 29, with appearance by costumed interpreter “Mrs. Martha Peter,” founder of Tudor Place, who will chat and answer questions about life on the estate, 18th-19th century politics and events, and early times in the nation’s capital. On Saturday, April 30, guests of all ages can tour the tents during the Revolutionary War Encampment program with activities and features including Mrs. Peter and soldier-enactors, storytelling, and colonial crafts.Saturday evening, April 30, donors will enjoy a historically themed private banquet served in Washington’s reproduction dining tent.

Press are invited to cover any or all three of these events.

WHEN
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Friday, April 29 (Tudor Nights “Sneak Peak” private event)
  • 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday, April 30 (public viewing)
  • 6 pm, Saturday, April 30 (private donor banquet)
WHERE

Tudor Place
1644 31st St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

FEATURING
  • Revolutionary War Encampment featuring George Washington’s Revolutionary headquarters marquee and accompanying dining and baggage tent
  • Costumed interpreters to include Tudor Place founder “Mrs. Martha Peter,” played by award-winning actress and Smithsonian scholar Mary Ann Jung (Friday evening + Saturday afternoon), and two costumed revolutionary war interpreters (Saturday daytime).
  • In the HQ tent, furnishings including reproductions of Gen. Washington’s traveling camp stools based on the original in the collection at Tudor Place, one of two remaining from the original set of 18.
  • Candle-making and tea-blending demonstrations and activities (Saturday daytime)
  • Interactive storytelling and discussion about roles of women and African Americans in the Revolutionary War (Saturday daytime)
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, tours of the tent and garden strolls by twilight, and conversation with Mrs. Peter during the Tudor Nights Tent “Sneak Peek” (Friday evening)
  • Gala sit-down dinner catered with a menu based on cuisine Washington and his officers would have recognized (Saturday evening)

Washington’s Revolutionary War Encampment at Tudor Place

2 Ways to Cover “The First Oval Office” in its Sole D.C. Appearance

First Oval Office photo and painting

(L) Washington’s Revolutionary War Encampment in 2015 (credit: The First Oval Office). (R) First Oval Office watercolor by Peter Waddell.

media advisory
contact
April 24, 2016 Communications Director Mandy Katz
Bicentennial Communications Assistant Jen Pollakusy
mobile: 202.486.7645
press@tudorplace.orgbicentennial@tudorplace.org

A Tudor Place Bicentennial Event

     George Washington Parke Custis’s most famous acquisition from his grandparents’ home at Mount Vernon was Gen. Washington’s Revolutionary War “marquee,” a hard-used tent in which Custis hosted parties and commemorations. But Custis’s Lee descendants lost it when they sided with the Confederacy, and after the Federal government took the tent for safekeeping, it took Lees descendants more than a century to reclaim it, later selling it for public exhibition. While the original undergoes conservation, reproductions of Washington’s headquarters tent and the dining tent that stood alongside are on tour, coming to just one site in the capital region for just one weekend, and featured during two public events.

Washington, DC – On April 29 and 30, George Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters and dining tents will be the site of three novel events at Tudor Place in Georgetown, during the encampment’s only stop in the Washington, D.C., region. On the Tudor Place South Lawn, visitors can tour the scrupulous reproduction of “The First Oval Office” and many of its furnishings, experiencing the linen-walled spaces where General Washington and his staff slept, ate, and strategized during critical moments of the Revolutionary War.

Tudor Place has invited the public to view the tent in two settings: an adults-only “sneak peak” evening party, April 29, and a day-long “encampment,” April 30, featuring the tents, colonial crafts and activities, and story-telling and history discussion about the roles of women and African-Americans during the Revolutionary War.

WHAT

Special exhibition of the dining marquee, office, and sleeping quarters that served as George Washington’s Revolutionary War headquarters. The tents will open first for a “Sneak Peek” Tudor Nights cocktail party for adults, Friday evening, April 29, with appearance by costumed interpreter “Mrs. Martha Peter,” founder of Tudor Place, who will chat and answer questions about life on the estate, 18th-19th century politics and events, and early times in the nation’s capital. On Saturday, April 30, guests of all ages can tour the tents during the Revolutionary War Encampment program with activities and features including Mrs. Peter and soldier-enactors, storytelling, and colonial crafts. Press are invited to cover either or both  of these events.

WHEN
  • 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Friday, April 29 (Tudor Nights “Sneak Peak” private event)
  • 10 am – 4 pm, Saturday, April 30 (public viewing)
WHERE

Tudor Place
1644 31st St. NW
Washington, DC 20007

FEATURING
  • Revolutionary War Encampment featuring George Washington’s Revolutionary headquarters marquee and accompanying dining and baggage tent
  • Costumed interpreters to include Tudor Place founder “Mrs. Martha Peter,” played by award-winning actress and Smithsonian scholar Mary Ann Jung (Friday evening + Saturday afternoon), and two costumed revolutionary war interpreters (Saturday daytime).
  • In the HQ tent, furnishings including reproductions of Gen. Washington’s traveling camp stools based on the original in the collection at Tudor Place, one of two remaining from the original set of 18.
  • Candle-making and tea-blending demonstrations and activities (Saturday daytime)
  • Interactive storytelling and discussion about roles of women and African Americans in the Revolutionary War (Saturday daytime)
  • Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, tours of the tent and garden strolls by twilight, and conversation with Mrs. Peter during the Tudor Nights Tent “Sneak Peek” (Friday evening)

American History TV · Washington’s Descendants at Tudor Place

Grant Quertermous at lectern, TV screenshot

Curator of Collections Grant Quertermous talks on American History TV about the Washington descendants at Tudor Place. The family, which built and remained at Tudor Place through six generations, descended from Martha Custis Washington’s son John Parke (“Jacky”) Custis, George Washington’s stepson. Quertermous shares how and what we can learn about the Washingtons, the owners, servants and slaves at Tudor Place, and the history around them, by studying and preserving the thousands of objects they left behind, including more than 200 of the Washingtons’ personal items and a rich archive of documents and correspondence.


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Oakland: Far from the Madding Crowd

early 1800s news clippings + map

Though grand by city standards even when the Peters first purchased it in 1805, the original eight and a half acres of Tudor Place was by no means their largest property. Most affluent urban families of the time owned large farms, and the Peters were no exception. Among the lands Thomas Peter inherited from his father Robert was a tract in Montgomery County that the family called Oakland, part of a coveted royal land grant once known as Conclusion. On it they husbanded not just Peter’s cherished race horses, but also crops, lumber, cows and hogs, some of which were transported to Tudor Place every fall for smoking. Enslaved workers also moved between the two locations, family reminiscences and other records indicate.

To at least two generations of Peters, Oakland represented more than a business or country larder. In this essay, archivist Wendy Kail traces the property’s legacy in law, commerce, and family memory.

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Tudor Place Returns to Agrarian Roots: Re-Interpreting for Its 3rd Century

To meet Americans’ growing fascination with land use, ecology, and food sources, and to mark the site’s bicentennial, the Tudor Place Foundation has reassessed the National Historic Landmark’s interpretive focus. As of today, April 1, 2016, in a nod to its semi-agrarian origins, the site has been converted to a working farm.

Executive Director Mark Hudson, who came to Tudor Place in October, spearheaded the redirection. “Tudor Place was just too many things to too many people,” he explained. “It has a vast archive and more than 15,000 artifacts and tells stories of American domestic and political life over more than 200 years. Imagine trying to cover all that in a 55-minute tour!”

“This way, we confine the story to a single function during a single 20-year time period,” Hudson continued, adding, “So much simpler. And besides, the grain harvest and livestock sales are good for the Annual Fund.”

Since opening to the public in 1988, the historic house was interpreted just as it was lived in by six generations of one family, from the years before its 1816 completion through the last private owner’s death, in 1983. Its five-and-a-half-acre historic garden traced Georgetown’s and the District’s evolution from a rough-hewn, semi-rural community to a major metropolis and offered a haven for plant lovers among elegant lawns, garden rooms, and features like gazebos, fountains and wooded paths.

In what some see as a nod to his Kansas origins, Hudson early in his tenure identified farming as a more profitable function for the site’s Gardens & Grounds professionals. Staff now tend cattle and hogs in the former North Garden, where the Boxwood Knot and its roses have proven especially appealing grazing. Tudor Place’s horticulturalist is also testing crop varieties on the South Lawn, where the Peter family once harvested hay by scythe. The 1919 Pierce-Arrow and new Tudor Place Garden Utility Vehicle now pull plows.

Practical functions have likewise been found for iconic but unproductive locations like the Summerhouse, now a grain storage depot, and the Bowling Green, where meals for farm hands — cooked by the Education staff in the 1914 historic kitchen — are laid out daily on trestle tables. The historic house designed by William Thornton has been closed to the public. Its first floor serves important museum and farm administration functions like bookkeeping, stuffing envelopes, grain sales and (to hedge against poor harvests) commodities trading.

On the house’s second floor, the Development department now occupies the west bedrooms and is enjoying a banner year, having sold three generations’ worth of Peter family toys and Caroline Ogden-Jones Peter’s exquisite 20th-century couture collection on Ebay. Britannia’s Civil War-era bedroom has also been emptied, to make room for a state-of-the-art Social Media Suite. That’s where the communications director and former Curatorial staff divide their time between thinking up viral memes using onetime collection objects and tweeting calf and piglet videos.

Outdoors meanwhile, visitors are flocking as never before to the original Tudor Place Smoke House. Recently dated (using dendrochronology) to 1794 and recognized as one of the District’s oldest original service buildings or “dependencies,” the brick-floored, roughly 10-foot-square building now houses D.C.’s newest entry in the popular farm-to-table restaurant space. EAT, the Smoke House Cafe, can accommodate just one table, a two-top. Book soon — the wait for reservations already extends into 2020. Note that Tudor Place members enjoy a 10% discount on dessert!

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