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Mount Vernon is the plantation home of the first president of the United State of America. It is located in Fairfax County, Virginia near Alexandria. It contains a mansion built in the modern classical Georgian style. The mansion is and the whole estate is located on the banks of Potomac River.

When George Washington’s father died, he left the estate with his half brother Lawrence. When Lawrence died in 1752, his will had indicated that the estate be left with his wife Anne Fairfax. However, he gave George a piece of the estate. At that time, George was living in the estate and probably running business. In 1754 when Anne Fairfax decided to remarry, George decided to buy her part of the estate and now he became the sole owner of Mount Vernon.

After acquiring the estate, he decided to expand the house in two phases. He rebuilt a new house altogether on the foundation of the old one. Most of this work was carried out by his slaves and artisans. Each time he expanded the mansion he doubled the size. However, he never changed its name.

Operation

After buying some of the neighboring parcels of land, George decided to invest in agriculture. He divided the land into five different parts. He decided to incorporate science in his agriculture. He also took a strict and neat approach of accounting and record keeping. Mr. Washington started out with tobacco farming which proved to be hard and less profitable. In addition to tobacco, he also grew hemp and flax. These also seemed tricky to provide since the market price was not at par with the production cost. At one point he even complained to the parliament and wrote an article about the matter.

Around 1766, Washington decided to abandon tobacco farming and put his concentration in wheat, corn and other grains. Besides those, he occasionally experimented with 60 other crops including cotton and silk. Even though so, he did not abandon completely growth of hemp and flax.

The Gristmill and the Blacksmith

Apart from crop farming, Washington also built a gristmill. It was used to ground flour. He produced cornmeal and flour which he exported. Apart from the commercial approach, he also used to ground grains for his neighbors. He also had a blacksmith whose services Washington used to sell to people.

Fishing

In addition to other operations of the estate, George decided to build a small fleet of fishing. He used to export this fish and therefore earned a good income out of it. Some of the fish type caught included salmons, brown trout, bullhead, crappie and cutthroat trout among many others.

The Sixteen-Sided Barn

This was not just a usual barn but a sixteen-sided one with a well built, hard and innovatively treaded floor on the second floor. He used 30,820 strong and high quality bricks. He also used 88 fourteen feet timber for the sides, nine by three timber boards for the floor and two thousand one to one and a half inches planks. He also placed timber bars for the window. He also used sixteen sills and the same number of tops. He added four hundred and twenty pieces of white oak, in lengths varying from 12 to 20 feet long, for the treading the  floor. Additionally, he used eighty six rafters, twenty-feet long and 7,000 three-foot shingles. The ban stood fifty two feet in diameter and took two year to be completed.

It was used for storage of wheat and the other cereals that were produced.

In addition to crop farming, George also reared sheep.

The Slaves and Servants

Since the tobacco work was so intense compared to the other activities, Washington was forced to hire a lot of slaves. For good record keeping and production, he also hired skilled laborers. George Washington had one principle when dealing with his slaves; that they provide him with good work and they will be cared for very well. In effect to this, he allowed the slaves to stay in the estate and had housing for them. He also allowed them to get flour from his gristmill alongside his neighbors. As much as he tried to care, George wanted to instill high levels of discipline in the slaves since some of them were turning into thieves and robbers. At one point, he even resorted to corporal punishment. He used to argue out that if the slaves, all being black people, did not heed to the instructions and did their work well, then there would be a method to instill this. The male slaves were the victims of this discipline system most of the times, though the females occasionally had it too. There is also a misunderstanding to the living conditions of the slaves, but one thing is for certain, the slaves had poor housing conditions. The huts and cottages used by the slaves were small, squeezed and dirty. Bedding and clothing were however given to the slaves. If George hired a non-African worker, he would not recommend his stay in the slave quarters, but sought for them a better place. It can therefore be deduced that Mr. Washington was biased on this matter.

The Gardens

There were two gardens on each side of the greens in the homestead. Plants grown in them included perishables like fruits, vegetables and flowers. The northern garden is surrounded by crab apple trees, poplar locusts, maples, sassafras and pine trees. The garden to then north bordered a greenhouse while the other lower one was surrounded with the clerk’s house, the smoke house, a laundry place, a wash place and the store house.

Visitors and Entertainment

As much as George tried to entertain visitors, he was so engrossed in his work to have many. More so, during Christmas, decorations were not so much done due to the air of work around that place. This might be due to the hardworking character of Mr. Washington.

Conclusion

All in all, George Washington was a good, successful and a strict businessman who had a lot of success in exporting agricultural products.

Code: Sample20

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