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Sketch of a groupe for a drawing of Mount Vernon


Pencil on paper drawing of "Sketch of a groupe for a drawing of Mount Vernon", July 1796, from the Latrobe Sketchbooks, by Benjamin Henry Latrobe. On July 16, 1796, Latrobe journeyed to President George Washington's Virginia estate "Mount Vernon" to deliver a letter from Washington's nephew, and Latrobe's friend, Bushrod Washington (1762-1829). At about 3:30 that afternoon, Latrobe dined with the President, his wife Martha (1731-1802), Martha's granddaughter Eleanor Parke Custis Lewis (1779-1854), and Georges Washington Louis Gilbert de Lafayette (1779–1849). Following dinner, other guests arrived and they enjoyed coffee and further conversation on the portico. This sketch, which was published in "The Journal of Latrobe", features Eleanor Custis standing at left, Martha Washington sits at the table near the coffee pot, an unnamed African American slave footman stands behind her, and one of Tobias Lear's (1762-1816) sons sits on the ground. Lear was President Washington's personal secretary from 1784-1799.




Pencil on paper


10.5 x 7 inches

Object ID


Resource ID



Sketchbook 2

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.