Book Talk – The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President
The Fort Plain Museum welcomes Matthew R. Costello, the Acting Director of the David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History and the Senior Historian White House Historical Association as he presents his new book, “The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President”
This Book Talk is on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 at 6:30 PM at The Fulton-Montgomery Community College’s Allen House located at 2805 NY-67, Johnstown, NY 12095. There is a $10 Admission Fee and the speaker’s book will be available for sale ($5 off with paid admission).
Please visit the Museum’s website, http://www.fortplainmuseum.com for more information and how to register.
Washington’s resting place at his beloved Mount Vernon estate was at times as contested and in Costello’s telling, the many attempts to move the first president’s bodily remains offer greater insight to the issue of memory and hero worship in early America. While describing the efforts of politicians, business owners, artists, and storytellers to define, influence, and profit from the memory of Washington at Mount Vernon, this book’s main focus is the memory-making process that took place among American citizens. As public access to the tomb increased over time, more and more ordinary Americans were drawn to Mount Vernon, and their participation in this nationalistic ritual helped further democratize Washington in the popular imagination. Shifting our attention from official days of commemoration and publicly orchestrated events to spontaneous visits by citizens, Costello’s book clearly demonstrates in compelling detail how the memory of George Washington slowly but surely became The Property of the Nation.