In late 2019, Mount Vernon received an important donation to its textile collection: the third of three extant quilts known to have been made by Martha Washington. This quilt is especially significant, as it includes a paper label, stitched to one corner, with the following inscription, written by Martha’s eldest granddaughter, Eliza Parke Custis: “This Quilt was entirely the work of my grandmother as far as the plain borders. I finished it in 1815 and leave it to my Rosebud. E. P. Custis.” Moreover, the quilt also includes several pieces of fabric from one of Martha’s surviving dresses, confirming Martha’s authorship and linking it to the other two quilts, which have been in Mount Vernon’s collection since 1931 and 1949, respectively.
Gift of James Douglas Marsteller.
Mount Vernon’s livestock team welcomed the arrival of two calves in late 2019. On Thanksgiving morning, Clover, an American Milking Devon cow, gave birth to a healthy bull, which the staff named Spud. Two and a half weeks later, Crimson, another American Milking Devon cow, welcomed a calf of her own. Mount Vernon Regent Sarah Coulson chose the name Knox for the second calf. Moms and babies are doing well.Like the other animals at Mount Vernon, Spud and Knox are examples of a heritage breed—one that would have been found in Virginia during Washington’s lifetime, and a representative example of a breed that Washington kept more than 200 years ago. After a period of bonding with their mothers, the calves will begin to train to work on the estate as oxen, participating in farming activities and demonstrations. They will reach 1,500–1,600 pounds when fully mature.