Pin Containing George Washington's Hair

It was said that Elizabeth Collins Lee requested a lock of General Washington's hair while visiting Mount Vernon. Martha Washington cut a lock of hair from the left side near his temple. Elizabeth Collins Lee had this pin made and presented it to her daughter.

Locks of hair were precious mementos of loved ones throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Pins of this type were worn on a woman’s blouse. This custom was especially popular during wartime when the hair could be woven or braided into intricate patterns and worn in order to keep loved ones close when away on distant battlefields. This pin is also typical of the type of mementoes of President and Mrs. Washington that Mr. Custis kept and often gave to admirers of the Washingtons as gifts.

Gold, hair, jet. Measurements; L 2.1, W 1.2cm
Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 5024