Washington's Tent Cover
c 1776

The tent cover at one time held the Revolutionary War marquees used by George Washington. The original order was delivered to Plunkeet Fleeson on May 18, 1776 and called for “making a large Dining Marquee with Double Front,” and for “making another large Marquee with a Cham = (sic) out of ticken, Arch'd”.

The marquees came to Arlington House as part of the Washington Treasury. George Washington Parke Custis showcased them at his annual sheep shearing festival, in 1824 during the Marquis de Lafayette’s visit and numerous other occasions.

During the Civil War, the tents were confiscated and placed at the US Patent office. Later, Mary Custis Lee made an appeal for her family’s possessions and the tents were returned to her. In the 1950s, the Department of the Interior purchased the tents and covers from a Lee descendent. They are now on display at the Smithsonian, Valley Forge, and in Yorktown, Virginia, where the British surrendered to George Washington, ending the Revolutionary War.

Canvas, rope. W 145, L 150 cm

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, ARHO 1980

View manuscript written by George Washington Parke Custis about the tents belonging to George Washington