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General George Washington's original sleeping and office tent from the Revolutionary War was carefully preserved by generations of the Custis and Lee families following the deaths of George and Martha Washington. In 1909, Reverend W. Herbert Burk of Norristown, Pennsylvania, purchased the tent from Miss Mary Custis Lee, daughter of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Reverend Burk considered the tent the “supreme relic of Washington” and he made it the centerpiece of an American history museum he established at Valley Forge. Reverend Burk’s Valley Forge Historical Society, the predecessor organization of the Museum of the American Revolution, served as the longtime steward of Washington’s tent.

Object Details

  • Tent
    Reading, Pennsylvania
    Linen, Wool
    Museum of the American Revolution 

Washington's War Tent Film

Follow the remarkable journey of General George Washington's headquarters tent from the Revolutionary War to the present in the Museum's signature Washington's War Tent film, highlighted by the reveal of the real tent. Watch a preview of the full Washington's War Tent film, which is produced by Donna Lawrence Productions and airs daily in the Alan B. Miller Theater (second floor) at the Museum.

Among His Troops Online Exhibit

Verplancks Point Detail

Explore the online exhibit inspired by French-born Continental Army engineer Pierre Charles L'Enfant's 1782 watercolor painting depicting the encampment at Verplanck's Point, New York, which includes the only known wartime image of General George Washington's headquarters tent. The online exhibit was adapted from the Museum's 2018 exhibition of the same name.


What Does Washington's Tent Mean to You?

This image shows George Washington's tent with an orange lighting with the words what does washington's tent mean to you across the screen.

Since 2017, more than 1,000,000 people have seen General George Washington’s tent on display in the Alan B. Miller Theater at the Museum. Viewers often find the tent film and reveal to be emotional, thought-provoking, and inspirational. We asked a range of people, from educators to descendants to caretakers, what does Washington’s tent mean to you?

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General George Washington's Revolutionary War headquarters tent on display at the Museum

Washington's War Tents

Explore the cornerstone of the Museum's collection, General George Washington's Revolutionary War Tent, and the handsewn, full-scale replica of his field headquarters.
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Image 091820 775x481 Washtentsnow

Historical Timeline

Learn more about the history of Washington's War Tent from Revolutionary War battlefields to its permanent home at the Museum.
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Image 101220 Washington Headquarters Tent

Frequently Asked Questions: Washington's War Tent

Find answers to frequently asked questions about George Washington's War Tent and the First Oval Office Project.
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Arlington House circa 1868 via Library Of Congress
Gedney, J. F., Engraver, and Publisher W.H. & O.H. Morrison. Arlington House. Arlington Virginia, 1868. [Washington, D.C.: Published by W.H. & O.H. Morrison, Washn.: print by J. Gedney, Washn] Photograph. 

Washington's War Tent During the Civil War: Surviving the Civil War

This is the first in a three-part series describing the fate of General George Washington's Headquarters Tent during the Civil War.
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Photograph of Mary Custis Lee
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Mrs. Robert E. Lee, 1806-73." New York Public Library Digital Collections. 

Washington's War Tent After the Civil War: Reclaiming History

This is the first in a two-part series about the fate Washington's Headquarters Tent between the end of the Civil War and the start of the 20th century.
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May 1776 handwritten receipt by Plunkett Fleeson documenting George Washington's order for new tents and camp equipment.
Witness to Revolution

Breaking Down Plunket Fleeson's Receipt for George Washington's Tents & Equipment

Examine the details on this receipt dated May 4, 1776, to learn about the tents and camp equipment that General George Washington purchased from Philadelphia upholsterer Plunket Fleeson.
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Image 091120 General George Washington Standard Flag Collection Washington Headquarters Flag 72

Washington's Headquarters Flag

Believed to be the earliest surviving 13-star American flag, Washington's Standard marked his presence throughout the war.
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Image 091120 George Washington Camp Cups Silver Camp Cups

George Washington's Camp Cups

These cups, with later commemorative inscriptions, are part of a set of twelve that descended in the Washington family and are said to have been owned and used by George Washington during the war.
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Verplanck's Point watercolor

Panoramic View of Verplanck’s Point

This seven-foot-long panoramic watercolor by Pierre Charles L'Enfant includes the only known eyewitness depiction of George Washington’s headquarters tent during the Revolutionary War.
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