Washington’s War Tent, his sleeping marquee that is on display at the Museum of the American Revolution, is full of mysteries. We solved some of them by making a hand-stitched replica that we could use as a “stunt double.” We can’t take the original tent out and set it up in the rain. The First Oval Office Project is an example of experimental archaeology. By creating replicas of historical objects like George Washington’s tent, we can learn new things about how and why people in the past made and used these things. Here are a few frequently asked questions you might have about Washington’s tent that the First Oval Office Project helped the Museum answer.
You may have! The sleeping and office tent on display at the Museum of the American Revolution was previously on display at the Museum’s predecessor organization, the Valley Forge Historical Society at the Washington Memorial Chapel in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. It was also on loan for a time to the National Park Service’s Valley Forge National Historical Park. You may also have seen Washington’s larger dining marquee tent on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, but that tent is no longer on display. The National Park Service exhibits the inner office chamber associated with Washington’s sleeping and office tent at the Yorktown Visitor Center at Yorktown Battlefield in Virginia. Small pieces of Washington’s tents, cut off as souvenirs in the 1800s, are in the collection of many museums and historic sites.