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George Washington's Estate at Mount Vernon: THE LIFE GUARD

George Washington's Estate and Plantation at Mount Vernon was his home during a significant portion of his lifetime, and is where he returned when he finished the Presidency of the United States. It is where he later died and he is buried there on the grounds of the estate, beside his wife Martha.

When George Washington was General Washington during the Revolutionary War, we often forget that everything he did had to be new and innovative since the USA was not yet a nation and thus almost everything in it's Army had to be established from the start. One such effort was the LIFE GUARD, which was the precursor to today's SECRET SERVICE. There was no SECRET SERVICE in those days, and thus no structure in place to protect General Washington during the Revolutionary War, so he formed the LIFE GUARD for that purpose. This carefully selected loyal cadre of men served and protected General Washington all during the war, and when the war was won, it was they who packed up Washington's belongings, documents, and memories of that service and accompanied him to his home in Mount Vernon where, upon unpacking his belongings, they were assembled in the courtyard and thanked for their service, allowed to return to their lives and homes, and the LIFE GUARD was disbanded. Later, the U.S. SECRET SERVICE was to evolve out of the Department of the Treasury and was to be the primary protective corps assigned to the protection of the President of the United States.

As the Estates at Mount Vernon fell into disrepair over time following President Washington's death, this incredible historical monument to the Father of our Country was ultimately saved for posterity by the Ladies of Mount Vernon, a private sector effort of patriotic women that stepped forward when our government would not, and thus George Washington's Estate at Mount Vernon has been preserved to this day for the benefit of all Americans. These incredible ladies, who are now the Trustees of Mount Vernon, re-established George Washington's LIFE GUARD in the Twentieth Century as an honorary organization within the Mount Vernon structure to provide a special support organization for Mount Vernon and to take on Special Projects in support of Washington's Mount Vernon Estates. During the tenure of Mr. Stephen Hartwell in the 1990's as Chairman of the LIFE GUARD, Admiral Carey was invited to join the LIFE GUARD and assist in several support projects related to equipping the security force for the Estates. Admiral Carey served on the LIFE GUARD for four years, was one of several speakers at the 200th Anniversary of President Washington's Death, and has been honored to be allowed inside the tomb where President Washington and First Lady Martha Washington are buried during ceremonies on the occasion of the anniversary of his birth.

Further details on George Washington's Estate at Mount Vernon are available at


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George Washington's Estate at Mount Vernon: The LIFE GUARD