The Papers of George Washington

The Letterpress Edition

The Letterpress Edition of The Papers of George Washington is a multi-volume print collection of Washington’s correspondence and diaries.

George Washington’s Diaries were the first completed and constitute six volumes, spanning most of Washington’s adult life. Begun in 1748 and kept until his death in 1799, these volumes reveal the lifelong preoccupations of the public and private man.

George Washington’s Barbados Diary, 1751-1752, documents Washington’s only trip abroad, to the Caribbean island of Barbados. Published in 2018, this volume includes scholarly essays, comprehensive annotation, and color illustrations. This volume is the first complete edition of the diary to be produced in 126 years and recovers the obscure and mutilated text that details Washington’s adolescent journey to the island of Barbados.

The correspondence of The Papers of George Washington, 1748–1799, was published chronologically in five series and includes letters written to and from Washington. The ten-volume Colonial Series (1744–1775) follows Washington through the French and Indian War and then focuses on his political and business activities as a Virginia planter before the Revolution. The massive Revolutionary War Series (1775–1783) – still in progress – presents in documents and annotations the myriad military and political matters with which Washington dealt during the long war. The papers for his years at Mount Vernon before becoming president were published in the six-volume Confederation Series (1784–1788). The Presidential Series (1788–1797) covers Washington’s two-term presidency. The final years of his Washington’s, spent almost exclusively at Mount Vernon, are presented in the completed Retirement Series (1797–1799).

The letterpress edition can be found in most university and college libraries and even in some public libraries. Volumes are also available for purchase from the University of Virginia Press. For detailed information about all our published volumes, please see the corresponding series below:

The Digital Editions

The Papers of George Washington is available online via three unique versions: The Papers of George Washington Digital Edition on Rotunda, Founders Online, and Mount Vernon’s Guest Edition. Though each version displays careful transcription of the papers of George Washington, they differ in levels of access to other editorial content, such as annotations and volume indices.

For more information about these digital resources, click here.