Sigal Museum offers glimpse into the life of our first President

Media Contact:

Barbara Kowitz

Executive Director

Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society

610 253-1222




George Washington

Sigal Museum offers glimpse into the life of our first President


EASTON, Pa. (Thursday, February 14, 2013) Before he was a General and a President, the young George Washington was an expert surveyor and mapmaker. Evidence of his skill can be seen in the survey handwritten and drawn by 18 year old George in 1750, now on exhibit at the Sigal Museum.

“George Washington: A Sampling of Important Manuscripts”, offers a unique opportunity to experience views into the life of our first president from age 18 until his death.  From his early days as surveyor for Culpepper County, through an 1865 Currier and Ives lithograph of Presidents Washington and Lincoln, the documents and pictures on exhibit give visitors a deeper understanding of Washington as a man, family member, land owner, and leader.

From 1770, written in Washington’s hand, a letter to Jonathon Boucher tells of Washington’s preference to have money held in an English bank rather than in the colonies because of England’s payment of higher interest rates, giving us information of economics of the 18th century. A 1783 Revolutionary War discharge signed by George Washington as Commander of the Continental Army is one of few surviving discharges with the “Badge of Merit” intact.

A letter written by Tobias Lear on December 15, 1799, the day after Washington’s unexpected death, is one of only a few letters that survive from the roughly twelve letters that Lear sent out with notification of Washington’s passing.

Of local interest, a portrait of George Washington, found by a young girl along the banks of the Delaware River after the explosion of the steamship, the Alfred Thomas, in Easton on March 6, 1860 remains as evidence that Washington’s role in the founding and leadership of our country remained respected many decades after his death.

These, and many more items pertaining to George Washington are on exhibit in the MCS Gallery of the Sigal Museum through February 28, 2013. The exhibit is included in museum admission, and is part of a docent led tour.

Local historian and author, Jeffrey Finegan, will present a more in-depth study during an illustrated talk and guided tour of the exhibit on Saturday, February 23, at 1pm, Finegan will discuss important events in Washington’s life at the time of the respective documents. This program is included in $7.00 adult museum admission; children are admitted FREE on February 23. Children’s activities that day also include colonial games in the gallery, from 10am to 1pm.


About Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society


The Northampton County Historical and Genealogical Society was established in 1906 and continues to serve Northampton County PA and researchers throughout the world, by preserving, showcasing, exhibiting, and interpreting its more than 60,000 collection items. The Society maintains four locations in Easton, PA – the Mixsell House Museum at 4th and Ferry Streets, the Jacob Nicholas House Museum at 5th & Ferry Streets, the 1753 Bachmann Publick House at 2nd & Northampton Streets, and the Sigal Museum at 342 Northampton Street. Sigal Museum and Society office hours are: Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30am to 3 pm, Sunday, noon-4pm. The Jane S. Moyer Library for Local & Genealogical Research is located at the Sigal Museum and is open Tuesday through Friday, 9:30am to 3pm. All other locations open by appointment.


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