George Washington's Battle Sword and Scabbard

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Physical Description
Hanger-type sword of forged steel with grooved blade. Grip of green-dyed ivory with silver strip decoration. Leather scabbard with silver trim.
Specific History
George Washington wore this simple hanger as his battle sword while serving as commander of the Continental army during the Revolutionary War. Made in Fishkill, New York, by John Bailey, an immigrant cutler from Sheffield, England, the sword has a slightly curved, grooved steel blade, silver-mounted cross guard and pommel, and a green ivory grip.
The sword was inherited by Washington’s nephew, Samuel T. Washington, an army captain. In his will, Washington admonished his nephew to draw the sword only "in self-defense or in the defense of [the] country and its rights.” Samuel's son donated the sword to the United States government in 1843.
Date made
ca 1765
date made
ca 1778
associated person
Washington, George
Bailey, John
Place Made
United States: New York, Fishkill
United States
Physical Description
green (hilt color)
ivory (hilt material)
leather (scabbard material)
silver (blade material)
silver (mountings? material)
bone (overall material)
overall: 3 1/2 in x 36 1/4 in x 1 1/4 in; 8.89 cm x 92.075 cm x 3.175 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
U.S. Department of State
related event
American Revolution
Revolution and the New Nation
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
National Treasures exhibit
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History