George Washington's Battle Sword and Scabbard

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.
Currently on loan
Object Name
Date made
ca 1765
date made
ca 1778
associated person
Washington, George
Bailey, John
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
Place Made
United States: New York, Fishkill
United States
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
National Treasures exhibit
American Revolution
Revolution and the New Nation
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
National Treasures exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Related Publication
Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History
Publication title
Treasures of American History online exhibition
Publication author
National Museum of American History
Publication URL
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

7/19/2013 10:31:42 AM
Seeing this sword was a real thrill! I am inspired to learn more about the amazing man that wore it into battle.
8/5/2015 12:04:21 PM
Thomas Green
I recently purchased a replica of George Washington's battle sword, but need a sheath for this sword. Can anyone help?
9/29/2015 11:33:05 PM
You can find many leatherworkers who build scabbards. Very often if you find a local swordsmith they will have a favored leather worker. The leatherwork and silver on Washington's sword is very unique so gather lots of photos to be specific about what you want. Might I ask where you found a replica of GW's sword? There aren't too many about.
10/3/2016 10:13:01 PM
1Lt. N Armen USMC
Seeing it in person left me mesmerized. To think that man, the father of our country held it in his hands . Awestruck, and inspiring.
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