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.

Date Made: ca 1765Date Made: ca 1778

Associated Person: Washington, GeorgeMaker: Bailey, John

Place Made: United States: New York, FishkillUsed: United States

Related Event: American RevolutionRevolution and the New Nation

Subject: Presidents

See more items in: Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military, Military, National Treasures exhibit

Exhibition: Price of Freedom

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Related Web Publication:

Related Publication: Kendrick, Kathleen M. and Peter C. Liebhold. Smithsonian Treasures of American History, National Museum of American History. Treasures of American History online exhibition

Credit Line: U.S. Department of State

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: AF.32010Catalog Number: 32010Accession Number: 68016

Object Name: swordOther Terms: sword; Edged Weapons; Hunting

Physical Description: green (hilt color)ivory (hilt material)leather (scabbard material)silver (blade material)silver (mountings? material)bone (overall material)Measurements: 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


Record Id: nmah_434865

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