A Georgetown Life

cover art
 
224 pp., 8 x 8
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781647120412 (1647120411)


October 2020

EXPLORE THIS TITLE

Description
Table of Contents
Reviews


A Georgetown Life
The Reminiscences of Britannia Wellington Peter Kennon of Tudor Place
Grant Quertermous, Editor
As a Georgetown resident for nearly a century, Britannia Wellington Peter Kennon (1815 - 1911) was close to the key political events of her time. Born into the prominent Peter family, Kennon came into contact with the many notable historical figures of the day who often visited Tudor Place, her home for over ninety years. Now published for the first time, the record of her experiences offers a unique insight into nineteenth-century American history.

Housed in the Tudor Place archives, "The Reminiscences of Britannia Wellington Peter Kennon" is a collection of Kennon's memories solicited and recorded by her grandchildren in the 1890s. The text includes Kennon's recollections of her mother Martha Custis Peter and spending time at Mount Vernon with her grandparents George and Martha Washington. She also recounts her childhood in Georgetown, life during the Civil War, the people enslaved at Tudor Place, and daily life in Washington, DC. Readers will also find it an essential companion to the incredible collection of objects preserved at Tudor Place.

Edited by Grant Quertermous, this richly illustrated and annotated edition gives readers a greater appreciation of life in early Georgetown. It includes a guide to the city's streets then and now, a detailed family tree, and an appendix of the many people Britannia encountered—a who's who of the period. Notable for both its breadth and level of detail, A Georgetown Life brings a new dimension to the study of nineteenth-century America.
Grant S. Quertermous is the curator of Tudor Place Historic House and Garden. He holds a graduate degree in anthropology and has worked in the museum field, specifically focused on historic house museums and their inhabitants, for twenty years.
Reviews
"A rare gem in the literature of Washington, DC, history. Grant Quertermous has meticulously and brilliantly annotated Britannia Peter Kennon's charming biographical reminiscences—oral histories compiled by her grandchildren—which shed light on her life and her network of friends, employees, neighbors, and many relations."—Matthew B. Gilmore, editor, H-DC (Washington, DC History and Life)



"As curator of Tudor Place, Grant Quertermous is uniquely qualified to tell this special American story of life in the oldest neighborhood in the nation's capital. His well-annotated edition of Britannia Peter Kennon's Reminiscences with an introductory biography is a significant addition to the history of Georgetown and the surrounding Washington city during the nineteenth century. It illuminates the daily life of the prestigious Peter family of Tudor Place in Georgetown and their enslaved and free servants. It documents the family's close relationship with their distinguished friends and famous relatives, such as Britannia's great grandmother Martha Custis Washington and President George Washington and her cousin by marriage General Robert E. Lee and his wife Mary Anna Custis Lee. The Peter family's ancestral home Tudor Place, now an historic house museum open to the public, connects to many seminal figures and events of early American history."—Kathleen Menzie Lesko, coauthor of Black Georgetown Remembered and executive producer of the companion documentary

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations


Acknowledgments


Capturing Memories to Preserve a Family's History


Britannia W. Kennon: A Biographical Sketch


The Reminiscences of Britannia W. Kennon


Appendixes



1. Georgetown Street Names



2. The Custis-Peter Family Tree



3. Enslaved Individuals Mentioned in the Reminiscences



Bibliography


Index


About the Author