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Mount Vernon Insurance Policy, 1803
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Mutual Assurance Society, Richmond. Declaration for Assurance Book, 13 March 1803.

The Mutual Assurance Society, Against Fire on Buildings, of the State of Virginia, chartered in 1794, is one of the oldest fire insurance companies in the United States. Its records for the first century and a half of its operations are among the most informative in the Library of Virginia's collections and consist of 229 volumes and more than 52,000 individual items.

Among the thousands of applications submitted to the Mutual Assurance Society, perhaps the one for Mount Vernon features the most elaborate drawing. The oversize, folded illustration accompanied the 1803 application of Bushrod Washington, a member of the society's original board of directors and nephew of the president. While serving as a colonel in the French and Indian War, George Washington had left the care of Mount Vernon to his favorite brother, John Augustine Washington, Bushrod's father. At his death in 1799, George Washington bequeathed a life-interest in the property to his wife, adding that at her death Mount Vernon was to be divided into three parcels, with the Mansion House and its adjoining acres to pass to his brother's son. Martha Washington died in the spring of 1802, and Bushrod Washington applied for a policy in his own name the following year.

Location: Volume 26, Policy No. 2049, Acc. 30177