The Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine traveling exhibit from the National Library of Medicine is on display at the Robert B. Greenblatt Library. The exhibit is free and open to the public for viewing until December 7, 2013.

George Washington’s story illuminates the broader context of the experience of illness and the practice of medicine, which during this time was transitioning from a traditional healer craft to a profession. The exhibit explores the story of Washington’s own health and examines the ways in which he sought to safeguard the health and wellness of those under his care. In addition to the everyday demands he faced as the head of his household, plantation owner, Revolutionary War general, and president, Washington focused considerable attention on the health and safety of his family, staff, slaves, and troops. The title of the exhibit – Every Necessary Care and Attention – comes from a letter George Washington wrote to his overseer, William Pearce, in 1795.

On Tuesday, November 19, Dr. Lee Ann Caldwell will present a lecture titled “American Medicine in the Era of George Washington” at 12:00 noon in the Historical Collections and Archives Room, Greenblatt Library (AB-225). Please bring your lunch and join us. This lecture is part of the Library’s History of the Health Sciences Lecture Series. There will be a reception following the lecture. Dr. Caldwell is the director of the Center for the Study of Georgia History and the GRU Historian-in-Residence.

This exhibit was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Museum and Gardens.

For more information about the exhibit and lecture, please go to or contact Renée Sharrock at or 706-721-3444.


George Washington in His Last Illness attended by Docrs. Craik and Brown, etching by an unidentified artist, early 19th century

Courtesy Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

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