Due to a private event, the New-York Historical Society will be closed from Wednesday, October 27 – Friday, October 29. We'll reopen at 11 am ET on Saturday, October 30.


It's made from three simple folding stools that can be joined together, and it has a canvas top stretched on a folding wooden frame. The boards you see on three sides held mattress padding in place. The whole thing was easy to fold up and transport from camp to camp. It's six-and-a-half feet long, so it just barely fit General Washington, who was 6'2" tall. It probably wasn't very comfortable, but it was luxurious compared to his troops, who often had to sleep on the ground. This simple bed is probably the most personal object used by George Washington that the Historical Society owns. It reminds us of the realities of his military career rather than the elegant images we see of him in uniform, or the distinguished portraits of him as President. After the war, Washington entrusted this bed to his secretary, Richard Varick, who was later elected mayor of New York. Varick passed it on through his family until it was presented to the Historical Society in 1871.

George Washington slept here. Really. We believe that Washington slept on this camp bed at Valley Forge during the brutally cold winter of 1777.

Creative: Tronvig Group