History Lessons

You don’t always have to learn about history from a text book. Immerse yourself into early-American history, centuries-old gardens, and historic preservation by digging deeper into what we’re learning at Dumbarton House.

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Black and White Dumbarton House c 1920 Library of Congress
History of the Home


Historic Preservation Story Preservation projects aimed at returning Dumbarton House to the simplicity of its original Federal design were begun in 1931, three years after …

History of the Home

Federal Style (1790 -1830)

Dumbarton House is fine example of Federal period architecture. Our nation’s early years, from 1790 to 1830, generally define the Federal period. During this time, …

History of the Home

Dolley Madison

A First Lady Flees to the Sanctuary of Dumbarton House On August 24, 1814, Dolley Madison was forced to flee the White House as British troops advanced upon …

History of the Home

Joseph Nourse (1754-1841)

America’s First Civil Servant As first Register of the Treasury, Joseph Nourse was a highly respected and distinguished civil servant. With a career that spanned 40 …

History of the Home


1703  The Maryland Assembly grants Scottish immigrant Ninian Beall a tract of 795 acres for his services “[against] all incursions and disturbances of neighboring Indians.” …

History of the Home

Samuel Jackson Goes to Washington

While Dumbarton House bases much of its interpretation around its understanding of the Nourse family, there is a another entity who holds outsized influence on …