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Washington’s Headquarters

Valley Forge—Washington and his military staff occupied this stone house during the winter encampment. The house had been built for an ironmaster named Isaac Potts, an owner of the iron forge that gave Valley Forge its name. At the time of the Revolution, the house was less than ten years old.

Because of long resentment over the Quartering Acts—laws passed by the British Parliament requiring the colonies to provide lodging and food for British troops—Washington felt strongly that Potts should be paid a fair price. So he arranged to rent the house for 100 pounds in Pennsylvania currency.

At one time, the kitchen, now a single-story wing on the north side of the house, was taller and more spacious. The colonial army added a two-story log-cabin addition to the rear of the house, to supplement the available space. At one point, nearly two dozen people occupied the Headquarters House, including both George and Martha Washington, his military staff, and a number of servants, some free, some enslaved.

Meeting and eating rooms on the first floor, bedrooms on the second, lesser staff and servants in the third-floor garret. Most of the furnishings in the house today are reproductions of items used by Washington and his staff.

Washington would not move into the Potts house until his army was re-housed in newly built log huts, a step up from the tattered tents they used when they first arrived in Valley Forge.

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