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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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George Washington's battle sword and scabbard, 1770sGeorge Washington's battle sword and scabbard, 1770s

Washington carried this sword as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He willed the sword to his nephew, Samuel Washington, a U.S. Army captain, with orders to use it "only in self-defense or in the defense of country and its rights." In 1843 Washington's grandnephew donated the sword to the U.S. government, and in 1922 it was transferred from the State Department to the Smithsonian.

See also: Military History, Presidential Memorabilia, Revolutionary War, Swords

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