George Washington Tree Marker, Hampstead
A bronze plaque on a small, rough-cut stone stele commemorates President George Washington's visit to the area on his tour of the southern states in 1791.
Images: View from the highway U.S. 17
IN / PATRIOTIC COMMEMORATION / OF THE VISIT / OF / GEORGE WASHINGTON / ON HIS / TOUR OF THE / SOUTHERN STATES / 1791 / MARKED BY THE NORTH CAROLINA / DAUGHTERS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION / 1925
November 24, 1925. The monument was rededicated on November 19, 2011.
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"George Washington Tree marker rededicated in Hampstead," Topsail Voice (NC), November 23, 2011, (accessed August 27, 2013) Link
"Washington Oak Tree on US Highway 17, Near Hampstead, Pender County, NC," in Louis T. Moore Collection 737, New Hanover County Public Library Digital Archives, (accessed August 28, 2013) Link
Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976-79; a series of The Papers of George Washington. Scans 138 - 141, (accessed August 27, 2013) Link
Farnham, Thomas J. "Washington's Southern Tour," NCPEDIA, 2006 (accessed May 28, 2014) Link
Henderson, Archibald. 1923. Washington’s Southern Tour 1791. Boston and New York: Houghton Miffin company, 1923, (accessed May 28, 2014) Link
Stamp Defiance Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution
The November 24, 1925 dedication reportedly occurred following dedication of a Washington memorial tree in Pembroke earlier that day. The event was reportedly presided over by Stamp Defiance Regent Margaret Lovell Gibson, and State Regent Mary Margaret Overman Gregory was the speaker.
The contemporary 2011 rededication was sponsored by the local Stamp Defiance Chapter. The event was lead by Stamp Defiance Chapter Historian Bettie Lettieri and included State Historian Lois Marlow as guest speaker.
Shortly after Washington was elected President in 1789, he decided to tour the United States in order to better understand the condition of the country, its makeup and culture, and to give the citizens of the young republic a chance to meet their first President. The duties of office delayed a trip to the South until the spring of 1791. His larger than life status made his visits important events for communities and the places he stayed became historically significant. Washington apparently stopped somewhere nearby along the same old route, then called the Kings Highway, when traveling toward Wilmington to have his lunch beneath a tree and where he was met by an escort party. The original site of the marker was believed to be the tree where Washington stopped to eat his lunch, and according to an account of the 2011 event, local lore had it that Hampstead got its name when President Washington asked for ham for lunch instead of sausage.
There are several stone markers across North Carolina that commemorate President Washington's tour of the southern states in 1791. Notable among them are George Washington Boulder outside Lexington, George Washington and Henry Clay Marker in Wilmington, and a stone marker at Guilford Courthouse.
The marker is located on the west side of U.S. Highway 17, near Hampstead, in Pender County.
The marker sits just off the side of the road and is shaded by a large, old oak tree.