how did the White House get its name?
i read somewhere that it was originally named after martha washington's slave plantation call the White House Plantation. do you think that is true?
- ObserverLv 71 month ago
It is called that because of the color of the stone on the exterior of the building.
- Obi Wan KnievelLv 71 month ago
It's a house and it's white. Pretty simple math.
- Anonymous1 month ago
They painted it black so they named it the white house.
- Anonymous2 months ago
The "White House" was the nick-name for generations, of what was officially designated as "The President's House" or "The Executive Mansion". Nearly everyone referred to it in conversation as "The White House", starting almost immediately after it was first built. The story that Thinkingtime relates is factual: It's commonly thought that the White House wasn't white before it was rebuilt following the British raid, but that's not actually true.
The fact is that it was built out of sandstone - there being no suitable limestone in the vicinity of the new capital city, and the slaves forced to cut and shape the stone being untrained working with harder types of stone. The sandstone was not particularly attractive, being various shades of dull tan and heavily variegated with orange and brown streaks and swirls. Sandstone also has the disadvantage of melting away over several years' exposure to the elements. To preserve the stone, and to make it look more stately, the original construction plans called for the outside to be painted white (and the inside walls to be painted different colors according to the taste of the occupants).
As Thinkingtime has explained, a British expeditionary force raided Washington on 24 August 1814 in retaliation for the American sack of the capital of Lower Canada in 1813. Unlike the Americans, they didn't damage any private property, but destroyed most of the government offices, including putting the Capitol and the President's House to the torch before withdrawing the next day. Much of the sandstone survived, but was badly stained with soot and tar from the fire. During the repair, the burned stone was largely left in place and the damage was again covered with white paint. That coat of paint remained in place, underneath multiple re-coats, until 1989. When it was removed, it was impossible to escape the smell of smoke from 1814.
It was Theodore Roosevelt who finally officialized the nick-name after a century, by issuing an Executive Order in 1901, and having his official stationery embossed with the words "The White House, Washington, DC", devoid of any other device or decoration.
If you're interested in what the sandstone underneath the white paint looks like, visit the Capitol rotunda (guided tours are free). The walls there are constructed of the same stone, from the same quarry. In the Capitol Visitor Center, there is an actual block of that stone, cut by slaves from that quarry, tucked away in a corner as a "tribute" to the slaves who dug the foundations and cut and raised the stone walls of America's two most-famous buildings.
BTW, your information about "the White House Plantation" is correct. Martha Washington did take control of her first husband's five plantations (with an extraordinary 300 slaves) upon his death, including the one where she lived, which was named for the large white frame mansion. That house was built in the late 1600s and was where she and second husband George Washington eventually were married. She lost control of most of that property (including most of the slaves) when her first husband's oldest son, Jacky (who she and George raised) came of age. She kept a "dower share" of the property (including slaves) for her support - it/they reverted to Jacky after her death. IT IS NOT TRUE, though, that the White House was named after the White House Plantation. You see, the Washingtons never lived in the White House. They passed their two terms in New York City and Philadelphia, each of which was the national capital during their years in office. The District of Columbia didn't exist then, it being a brand new city created from scratch by an Act of Congress. The federal government moved from Philadelphia to the new city about a year after Washington's death. John Adams was the first occupant of the President's House. Martha had nothing to do with the place.
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- 2 months ago
Like I said the last time you asked this, its because its painted white.
- Dru TodLv 62 months ago
It was to hide the burn marks from when the Canadians went sightseeing in DC 200 years ago. It’s why we’re a security risk, apparently. Btw, you burned down Toronto first (which is not the capital of Canada).Source(s): Don’t you hate when history doesn’t push your retarded narrative? 🤤
- ?Lv 72 months ago
After the British army set light to it in 1812, it was painted white to hide the external scarring. Most of it has been rebuilt but the name continues.
- Anonymous2 months ago
A retort for the slaves who built it
The idiots think it was named the white house over burned scarring...that's a myth
- thinkingtimeLv 72 months ago
The British came down and burned it after an American attack on the capital of what is now Canada. It's white as in whitewash.
- Anonymous2 months ago
A black man invented the light bulb.