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News Van Horn examines George Washington’s dental history

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Illustration of George Washington's dentures.

​Bain News Service, "G. Washington's Teeth," 1910-15. (Wikimedia Commons)

​Professor Jennifer Van Horn's research on George Washington's dentures was featured in "Were George Washington's Teeth Taken from Enslaved People?" on JSTOR Daily last week. In addition to his own teeth, Washington's dentures contained cow, horse, hippopotamus, and possibly, the teeth of enslaved people. Although the exact circumstances are unknown, historians believe Washington purchased nine teeth from enslaved African Americans in 1784. According to Van Horn, using the teeth of enslaved people in dentures was not uncommon. In her article, "George Washington's Dentures: Disability, Deception, and the Republican Body," Van Horn explains why and how Washington hid the state of his oral health during his presidency.

This Page Last Modified On: 3/3/2020 11:00 AM
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Professor Jennifer Van Horn's research on George Washington's dentures was featured in a JSTOR Daily article last week.

Professor Jennifer Van Horn's research on George Washington's dentures was featured in a JSTOR Daily article last week.

3/6/2020
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 University of Delaware, faculty, Jennifer Van Horn, George Washington, dentures, JSTOR Daily, JSTOR, history, art history
  • Department of Art History
  • University of Delaware
  • 318 Old College
  • Newark, DE 19716 USA
  • Phone: 302-831-8415
  • arthistory@udel.edu