George Washington’s china service was never used at the White House. The dishes did grace President Washington’s table in presidential residences in New York and Philadelphia before the District of Columbia became the nation’s permanent capita, after Washington left office. Washington really like the blue and white Chinese porcelain popular among the Colonial gentry at the time and he ordered several shipments during his lifetime. One pattern in particular caught his interest. The pattern featured a winged female blowing a trumpet with the badge of the Society of the Cincinnati in her hand. George Washington was the first president of the Society of Cincinnati, a veterans’ group formed of American and French officers from the Revolutionary War, and named after an ancient Roman hero. Washington paid what was considered an exorbitant price at the time ($150) to purchase the china service. After Washington’s death, the china eventually passed to his step-grandson, George Washington Parke Custis who passed it on to his daughter who married Robert E. Lee. In an historical twist of fate, china belonging to President Washington, whom many called the “father of our country” came into the possession of a man who fought to tear the country asunder. The Federal government confiscated the china service as well as Lee’s home during the Civil War, but eventually returned it to the Lee family.