See how George Washington is viewed through the eyes of his family, friends, fellow revolutionaries and enslaved workers.

William Lee

William Lee likely knew George Washington as well as anyone could. Purchased in 1768, Lee became Washington’s valet, or manservant. He rode by Washington’s side during all eight years of the American Revolution where he helped Washington dress, served meals, and delivered personal correspondence. He was also with Washington in Philadelphia during the Constitutional Convention, likely in the room during conversations that shaped a nation. Lee was the only enslaved individual freed outright in George Washington’s will.

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