Learn more about George Washington and the enslaved population at Mount Vernon.

At the time of George Washington’s death, the Mount Vernon estate’s enslaved population consisted of 317 people. Washington himself had been a slave owner for fifty-six years, beginning at eleven years of age when he inherited ten slaves from his deceased father. Washington’s thoughts on slavery were contradictory and changed over time. This evolution culminated near the end of his life; Washington’s will mandated the freeing of his slaves upon his wife’s death, making him the only slaveholding Founder to put provisions for manumission in his will.

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Mount Vernon, Virginia 22121