George Washington probably prepared this eight-page document to accompany his will, which he drew up in June or July 1799. It lists 317 slaves at Mount Vernon, including 124 owned by Washington, 153 he managed as part of Martha Washington's dower, and 40 he was renting from his neighbor, Mrs. Penelope French. The slaves' names, ages, relationships, and which of the five farms they resided at are also recorded. Washington's will freed his slaves upon Martha Washington's death. Custis descendents inherited her dower slaves, tearing apart many of their families in the process.

Description

Holograph manuscript listing the slaves at Mount Vernon, 3 sheets (one folio, two half folio), 8 pp. Includes 317, divided into two columns, "GW" and "Dower", then by which of the five farms they resided at, then by adults, children and occasionally by type of work. Subdivided into columns headed by "Names, "ages," and "Remarks," which include relationships to one another. Ends with "A List of Negros hired from/ Mrs. French," 40 individuals named with ages and remarks (relationships, type of work performed, physical infirmities, etc.).

Date

c. 1799


People


Geography


Material/Technique

Ink, laid paper


Dimensions

Overall: 14 7/8 in. × 18 1/4 in. (37.78 cm × 46.36 cm)
Other (Page dimension): 9 1/8 in. × 14 7/8 in. (23.18 cm × 37.78 cm)


Credit Line

Purchase, 1947


Object Number

IL.2016.019.015


Colors (Beta)


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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