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Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Honored by the American Association for State and Local History

MOUNT VERNON, VA —George Washington’s Mount Vernon has been named a winner of the 72nd annual Leadership in History Awards by the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) for its exhibition, Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. This award is the most prestigious recognition in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.

The Lives Bound Together exhibition, which opened on October 1, 2016, in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum, explores the personal stories of the people enslaved at Mount Vernon while providing insight into George Washington’s evolving opposition to slavery. Through more than 350 objects, including household furnishings, art works, archaeological discoveries, documents, and interactive displays, the exhibition demonstrates how closely intertwined the lives of the Washingtons were with the enslaved community at his estate.

“I am thrilled that Lives Bound Together has received this important recognition from fellow professionals in the history museum field,” said Susan Schoelwer, senior curator for George Washington’s Mount Vernon. “The exhibit was a collaborative effort on the part of Mount Vernon staff, as well as outside groups, including the descendants of enslaved people who generously shared their family histories with us. Lives Bound Together represents a significant step in Mount Vernon’s interpretation of this important but difficult subject, and I hope this award will encourage more visitors to see the exhibition before it closes on September 30, 2018.”

On September 8, AASLH will present 48 national awards to recipients from 24 states. Mount Vernon is the only winner from the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information about Live Bound Together, please visit


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