George Washington's Last Will and Testament, July 9, 1799
In his will, written several months before his death, George Washington stipulated that the 123 enslaved individuals he owned at Mount Vernon be emancipated upon the death of his wife Martha. In accordance with Virginia law, Washington stipulated in his will that the elderly and sickly amongst those he emancipated be supported by his estate for the remainder of their lives.
George Washington's List of Enslaved People, 1799
This detailed eight page list of enslaved workers at George Washington's five farms was created in June 1799. The list is broken down into enslaved workers owned by George Washington, dower slaves owned by Martha Washington, and enslaved individuals rented from Mrs. Penelope French.
Maryland Gazette Runaway Slave Advertisement, August 20, 1761
George Washington put this advertisement in the Maryland Gazette in August 1761 after four enslaved men ran away from his farm at Dogue Run. The ad provides details about each man, providing insights about their appearance and demeanor that otherwise may have been lost to history.
French’s Slave Census, July 1799
This detailed census of enslaved workers hired out by George Washington from Mrs. Penelope French was compiled in July 1799, just five months before Washington's death. By 1799, George Washington was making strategic changes to his Mount Vernon estate and no longer needed the services of Mrs. French's slaves which he had been renting since 1786.
Discover the Home of George and Martha Washington
Open 365 days a year, Mount Vernon is located just 15 miles south of Washington DC.
There's So Much to See
From the mansion to lush gardens and grounds, intriguing museum galleries, immersive programs, and the distillery and gristmill. Spend the day with us!
Farmer, Soldier, Statesman, and Husband
Discover what made Washington "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen".
Did You Know?
The Mount Vernon Ladies Association has been maintaining the Mount Vernon Estate since they acquired it from the Washington family in 1858.
Ace Your American History Class
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The Library of the First President
The Washington Library is open to all researchers and scholars, by appointment only.