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Lives Bound Together: Enslavement at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Lives Bound Together is an interactive, virtual exhibit that tells the stories of the people who were enslaved at George Washington's Mount Vernon. It covers extensive information, from global trade to daily life on Washington's five farms, living conditions, freed communities, and more.


Slavery at Mount Vernon

Want to learn more? Watch a short introductory video.

Explore the Exhibit

Click the link to explore the Lives Bound Together Exhibit

To the Exhibit

Washington and Slavery

George Washington first inherited enslaved people when he was eleven years old, and relied on their labor to run his house and farms throughout the duration of his life. 

Slavery at Mount Vernon

Daily Life

Daily life for those who were enslaved varied, dependent on skills, location, and job assignments. People still managed to find joy in their daily lives, despite their situation.

Everyday Lives

Style and Culture

Despite conditions, many people were able to establish families, traditions, and individuality while enslaved at Mount Vernon.

More on Culture

Books and Manuscripts

Information about the enslaved community at Mount Vernon comes from a variety of sources, like farming reports, archaeological artifacts, or newspaper clippings. The Database of the Enslaved Community puts all of these sources together, resulting in an extensive collection for people to read about and research people enslaved at Mount Vernon.

Researching Enslavement

Slavery and Freedom in the 19th Century

What happened to the enslaved population at Mount Vernon after the Washingtons' deaths? Some were freed through George Washington's will, but many were given to grandchildren and relatives, ultimately separating friends and families.

Learn more

The People of Lives Bound Together

Lives Bound Together explores the stories of individuals who were enslaved at Mount Vernon. These individuals are represented in silhouettes based on archaeological and archival evidence. You can learn more about their stories by clicking the link.

Read the Biographies

Teaching with Lives Bound Together

Click the link to access inquiry questions, graphic organizers, lesson plans, and much more to assist in teaching with Lives Bound Together

Teaching with Lives Bound Together