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Lives Bound Together: Daily Life

This page provides resources accompanying the Daily Life Galleries in the Lives Bound Together Virtual Exhibit. It contains primary and secondary sources on different communities and traditions within the enslaved community at Mount Vernon. Use these resources to aid exhibit exploration, learn more about the system of slavery, and find useful learning materials.

Plantation Structure

Mount Vernon consisted of five different farms, as well as a gristmill and distillery. All of which had different living situations, work assignments, and communities of people who were enslaved.

Read More about Mount Vernon's plantation structure

Food at Mount Vernon

The enslaved people at Mount Vernon received small amounts of food rations - 1 quart of cornmeal and 5 to 8 ounces of salted fish. Learn more about food rations and how people supplemented their diets. 

Read more about Food at Mount Vernon.


Many people who were enslaved lived in a small cabin alongside up to seven other people or family members. Others lived in larger quarters, sleeping in bunks.

Read about the housing at Mount Vernon

Explore a Cabin

This reproduction of a slave cabin shows a typical dwelling of an enslaved family or 4-6 adult individuals.

A Day in the Life of an Enslaved Field Worker

Click the link to learn about what a typical day might look like for an enslaved field worker

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Field Labor

Some people at Mount Vernon were forced to work in the fields, harvesting crops such as wheat, corn, and turnips.

Read more about field labor

Skilled Trades

Not all people worked in the field or the Mansion. Some people knew special skills, like making barrels, spinning flax to create yarn, or gardening.

Read about trades at Mount Vernon

Resistance and Punishment

Many people who were enslaved at Mount Vernon found small and big ways to resist their enslavement. These actions ranged from feigning sickness to seeking freedom.

Read more about resistance

What did daily life look like for a person who was enslaved at Mount Vernon?

Why might these days look different between individuals in the Mount Vernon enslaved community?