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Porter an old man

Lewis an old man

Frank* an old man

Frederick* a man about 45 years old – an overseer and valuable

Gunner* a man about 45 years old – valuable, a brickmaker

Harry a man about 40 years old – valuable, a horseler

Tom a man about 20 years old – stout and healthy

Sambo* a man about 20 years old – stout and healthy

Thomas* a lad about 17 years old – house servant

Peter a lad about 15 years old – very likely

Strephon a man about 20 years old – a cooper by trade

James a man 25 years old – stout and healthy

Wally a man about 20 years old – by trade a weaver

Daniel a man about 19 years old – very likely

Lucy* a woman about 20 years old

Esther* a woman about 18 years old

Deborah a woman about 16 years old


The above slaves were taken from his Excellency General Washington – by Captain Rich

Graves in the Savage sloop of war – in April 1781.


Frederick, Frank, Gunner, Sambo, recovered in Philadelphia.


Thomas -- Lucy - Esther – were recovered of the siege of Yorktown – The [General]

[paid] Salvage on Tom, in Philadelphia. I cannot tell what it was. I [paid] 12 Dollars

expense on him from Philadelphia.


Note a very valuable boat – 24 feet Reel was also carried off by the above Graves and his


Lund Washington (signed)


When studying this document, consider the following:

  • Why do names matter? Why is this document important when studying the enslaved community at Mount Vernon?
  • Notice the astricts next to certain names. This means that these people were, at some point, forcibly returned to the Washington family.
    • How would these individuals have impacted day to day life at Mount Vernon? What does the return of these enslaved people say about Washington? What does it say about the Revolution? How were some eventually recovered?
  • What questions come to mind as you read this document?

Classroom Materials downloads are ZIP files that include, when available: document images (JPEGs), document transcripts (PDF as well as Word and/or Excel files), and ready to use classroom resources (activities, discussion prompts, lesson plans, etc.). These materials are available for educational uses only. If you would like to reproduce them in any other medium, please contact Dawn Bonner, Manager of Visual Resources.



This is a list of enslaved peoples who escaped when the British H.M.S. Savage approached Mount Vernon in 1781. Seventeen people sought their freedom, and some were able to remain free for the rest of their lives. Others were recaptured and brought back to the Washingtons.