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?
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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.