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The marble is round, made of limestone, and polished smooth. It is quite small, with a width of 17.7mm, a height of 17.66mm, and a length of 17.74mm; it is a little bigger than a U.S. quarter. It weighs 7.2 grams, which is a little over .2 ounces.

Consider the following questions when looking at this primary source:

  • How was this marble used?
  • Why this marble - something so small - important when studying the lives of the enslaved population? What does it tell us about the people who were enslaved at Mount Vernon?
  • The marble was found at the archeological dig of the House for Families, a site that once housed the majority of enslaved people who lived at Mansion House Farm. What else do you think was found at that archeological dig?
  • Why do you think this marble survived for two-hundred years?

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.



The object pictured is a toy marble. It is possible a toy such as this would have belonged to one of the many enslaved children living and working at the Mansion Farm during George Washington’s lifetime. It was found at an archeological dig at the site of the House for Families, which originally housed the majority of the enslaved population living at the Mansion House Farm.