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The Women of the Enslaved Community

A large amount of the women who lived and labored at Mount Vernon were enslaved. They labored on the farms, in the kitchens, within the fields, inside the estate, and elsewhere. The women who labored on the Mount Vernon plantation found ways to both survive and resist their situation. Scroll to learn more about the women who were enslaved by and maintained the Washington's household and plantation. 

Caroline Branham

Caroline labored as a housemaid in the Mount Vernon mansion, often working from before sunrise to after sunset. She was married to Peter and had at least eight children.

Caroline's Story


Kate was an enslaved field worker and served as the midwife for enslaved women. She was set free through Washington's will in 1801, but her husband remained enslaved in the Custis estate.

Kate's Story

Ona Judge

Ona Judge was an enslaved seamstress who gained freedom after journeying to New Hampshire in 1796. She remained free for the rest of her life, despite Washington's attempts to bring her back into enslavement.

Ona's Story

Database of Mount Vernon's Enslaved Community

Click the link to access a collection of data about the women enslaved at the Mount Vernon plantation

Start researching

The Women Slave Quarters

Where did women who worked in the mansion house live? Some lived near their positions of work, while others lived in cabins. Still, a large majority of these women lived in the Women's Slave Quarters. Click the link to explore the spaces they occupied.

See the Women's Slave Quarters

A Day in the Life

Explore this interactive timeline to learn about the daily life of Lucy, a cook that was enslaved at Mount Vernon and labored from sun-up to sun-down.

Lucy's Day

HMS Savage

During the Revolutionary War, Deborah (16 years old), Esther (18 years old), and Lucy (20 years old) sought their freedom when the British warship HMS Savage approached Mount Vernon. Lucy and Esther were recaptured in Yorktown

Deborah appeared once more in the historical record. It was recorded that she was living in Nova Scotia, Canada - free, and married.

The HMS Savage List

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