Enslaved Community and Slavery

William (Billy) Lee

William (Billy) Lee

William Lee spent two decades as George Washington's enslaved valet accompanied him nearly everywhere

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Austin

Austin was an enslaved man whose labor benefited the Washington family.

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Ben

Ben was a widower with three small children at the time of the 1799 census of enslaved people at Mount Vernon.

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Betty

Betty, who was enslaved at George Washington's Mount Vernon, was described as being a "labouring woman" who worked at the Ferry Farm in 1786, though in 1799 she served as a cook.

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Caesar

Caesar was a field worker on Mount Vernon’s Union Farm. He was literate and preached to the local black population.

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Caroline Branham

Caroline Branham was the mother of eight, wife of Peter Hardiman, and enslaved housemaid at Mount Vernon.

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Census of the Enslaved Population at Mount Vernon, 1786 and 1799 New

In February 1786, George Washington created a list of the enslaved people working in his service at Mount Vernon. He listed their location on the estate, work assignment, sex, and age. Washington also indicated status of ownership - whether the enslaved people were his own property, dower slaves belonging to the Custis family, or laborers rented from nearby plantations. He repeated this process again in June 1799, creating another equally detailed slave census.

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Charles

Charles was enslaved at Mount Vernon where he worked as a ditcher at the Mansion House and was married to Fanny.

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Charlotte

Charlotte was an enslaved seamstress at Mount Vernon who sometimes worked in the mansion.

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Christopher Sheels (1776 - ?)

Christopher Sheels was born in 1776, the second child of Alce (likely pronounced “Al-sie”), a spinner at Mansion House Farm.

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Davy Gray

In 1799, Davy Gray was about 56 years old and worked as an enslaved overseer on Mount Vernon’s outlying farms.

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Dick Jasper

Dick Jasper was described as a "labouring man" in the list of enslaved people at Mount Vernon Washington compiled in 1786.

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Doll

Doll was among the more than 80 enslaved people whom Martha Dandridge Custis brought to her marriage to George Washington. She worked as the Mount Vernon estate's cook for many years.

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Edmund Parker

Edmund Parker worked for the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association as the guard at Washington’s tomb. Years earlier, he had been enslaved on the estate.

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Edy Jones

In 1786, Edy is noted as being thirteen years of age and denoted as being one of the "labouring women." Edy was married to Davy, a carpenter who worked at the Mansion House Farm, and was most likely the daughter of Flora.

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Enslaved Burial Ground

One of the earliest descriptions of the enslaved burial ground at Mount Vernon came from the journal of Caroline?

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Fanny

Fanny was a "labouring woman" who worked at Ferry Farm (later known as Union Farm).

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Frank Lee

Frank Lee arrived at Mount Vernon in 1768 after George Washington purchased him.

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Gabriel Johnson (1820-c.1867) New

Gabriel Johnson was an enslaved man who spent most of his life on the Mount Vernon estate while John Augustine Washington III owned it.

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George

George worked as an enslaved ditcher and later a gardener at Mount Vernon.

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George Washington and Slavery

George Washington's views on the subject of slavery shifted over the course of his life.

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Giles

Giles’s position as a postilion meant that he accompanied George Washington on several high-profile trips, seeing far more of the country than most enslaved people.

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Gradual Abolition Act of 1780

The Gradual Abolition Act of 1780, the first extensive abolition legislation in the western hemisphere, passed the Pennsylvania General Assembly on March 1, 1780.

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Greenhouse Slave Quarters

The original brick greenhouse was completed in 1787. In 1791 and 1792, one-story wings were added to?

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Hercules

Hercules, a member of the Mount Vernon enslaved community, became widely admired for his culinary skills?

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House for Families

Most of the slaves that inhabited the Mansion House Farm lived in the House for Families (built by the?

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Islam at Mount Vernon

Elements of both Islam and other traditional African religions are found in the documentary and archaeological records of Mount Vernon’s enslaved population.

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Kate

Kate, an enslaved woman at Mount Vernon, held a distinct position within her community as a midwife, providing care for women and children.

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Kitty

Kitty was assigned to work as a dairy maid and a spinner.

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Marquis de Lafayette's Plan for Slavery

In the closing days of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette wrote Washington about a plan to free enslaved people.

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Nancy Carter Quander

Nancy was eleven years old in 1799, when George Washington made a list of all the enslaved people on his plantation. Two years later she was freed.

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Ona Judge

Ona Judge Staines fled enslavement from the Washingtons’ executive residence in Philadelphia.

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Plantation Structure

"A large Virginia estate," wrote Washington Irving in his biography of George Washington, "was a little?

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Priscilla

In early July 1798 at Dogue Run Farm, thirty-five-year-old Priscilla gave birth to Christopher, her sixth living child. Both were enslaved by George Washington.

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Private Lives of Slaves

Enslaved persons at Mount Vernon found a variety of ways to fill their time off from work.

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Sambo Anderson

The man known as Sambo Anderson worked as an enslaved carpenter at Mount Vernon.

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Slave Clothing

In 1797, George Washington wrote to farm manager James Anderson in regards to clothing his slaves that?

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Slave Control

In addition to having overseers monitoring work on site, George Washington utilized a number of methods?

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Slave Demographics

According to George Washington's slave inventory, there were eighty-seven slaves on the Mansion House?

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Slave Labor

The Mount Vernon estate was divided into five separate farms, each of which was managed by an overseer who was either a hired free, white male, or one of George Washington's African slaves. These overseers were often supervised by a farm manager who reported to Washington on a weekly basis.

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Slave Quarters

In many ways the Mount Vernon estate was comprised of several small African-American villages, presided?

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Slave Religion

Slaves working on the Mount Vernon plantation practiced a variety of religious traditions and experiences?

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Slave Resistance

The enslaved population at Mount Vernon did not meekly accept their bondage, many resisted.

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Slavery and Family

A census of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon compiled in the summer of 1799 indicated that nearly two-thirds of the plantation's adult enslaved people were married.

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Slavery and Marriage

Roughly two-thirds of the plantation's enslaved adults were married in 1799.

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Slavery at Dogue Run Farm

There were forty-five slaves living on Dogue Run Farm in 1799, the last year of George Washington's life. Twenty-seven of these individuals were owned by George Washington, with the remaining eighteen being dower slaves owned by Martha Washington.

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Slavery at Mansion House Farm

According to the 1799 slave inventory taken at Mount Vernon, there were eighty-seven slaves on the Mansion House Farm in the summer of 1799.

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Slavery at Muddy Hole Farm

There were forty-two slaves living at Muddy Hole Farm in 1799, including thirty-six owned by George Washington, five who were Custis estate dower slaves owned by Martha Washington, and one man who was rented from Mrs. French, one of the Washington's neighbors.

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Slavery at River Farm

There were fifty-seven slaves living on River Farm in 1799, of whom twenty-seven were owned by George Washington.

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Slavery at Union Farm

The following information is based on the 1799 slave list compiled at Mount Vernon. In 1799 there were seventy-five slaves living at Union Farm.

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Status of Slaves in Washington's Will

Composed by his own hand in relative secrecy in early July 1799, George Washington’s “Last Will and Testament,” in addition to the dispersal of his estate, recognized the freedom of his enslaved workers upon his wife Martha Washington’s death.

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Tom

Tom was an enslaved foreman in the fields at River Farm.

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William (Billy) Lee

William Lee spent two decades as George Washington's enslaved valet accompanied him nearly everywhere

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