New Episode: (Repeat) Finding Ona Judge's Voice with Sheila Arnold
In May 1796, Ona Judge, Martha Washington’s enslaved maidservant, freed herself by walking out of the Washington’s Philadelphia home. She had learned that Martha intended to give her away as a wedding present to Elizabeth Parke Custis, her eldest granddaughter. Judge quietly slipped out of the house one evening, boarded a ship, and fled to New Hampshire. She lived there for the rest of her life. Despite their best efforts, the Washingtons were never able to recapture her.
On today’s episode, Ona Judge tells her own story. Library Research Fellow Sheila Arnold joins Jim Ambuske in character as Ona Judge to give voice to her life. Arnold is a historic character interpreter who performs as many historical figures, including Ona Judge and Madame CJ Walker, an African American entrepreneur and businesswoman who was one of the wealthiest self-made women in early 20th century America.