Conversations at the Washington Library is a weekly podcast about early American history and the people who teach it.

Buried Lives

In this episode, Dr. Kevin C. Butterfield sits down with Carla McClafferty, author of the book, Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Carla McClafferty grew up in the small farming community of Tomberlin, Arkansas, where her parents farmed rice and soybeans. Many long, lazy days of her childhood were spent under the outstretched arms of a giant pecan tree. Her elementary school didn't have a library, using instead bookshelves under the windows that filled one wall of the classroom. She says, "To this day, libraries fill me with awe and appreciation." 

After high school, she graduated from Baptist Medical Center School of Radiologic Technology, and worked in local hospitals and clinics. She has three children, Ryan, Brittney and the late Corey McClafferty. 

Although Carla always loved to read, she had never written until the death of her youngest son, Corey. After his tragic loss, Carla began to write about the experience. The story of her journey through grief became the subject of her first book, Forgiving God. Next, she turned her attention to writing nonfiction books for young readers. It is her hope that readers of her books will be entertained, informed and inspired. 

Carla is a popular speaker and presents a wide variety of programs for students and teachers all over the country both live and through interactive video conferences.

Kevin C. Butterfield is the new Executive Director of the Washington Library. He comes to Mount Vernon from the University of Oklahoma, where he served as the Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and Constitutional Studies Program, holding an appointment as the Wick Cary Professor and Associate Professor of Classics and Letters.

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