Learn about Ona Judge, Christopher Sheels, and Mount Vernon’s many enslaved people who resisted enslavement and sought freedom before the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Add to Calendar 06/19/2024 09:30:00 06/19/2024 15:30:00 America/New_York Freedom Before Emancipation: Family Day for Juneteenth

Learn about Ona Judge, Christopher Sheels, and Mount Vernon’s many enslaved people who resisted enslavement and sought freedom before the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Included with admission.

Learn About How The Enslaved Resisted Slavery

Discover how enslaved men and women at Mount Vernon defined their agency and the legacies they left behind.

Family Hub

9:30a.m. - 3:30p.m.

Visit the Bowling Green to learn more about the lives of enslaved people at Mount Vernon and what emancipation and resistance meant in eighteenth-century Virginia. Discover how enslaved men and women defined their agency and the legacies they left behind. There will be opportunities for both self and group reflection and self-expression through art. 

Performances and Demonstrations

Music of the Revolution 10:30 & 2:30

A Spy Called James by Anne Rockwell & Floyd Cooper Story Time at 11:00 and 2:00.

Head to the Interpretive Center for special character performances that consider freedom and resistance through the eyes of Ona Judge and Christopher Sheels.

Specialty Performances

Shodekeh Taliaferro courtesy of TED TalksBreaths Along the Potomac: Breath Art Silent Walks at Mount Vernon with Dominic Shodekeh Talifero (2023 - 2024 Mount Vernon Research Fellow)

June 19, 12:00 & 3:00

When the enslaved people of Mount Vernon were given a moment to rest, were under severe stress, or were able to experience moments of joy, how did they express themselves through breath? How did the living quarters affect their overall breathing? How does the location of the slave cemetery influence the breathing of those who visit the grounds in the here and now of this century? These questions and more will be imagined and contemplated during the silent walks with Breath Artist and Mount Vernon research fellow Shodekeh during the 2024 "Freedom Before Emancipation: Family Day for Juneteenth" here at Mount Vernon. All that is required is the ability to listen quietly and reflect deeply.

Specialty Character Interpretation: Hercules Posey (American Historical Theatre) June 22

Tours and Commemorations:

Join an Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Specialty Tour at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. This program is included with admission. A free ticket is required to hold your place in line. Tours will start at the Mansion Circle.

Honor the lives of the enslaved at our Slave Burial Ground Commemoration Ceremony at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 a.m., and 3:15 a.m.

Demonstrations:

Spinning Demonstrations June 20 & 21 9:00-1:00; 2:00-5:00: Stop by the Spinning House in the Historic Area to learn about enslaved and hired spinners and eighteenth-century spinning techniques.  

Cooking Demonstrations June 19 & 22 9:00-1:00; 2:00 – 5:00: Visit the replica Slave Cabin on the Farm to learn about recipes of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon.

Foodways of the Enslaved June 19-22 9:00-1:00; 2:00-5:00: Visit the replica Slave Cabin on the Farm to learn about the role of farming, foraging, and gardening in the lives of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon.

Blacksmith Demonstrations June 19-22 9:00-12:00; 1:00-5:00: In the Historic Area, see Mount Vernon staff demonstrate eighteenth-century blacksmithing techniques.

Exploration:

Horticulture June 19-21 at 1:00 and 2:00

Archaeology June 19 – 21: Visit the Enslaved Memorial and Burial Ground to see Mount Vernon’s Archaeological Field School and learn about ongoing research about the enslaved people who lived here.

Please note that the estate will not offer sensory-friendly hours for this event. 

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Estate Hours

9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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