In 1799, George Washington's estate was home to a community of 317 enslaved men, women, and children.

Washington depended on their labor to build and maintain his household and plantation. They, in turn, found ways to survive in a world that denied their freedom. 


At the Ford Orientation Center

At the Ford Orientation Center

Pick up an audio guide to learn about the estate's history as you tour over 29 stops around the grounds.

Look for the self-guided tour map about the Enslaved People of Mount Vernon at the Guest Services Desk.

Extend Your Visit

Extend Your Visit

Learn more about the lives of those enslaved at Mount Vernon and Washington’s views on slavery, which changed over his lifetime.

Extend your visit by exploring our online resources.

Learn more about slavery at Mount Vernon


African American History at Mount Vernon


Tour the kitchen where enslaved cooks such as Doll, Hercules, Lucy, and Nathan, worked from 4:00 in the morning to late in the evening to prepare meals for the Washington Family and their many guests.

Learn about the complex process of 18th-century cooking and the lives of the enslaved individuals who contributed to Mount Vernon’s reputation for hospitality.

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Blacksmith Shop

Visit the reconstructed blacksmith shop located on the site where enslaved blacksmiths Nat and George completed work that was essential to the running of Mount Vernon.

Chat with history interpreters to learn more about the blacksmithing trade and the lives of enslaved craftsmen.

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Slave Quarters

View the reconstructed Women's and Men's bunkrooms of the Greenhouse Slave Quarters, a space that housed many of the enslaved people who worked on Mansion House Farm.

Reproduction clothing, tools, furniture, cookware, ceramics, toys, and personal accessories help depict enslaved people's living conditions and experiences.

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Wash House

In the wash house, Dolsey, Vina, and other enslaved laundresses worked up to six days a week washing and drying clothes for the Washingtons, their guests, and Mount Vernon’s hired white workers.

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Coach House and Stables

Learn about how enslaved men and boys, such as Peter Hardiman, were responsible for caring for and breeding Mount Vernon’s 21 horses at the coach house and stables

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The Farm

The Farm offers visitors a chance to learn more about the lives of the enslaved individuals who put Washington’s agrarian ideas into practice.

Observe historic trades interpreters as they demonstrate many of the skills that would have been performed by those assigned work at one of the outlying farms like hoeing fields, harvesting crops, or threshing wheat.

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Slave Cabin

The replica cabin allows you to see the living conditions of many of the enslaved families who lived and worked on George Washington’s outlying farms. On each farm, several cabins would be built in a cluster near the overseer’s house.

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Slave Memorial

This memorial marks the site where enslaved people were buried in the 18th and 19th centuries, usually without identifying markers.

Commemorate the enslaved community at Mount Vernon during our special wreathlaying presentations, offered daily, February - October.

The annual Slave Memorial Commemoration, held every October, features dramatic readings, performances, and uplifting music in recognition of the enslaved community's sacrifices and contributions to the nation's early formation.

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Mount Vernon: The Making of an American Icon

Visit the Story of an American Icon museum exhibit and learn about the different people who shaped Mount Vernon, including the formerly enslaved individuals who helped the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association preserve and interpret George Washington’s home.

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Distillery and Gristmill

Saturdays & Sundays, April – October, tour the Distillery and Gristmill and learn about how enslaved distillers Hanson, Peter, Nat, Daniel, James, and Timothy performed the hot and tiring work of making whiskey.

In addition to being one the largest whiskey distilleries in America in 1799, the distillery and gristmill were the central hub for the enslaved community living and working on George Washington’s Dougue Run farm.

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Extend Your Visit Online

Lives Bound Together: Savery at George Washington's Mount Vernon was an exhibit on display from the fall of 2016 to the summer of 2021.  

You can tour the exhibit virtually below.

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