Slavery

My Trip to Washington’s Mt. Vernon

This is not a scheduled post, but I thought I would share pictures from my weekend. This past Saturday, I visited George Washington’s home, Mt. Vernon, with one of my friends. This plantation is the only colonial plantation I have ever visited, the others having emerged in the post-colonial era.

Take a look at Washington’s Mt. Vernon in the pictures from my visit:

The pictures above depict the first president of the United States, George Washington’s mansion and the land on which it stood. Mt. Vernon sits on the Potomac River and was, perhaps, one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. My pictures caught only a glimpse of Mt. Vernon’s beauty.

At the time of his death in 1799, it is estimated that George Washington owned 317 slaves, most of whom lived on one of the four farms outside of Mt. Vernon and worked as agricultural laborers. Those enslaved on the Mt. Vernon plantation were mostly skilled in the areas of seamstresses, blacksmiths, carpenters, and spinners. They were skilled laborers, but slaves nonetheless.

Pictured above are the slave quarters that the men and women shared. There were two bunk rooms, one for the men and one for the women. The men and women’s bunk rooms could house 10-15 people each, with the women’s bunk room also including their children. We counted 10 beds in each bunk room.

The overseer’s quarters is located near┬áthe slave quarters and are pictured below.

On the grounds are memorials to honor the enslaved and free blacks that worked the plantation.

The pictures above are of those memorials. The first memorial, with the epigraph in the circular monument, states,

In memory of the Afro Americans at mount Vernon This Monument Marking Their Burial Ground Dedicated September 2, 1983 Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

The last memorial, which is in the shape of a rectangle states,

In Memory of the Many Faithful Colored Servants of the Washington Family Buried at Mount Vernon from 1760 to 1860 Their Unidentified Graves Surround this Spot 1929

This area that is designated for memory of the enslaved and free blacks was in a quiet and serene area and I immediately felt like the area I was in was sacred. I felt reverent of those being honored and after picture taking and reading the memorials, my friend and I sat quietly in reflection of the lives of those black people who toiled on this land.