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Free Landmark Lecture: Unhappy Separations

September 24, 2019
From: 06:30 PM to 08:00 PM

Unhappy Separations: Enslaved Families of Mount Vernon, presented by Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington's Mount Vernon

George Washington famously freed his slaves in his will, but the emancipation applied to fewer than half of those on his plantation. More than 150 men, women and children enslaved at Mount Vernon could not be freed because they were owned by the estate of Daniel Parke Custis, Martha Washington’s first husband. Assigned to Custis’s widow during her lifetime, these individuals were legally bound to pass to the estate’s heirs, including Martha Parke Custis Peter of Tudor Place. Upon her grandmother’s death, she and her husband inherited 43 enslaved people valued at nearly £2000.

As George Washington’s slaves were freed and the Custis estate was dispersed, many enslaved families were divided. The vast documentation of Washington’s plantation allows us to trace the stories of relatives who faced vastly different fates.

This lecture will explore the experiences of people like Sall Twine, who was assigned to the Peters with her four young children while her husband, George, was emancipated; and Ralph Anderson, who ran away from Peter family property and sought refuge with his free father. Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator of George Washington's Mount Vernon, presents a Landmark Lecture about their stories, which reveal the pain, resilience and resistance of those whose lives were inextricably bound to the Washington and Custis families.

Admission is free/pay what you can, with donations welcome. Doors open at 6 p.m., lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.

Event Location

Tudor Place Historic House & Garden
1644 31st St. NW,
Washington, DC 20007


(202) 580-7326 or education () tudorplace ! org

Admission: FREE/Pay what you can


Posted by: Tudor Place Historic House & Garden