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Free Landmark Lecture: Unhappy Separations
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 Washingtons first husband. Assigned to Custiss widow during her lifetime, these individuals were legally bound to pass to the estates heirs, including Martha Parke Custis Peter of Tudor Place. Upon her grandmothers death, she and her husband inherited 43 enslaved people valued at nearly £2000.
As George Washingtons slaves were freed and the Custis estate was dispersed, many enslaved families were divided. The vast documentation of Washingtons 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.