Facts About The Mount Vernon Slave Memorial Where The Enslaved And Free People Were Equal

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A small number of free Blacks who worked on plantations in the 18th and 19th centuries were also enslaved and interred at the Mount Vernon slave memorial.

According to oral custom, those who passed away on the plantation were buried with their feet facing the east in honor of their wish to go back to their native Africa.

According to the Mount Vernon website, there was no distinction made on where free or enslaved men were interred at the slave memorial at Mount Vernon.

The deceased and enslaved were laid to rest in tombs without identification or numbers designating them as slaves.

West Ford, the president of the United States, and William Lee, George Washington’s personal aide, were rumored to have been interred at the Mount Vernon slave cemetery. They serve as classic illustrations of how both free and enslaved men were treated equally when burying the deceased.

Students from Howard University’s architectural school created the memorial. The public could enter it as of September 21, 1983. The memorial is located near to the Potomac River, 50 yards southwest of the graves of George and Martha Washington.

The Christian values of faith, hope, and love are inscribed on the columns leading to the cemetery site, giving hope to people held captive on the plantations. This further supports the freedom given to people who worked there, even after their passing at Mount Vernon.

The 200-year-old cemetery was chosen as a memorial to honor the slaves who served the Washington family from 1760 to 1860.

The burying plot was outside of the property even though the Washington family valued the burial of free people and slaves.

It was abandoned and left to rot until it was discovered in 1982 by a study team looking for sites where slaves were interred. Some well-known persons came in to take corrective action after being alerted to the cemetery’s appalling condition by a media report by Washington Post columnist Dorothy Gilliam in 1983. They moved to restore the burial place because they were determined to commemorate the memories of the enslaved.

According to historians, the connection between the slave memorial and slavery on Washington’s estate is what gives it its meaning. When Washington was 11 years old, he received ten slaves from his father. An estimated 577 slaves lived and worked at Mount Vernon up until his death in 1799.

After he died, though, Washington adopted a different attitude about slavery. It is clear from the freedom he afforded the slaves on the property when Martha Washington passed away.

Over the years, the civil rights organization Black Women United for Action has worked and participated in initiatives to highlight the slave memorial at Mount Vernon. It saw the memorial as an homage to the life of the slaves and what they represented at Mount Vernon.

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