16 Details About What Life Was Like for a Slave on Mount Vernon
16 Details About What Life Was Like for a Slave on Mount Vernon

16 Details About What Life Was Like for a Slave on Mount Vernon

Trista - May 26, 2019

16 Details About What Life Was Like for a Slave on Mount Vernon
George Washington’s Tomb. Getty Images / Hulton Archive / History Today.

1. Slaves Kept Watch Over Washington’s Tomb

After George Washington passed away in 1799, many slaves took care of Washington’s Tomb. Their job was not only to keep the grounds neat and clean but also make sure no one came in to try to damage the tomb or steal George Washington’s body. Some of the tomb keepers were slaves at Mount Vernon who took the task. However, once slavery ended, former slaves started to sit at the tomb while receiving a little pay.

Edmond Parker became one of the paid tomb guards. Parker had been a slave under John Augustine Washington III but gained his freedom. Parker became popular among the tourists who came to see Washington’s Tomb. He would often tell the tourists stories of Washington that he heard from John over the years and never had a negative word to say about Washington. For his outfit, Parker would wear a silver badge on a blue uniform with nickel-plated buttons. Parker received his payment through the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Slavery.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon official website.

“Time to Tell the Truth About Slavery at Mount Vernon.” Sadie Hofmann, Zinn Education Project. February 2015.

“10 Facts About Washington & Slavery.” George Washington’s Mount Vernon official website.

“Slave who escaped George Washington and lived out her years in New Hampshire hiding from his family is profiled in new book.” Germania Rodriguez, Daily Mail. October 2017.

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