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Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon

Posted on

Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon

Current Status:
In Season
Scott E. Casper
Hill and Wang
History, Nonfiction

We gave it a B

As George Washington stipulated in his will, his 123 slaves were freed upon his and wife Martha?s death (the latter died in 1802, though many were freed before then). But as Scott E. Casper details in Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon, slavery persisted for decades after as Washington’s descendants purchased their own slaves to work on his Virginia estate. His heirs not only lacked Washington’s slight generosity, but his agricultural know-how — so the mansion grounds were often dilapidated. Though Casper pieces together the story of Sarah Johnson and other Mount Vernon slaves — a difficult archival feat — you wish for more words from those who lacked a right to be heard. B