George Washington, Slavery and The Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon

February 24, 2021, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Redwood Library and Athenæum

Mary V. Thompson, the Research Historian at George Washington’s Mount Vernon will discuss her acclaimed book, The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon. 

“Mary Thompson’s book is the most detailed examination yet published of slavery at Mount Vernon…. [Her] command of the sources makes possible an almost encyclopedic description of the conditions of slave life.”

London Review of Books

“Mary Thompson skillfully describes George Washington’s attitude toward slavery and his treatment of the Mount Vernon slaves. But forget Washington. With her decades of research and her narrative gifts, Thompson brings us closer to this eighteenth-century slave community than we have ever been.”

Woody Holton, author of Black Americans in the Revolutionary Era


“Mary Thompson is uniquely positioned to offer this detailed case study of enslavement at Mount Vernon. For decades, she has worked in the copious records of this unique historic site with a single purpose in mind. The impressive result is a careful, understated book that will open new perspectives for thousands of Americans. After exploring the lives of hundreds of President Washington’s unpaid black workers, you may rightly ask, “Why didn’t I know about all this before?”

Peter H. Wood, Duke University, author of Strange New Land: Africans in Colonial America

Watch on Crowdcast

Wednesday, February 24, 2021 – 6:00pm to 7:00pm
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