Lostand Never Found by Anita LarsenIn setting up his household he brought along nine slaves, including Ona Judge. Rather than comply, Washington decided to circumvent the law. Every six months he sent the slaves back down south just as the clock was about to expire. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, she was denied freedom. So, when the opportunity presented itself one clear and pleasant spring day in Philadelphia, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Yet freedom would not come without its costs.
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Lost... and Never Found
That liberation did not apply to Ona Judge, one of slaves held by Martha Washington. Now her story — and the challenge it offers to the notion that Washington somehow transcended the seamy reality of slaveholding — is having its fullest airing yet. I want people to know her story. Research on slavery has exploded in the two decades since Mount Vernon, Monticello and other founder home sites introduced slavery-themed tours and other prominent acknowledgments of the enslaved. Schoelwer, the curator at Mount Vernon, said. The exhibition makes it clear just who poured from the elegant teapots and did the backbreaking work on the 8,acre estate.