New exhibit focuses on George Washington's slaves

A new exhibit at Mt. Vernon puts the lives of slaves in the spotlight.

A new exhibit at Mt. Vernon is placing the spotlight on George Washington's slaves.

The exhibit is named, "Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington's Mount Vernon". The public got its first chance to see the exhibit Saturday morning. 

Curator Susan Schoelwer said the exhibit contains more than 350 artifact. She told WUSA9 over time it became apparent many tourists wanted to learn more about the lives of Washington's slaves.

"We were seeing more and more visitors coming to Mt. Vernon, asking about the slave quarters and looking at the slave quarters that we had restored many years ago," she said.

The exhibit also focuses on how Washington's views on slavery evolved with time. More than 300 slaves lived on George Washington's estate, but Schoelwer said the president became more troubled by the practice later in his life.

Nancy Carter Quander was one of Washington's slaves. Her descendents visited the new exhibit and said they were happy to see Mt. Vernon acknowledge its past.

"This place [Mt. Vernon] functioned because people like Nancy tended to what needed to be tended to so he [Washington] could go off to be the father of our country."


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