Dennis Pogue
Enslaved African Americans  at Mt. Vernon

Ordering Information
Dennis Pogue of Mount Vernon divided the seminarians into groups to work with a  Jackdaw education program that leads students through an investigation of the archaeology of slavery at Mount Vernon.  He began with  a slide lecture to describe the different lifestyles of people who lived at Mount Vernon.

     In 1799  there were 316 enslaved workers living at Mt. Vernon. Washington was  one of the wealthiest men and largest slave owners in Virginia.  Many  of the enslaved people were skilled workers who were engaged in almost every task of the farm.  There were  five farms on  8,000 acres.
Washington came to Mt. Vernon to live with Martha and two of her children in 1759.    They lived a  lavish lifestyle with fine furniture, china, glassware, and food.   .

    Each farm had an overseer, usually white, but sometimes a trusted male slave, lived at the farms he was responsible for.  The overseers lived somewhat of a middle class lifestyle.

    The enslaved workers who lived near the mansion lived somewhat better than field slaves.    The majority of these enslaved workers lived at the four outlying farms.  They lived in smaller structures than the house workers, and they usually built these structures..  They had less material goods, but they  had somewhat more privacy than those who lived nearest the mansion.

       Dennis asked seminarians  to  consider the archaeological data on posters he distributed. From these posters,  the seminarians tried to determine from which archaeological site the artifacts were taken.