Never caught : the Washingtons' relentless pursuit of their runaway slave, Ona Judge
When the Washingtons moved from Mount Vernon in Virginia to Philadelphia, then the seat of the nation's capital, they took nine enslaved people with them. They would serve as cooks and horsemen, as house servants and personal attendants. The North was quite different for the entire household. Indeed, there was even a Pennsylvania law requiring slaveholders to free their slaves after six months. Yet George Washington thought he could outwit and circumvent the law by sending his slaves south every six months, thereby resetting the clock. One Judge, Martha Washington's chief attendant, figured out the subterfuge. Having interacted with Philadelphia's sizeable free black community, Ona Judge risked everything she knew, leaving behind everyone she had known in her entire life, in search of freedom. This is the story not only of the powerful lure of liberty but also of George Washington's determination to recapture his property by whatever means necessary.
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|Location||Call Number /
|Avon Free Library||306.36 DUN (Text)