Author: George Washington

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Letter from George Washington to Anthony Whitting (May 19, 1793)

In this letter to Anthony Whitting, dated May 19, 1793, George Washington provides instructions for the running of his farms and tells Whitting to threaten one of the bricklaying slaves who was not doing his job properly. If neither “pride” nor “admonition” could increase the slave’s industry, then he would be sent to work as a “common hoe negro” under the harsh field overseers—a threat that echoed one he made to a seamstress six months before.

PRIMARY DOCUMENT

Letter from George Washington to William Pearce (December 23, 1793)

In this weekly letter to his manager William Pearce, dated December 23, 1793, George Washington provides instructions for the care and oversight of his plantations, in particular warning Pearce that the plantation wagons seemed to go off and “go to sleep”—a comment blaming the slaves for laziness. The images for this letter are from a signed letterpress version housed at the Library of Congress, while the transcription was created from a signed version housed at the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union.

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