In this letter to Joseph Whipple, dated November 28, 1796, President George Washington corresponds with the customs collector of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, about the search for his fugitive slave Oney Judge.
In this letter to Anthony Whitting, dated December 23, 1792, George Washington instructs Whitting to threaten to send the seamstresses at Mount Vernon, who had fallen behind in their work, to labor in the fields if they did not improve their production.
In this reply to Anthony Whitting, dated January 20, 1793, George Washington gives instructions for the care of his plantation and retroactively sanctions a whipping that Whitting had given an “impertinent” female slave.
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.
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.
In this letter to his manager William Pearce, dated December 18, 1793, George Washington cautions Pearce to keep a close eye on the plantationꞌs overseers. He names Crow in particular, whose propensity for flogging slaves has had “serious consequences.”
In this letter, dated November 14, 1796, George Washington writes to William Pearce, his farm manager, with concerns about various household matters including debts he is owed and renovations at Mount Vernon.