Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon

Scott Casper talked about his book Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine (Hill and Wang, January 2008). The book… read more

Scott Casper talked about his book Sarah Johnson’s Mount Vernon: The Forgotten History of an American Shrine (Hill and Wang, January 2008). The book reconstructs the story of a community of blacks who worked at George Washington’s estate for the century after he died in 1799. These women, men, and children had not been George and Martha Washington’s slaves. Most of them came to Mount Vernon from 1802 to the 1850s with the members of the Washington family who inherited the estate. After the Civil War, some of them returned as free employees of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, which purchased the historic site in 1858 and has owned and operated it ever since. These black people were among the earliest paid workers at an American historic house museum. While they interacted with the white people who ran the estate and with the tourists who visited year-round, they also established their own families and communities there and in the surrounding area. The book focuses on Sarah Johnson, who lived and worked at Mount Vernon as a slave and a free worker for over fifty years. Professor Casper showed slides during his presentation. After his presentation he responded to questions from members of the audience.

On March 25, 2008, Professor Casper and Dennis Pogue conducted a tour of the grounds of Mount Vernon, enhanced with illustrations. close

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  • Boyce Ansley Vice Regent Mount Vernon Ladies' Association->Georgia
  • Scott E. Casper Chair University of Nevada, Reno->Department of History
  • Dennis J. Pogue Associate Director Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens->Preservation
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More information about

Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon

Program ID:
Public Affairs Event
Mount Vernon, Virginia, United States
First Aired:
May 31, 2008 | 11:58am EDT | C-SPAN 2
Last Aired:
Nov 29, 2008 | 11:15pm EST | C-SPAN 2

Airing Details

  • May 31, 2008 | 11:58am EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Jul 04, 2008 | 8:00am EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Aug 16, 2008 | 1:46pm EDT | C-SPAN 2
  • Nov 29, 2008 | 11:15pm EST | C-SPAN 2
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Sarah Johnson's Mount Vernon

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