George Washington is the “Father of Our Country” and one of American history’s most revered Founding Fathers. We heard tales of how brave he was and that he could not tell a lie. He also famously refused to create a fiefdom with the office of President, which means we are not stuck with someone in office unless they are duly elected.
Like many white people of his time, he enslaved people. This is a fact, and though not unusual in his peer group–it’s not a great look for a person who is enshrined all across the United States. People want to downplay his racism and evil acts. Listening to Bill Maher and Elon Musk minimize his actions made us realize we need to dive into one of the first President’s most heinous acts by talking about badass Ona Judge. An enslaved woman who escaped from the President’s home and remained free despite his relentless pursuit of her.
This woman is an American hero whom everyone who truly believes in liberty and freedom needs to learn about and memorialize her contribution to history.
Trigger warning: Racism and slavery
- Mt. Vernon.org
- Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia video
- Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of the Runaway Slave, by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
- Erica Armstrong Dunbar at SMU
- Black Heritage Trail video
- The White House Historical Association
- The National Park Service
- Zinn Education Project
- Beyond the Bell Tours (Philadelphia)
- Museum of the American Revolution
- Ona Judge’s 1845 interview with The Liberator
History.com The Fugitive Slave Acts
- New York Times 2015 op-ed
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