Show cover of Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Intertwined tells the story of the more than 577 people enslaved by George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Told through the biographies of Sambo Anderson, Davy Gray, William Lee, Kate, Ona Judge, Nancy Carter Quander, Edmund Parker, Caroline Branham, and the Washingtons, this eight-part podcast series explores the lives and labors of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community, and how we interpret slavery at the historic site today. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com

Tracks

Intertwined Stories: What We Leave Behind...
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors.  The Quander Family can trace its roots in Virginia and Maryland back to the early seventeenth century. This family became part of the Mount Vernon story in the early nineteenth century when a free Black man named Charles Quander married Nancy Carter, a woman formerly enslaved by George Washington.  But the connection didn’t end there. In more recent times, family members have played key roles in interpreting the history of slavery at Mount Vernon, and reconstructing the long history of the Quander family in America. In one of our final interviews for Intertwined, we talked to Judge Rohulamin Quander about his family’s history, his efforts to preserve it, and the work that remains to be done.  This is our final episode of Intertwined Stories and the last of the entire Intertwined series. On behalf of our entire team, we want to thank you very much for joining us on this journey. But as Judge Quander reminds us in this episode, there is so much more to the story, and there is more work to be done.  Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
15:48 04/26/2022
Intertwined Stories: Martha Washington's Mount Vernon
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors. Mount Vernon was as much Martha Washington’s home as it was George Washington’s. It was Martha’s wealth, after all, that helped fund the plantation’s expansion and allowed George to claim his place among the Virginia elite. Like so many Virginia women in the period, Martha was already a widow when she married George in 1759. In fact, she had life rights to one-third of the property of her first husband’s estate, who had been very wealthy. But she brought much more than money to her new marriage; she brought enslaved people to Mount Vernon as well. Few people know Martha Washington better than Dr. Lynn Price Robbins. She’s a historian of early America and one of the editors of Martha’s papers and of George’s Barbados diary. We talked to Dr. Price Robbins in the early days of making Intertwined to understand Martha as a plantation manager, and what the Washingtons’ marriage meant for the lives of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
17:52 04/19/2022
Intertwined Stories: Rediscovering Families
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors. As a child, Ann Chinn didn’t understand her family’s connection to Mount Vernon, the Washingtons, or the Custis Family. But later in life, she came to learn that she was a descendent of Sall Twine. Twine was a woman assigned to work as a field laborer on Dogue Run Farm. She was owned by the estate of Martha Washington’s first husband. Twine’s husband was named George. He was owned by Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother. Together, the couple had seven children. And after the Washingtons died, Twine was inherited by one of Martha’s grandchildren. We spent a delightful afternoon talking to Chinn about her family’s history and her journey to find out more about her family’s relationship to Mount Vernon. You’ll first hear a little bit about Chinn herself, before we travel back to the 18th century to learn about her ancestor, Sall Twine, and her life as a woman enslaved in Virginia. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
18:34 04/11/2022
Intertwined Stories: The Origins of Slavery in Virginia
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors.  The origins of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community are linked directly to the early history of slavery in Virginia. Although the first enslaved people arrived in Virginia in 1619, slavery did not become the dominate labor system in the Chesapeake Bay region for more than a century.  As we heard in Episode 1 of Intertwined, race-based slavery developed slowly in the Chesapeake. Colonists, merchants, and competing nations made a series of choices that interwove slavery into the fabric of Virginia’s society and economy.  To learn more about how and why this happened, we talked to Dr. John C. Coombs, a professor of history at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. We also chatted about the connections between Barbados and Virginia that made Virginia an important part of the transatlantic slave trade long before it was a site of mass enslavement.  Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
19:48 04/04/2022
Intertwined Stories: Living and Laboring
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors.  Labor dictated life for enslaved communities at Mount Vernon and beyond. And yet despite their enslavement, people like Sambo Anderson, Kate, and Carolina Branham carved out time for themselves, created families, and forged relationships – sometimes across vast distances – that brought them comfort and some sense of control over their own lives.  As we heard throughout Intertwined, reconstructing the lived experience of slavery is a difficult task.  We have few surviving accounts from the people who were enslaved, so we must use a variety of sources and evidence to interpret the past.  To help us better understand what life was like in Virginia and throughout the Atlantic world, we chatted with Dr. Brenda Stevenson, who is an expert on the history of slavery, family, and gender in the early United States.  Dr. Stevenson is the inaugural Hillary Rodham Clinton Chair in Women’s History at St. John’s College at Oxford University. Jeanette Patrick was in the host’s chair for our interview with Dr. Stevenson, and we talked to her just before she made her move across the Atlantic in the summer of 2021.  We pick up our chat with her about living conditions and daily life in Virginia before exploring how enslaved people formed families and communities. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
17:18 03/29/2022
Intertwined Stories: How Historians History
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors.  Historians are in constant conversation with each other about the past. As we uncover evidence, ask new and better questions of our sources, and think about history in relation to our own present, the way that we interpret the past can and does change over time. We call this collective body of past interpretations “historiography,” or the history of history. We must understand what previous historians have said about a subject, before we can offer a new interpretation.  The study of people who were enslaved and the institution of slavery is no different. To better understand what questions inspired historians of the past, and what excites them now, we turned to Dr. Marcus Nevius, an Associate Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Rhode Island. Nevius is an expert on the Great Dismal Swamp and marronage, another way of describing an enslaved person’s flight from slavery. He helped us understand the history of history about slavery, where he thinks historians are taking the field now, and the language we use to describe enslavement.  Intertwined’s co-creator Jeanette Patrick joined Jim Ambuske in this interview with Nevius. We start by talking about resistance in the Great Dismal Swamp before considering how historians have interpreted the history of slavery, and what work they are doing now to complicate our view of the past.  Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
29:45 03/22/2022
Intertwined Stories: Dividing Families
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors. In Episode 6 of Intertwined, we began to explore what happened to the enslaved community after January 1, 1801, the day that Martha Washington emancipated the people once enslaved by her late husband. That day transformed the community forever. While it meant freedom for the people George Washington enslaved, it meant continued enslavement for the people owned by the estate of Martha’s first husband. She had no power to free the latter, and her death a year later fractured the community further still. To help us understand how and why, and what it meant for families, we turned to Dr. Cassandra Good, who is an Assistant Professor of History at Marymount University, and a leading scholar on the Washington and Custis families in the early United States. Jim Ambuske sat in the host’s chair for our conversation with Dr. Good, and was joined by Intertwined’s co-creator Jeanette Patrick, along with Curt Dhal, our lead producer. We start off with the events of January 1, 1801, a day of joy, and a day of sorrow, before more about what we know happened to these families, and just how research remains to be done. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
23:40 03/14/2022
Intertwined Stories: Landscapes of Meaning
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors. Throughout Intertwined, archaeological research helped us uncover the lives of Kate, Doll, Frank Lee, Neptune, and hundreds of other people enslaved at Mount Vernon. While we can learn many important details about the past from letters, account books, or maps, equally important answers lay just beneath the surface.  To help us better understand how archeology can help us recover landscapes and the meaning people gave to them, we talked to Dr. Jason Boroughs, who currently works as the research archaeologist at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Intertwined's co-creator Jeanette Patrick served as the lead interviewer for our conversation with Boroughs, joined by co-creator Jim Ambuske.  Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
21:34 03/08/2022
Intertwined Stories: Finding Hercules Posey
In Intertwined Stories, we’re taking a deeper dive into the history behind the podcast Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon by bringing you extended versions of some of the interviews with the series' contributors.  In Episode 5 of Intertwined we encountered Hercules Posey, a man enslaved by the Washingtons, worked as their chef, and who self-emancipated from Mount Vernon in February 1797. For over 200 years, we had little idea of Posey’s whereabouts after he left the plantation. But thanks to recent research, now we do. To learn more about Hercules Posey, we talked to Ramin Ganeshram. She’s a chef herself, historian, and the Executive Director of the Westport Museum for History and Culture in Westport, Connecticut. Intertwined’s co-creator Jeanette Patrick served as the lead interviewer for our conversation with Ganeshram. We pick up the story with Posey’s flight to freedom in February 1797. And you won’t believe what happens next. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies for Intertwined are available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
18:39 02/28/2022
Intertwined: The Soundtrack
Intertwined is a story about the entangled lives of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community, the Washington Family, and the legacies of slavery at the historic plantation today. The stories we tell in the series are stories of a shared past that continues to shape us all. Music was an essential part of life in eighteenth-century America. It remains so our in own time. Music helps us to experience collectively life’s great joys and its darkest moments in a way that generations past would still recognize. The soundtrack for Intertwined captures the spirit of each individual episode and the journey we take together over the course of the series. We’ve assembled a collection of artists whose modern work and vocal performances draw us into the past from the perspective of our present. We invite you to listen here. Trailer: "Deer" by ANBR (Artlist) - 01:29 Main Title: "A Tender Heart" by The David Roy Collective (Artlist) - 04:38 Episode 1: "Sin's Deceitfulness" By Jordan Hatfield (Artlist)- 06:34 Episode 2: "In The Clouds" by Be Still The Earth (Artlist) -14:32 Episode 3: "The River Brethren" by Doug Kaufman (Artlist) - 18:29 Episode 4: "Songbird" by
43:00 02/14/2022
Episode 8: Legacies
Episode 8: "Legacies"  Interpreting slavery at Mount Vernon was not part of the mission of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association when the organization purchased the estate in the mid-nineteenth century. Over time, however, investigating the people enslaved at Mount Vernon and educating the public about their lives and legacies has become central to the Association’s work. In our final episode, we look at how interpreting slavery has become intertwined with interpreting the Washingtons at Mount Vernon, and collaborative efforts by the Association and the Descendants Community to tell a story of lives bound together.  Featuring:  Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon  Dr. Lydia Mattice Brandt, Associate Professor of Art History, University of South Carolina  Dr. Scott Casper, President, The American Antiquarian Society  Rebecca Baird, Archivist, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington  Ann Louise Chinn, Founder, The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project  Donald Francisco, History Interpreter, George Washington’s Mount Vernon and United States Army, Retired  Dr. Jason Boroughs, Research Archaeologist, George Washington’s Mount Vernon  Dr. Marcus Nevius, Associate Professor of History and African Studies, University of Rhode Island  Judge Rohulamin Quander, President and Founder, Quander Historical and Educational Society  Dr. Douglas Bradburn, President and CEO, George Washington’s Mount Vernon  Stephen Hammond, Syphax Family Historian and Scientist Emeritus, The United States Geological Survey  William Norwood Holland, Jr., J.D., retired, National Labor Relations Board  Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
62:05 12/20/2021
Episode 7: Preserving
Episode 7: “Preserving” Edmund Parker never knew George and Martha Washington, but he knew Mount Vernon and the Washington Family very well. Parker was one of the many enslaved people who labored on the plantation in the nineteenth century after the Washingtons’ deaths. Later, as a free man, Parker was among Mount Vernon’s first interpreters when the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association purchased the property. In this episode, we explore what happened to the Mount Vernon landscape in the nineteenth century and various efforts to preserve the estate and George Washington’s memory as the nation headed for civil war. Featuring: Dr. Scott Casper, President, The American Antiquarian Society Dr. Lydia Mattice Brandt, Associate Professor of Art History, University of South Carolina Rebecca Baird, Archivist, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Thomas Reinhart, Director of Preservation, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Dr. Douglas Bradburn, President and CEO, George Washington’s Mount Vernon William Norwood Holland, Jr., J.D., retired, National Labor Relations Board Dr. Jason Boroughs, Research Archaeologist, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
54:15 12/20/2021
Episode 6: Leaving
Episode 6: “Leaving” Nancy Carter Quander was just a child when George Washington died in December 1799, but his death changed her life forever. Washington’s decision to emancipate his enslaved people in his will had consequences for Mount Vernon’s enslaved community and their descendants that persist into our own time. In this episode, we look at the meaning of freedom for a community intertwined through marriage and kinship, its continued evolution after Martha Washington’s own death in 1802, and how members of the descendent community are recovering their family histories. Featuring: Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Dr. Cassandra Good, Assistant Professor of History, Marymount University Dr. Bruce Ragsdale, former Director of the Federal Judicial History Office Dr. Lynn Price Robbins, historian of George and Martha Washington and Early America Judge Rohulamin Quander, President and Founder, Quander Historical and Educational Society William Norwood Holland, Jr., J.D., retired, National Labor Relations Board Ann Louise Chinn, Founder, The Middle Passages Ceremonies and Port Markers Project Stephen Hammond, Syphax Family Historian and Scientist Emeritus, The United States Geological Survey Dr. Scott Casper, President, The American Antiquarian Society Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
53:48 12/13/2021
Episode 5: Resisting
Episode 5: “Resisting” In May 1796, Ona Judge self-emancipated by fleeing from President George Washington’s Philadelphia home. Her escape was just one example of the many ways that Mount Vernon’s enslaved community resisted their bondage. Some acts were subtle and easy to miss, others were much more dramatic, regardless the threat of punishment was ever present. In this episode, we follow Judge’s flight to freedom, and explore the stories of Hercules Posey and Harry Washington, to examine how enslaved people defied George and Martha Washington’s authority. Featuring: Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Dr. Marcus Nevius, Associate Professor of History and African Studies, University of Rhode Island Mary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Dr. Cassandra Pybus, Professor of History Emerita, The University of Sydney Ramin Ganeshram, Executive Director, Westport Museum for History and Culture Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
60:44 12/08/2021
Episode 4: Living
Episode 4: “Living” Kate, her husband Will, and their children lived and worked on Muddy Hole Farm. When her family suffered a tragedy, they drew strength from the kinship ties and friendships they shared with other members of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community. In this episode, we examine daily life, culture, and religious practices of the enslaved people at the plantation. We also explore how on-going archeological work at Mount Vernon helps us piece together the enslaved community’s lived experience and recover their voices when the written record falls silent. Featuring: Dr. Brenda Stevenson, Hillary Rodham Clinton Endowed Chair in Women’s History, St. John’s College, Oxford University Dr. Eleanor Breen, City Archaeologist, City of Alexandria Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, Director of Collections and Visitor Engagement, Stratford Hall Plantation, and Director of Education and Historic Interpretation, Virginia’s Executive Mansion Mary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Dr. Jason Boroughs, Research Archaeologist, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Dr. Marcus Nevius, Associate Professor of History and African Studies, University of Rhode Island Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
39:50 11/29/2021
Episode 3: Revolutions
Episode 3: “Revolutions” William Lee was George Washington’s trusted enslaved valet. For over two decades, he attended Washington from early morning until nightfall. In times of peace and war, Lee rode with Washington through Mount Vernon’s fields, out to his western lands, and into battle against the British. In this episode, we follow Lee’s journey to investigate revolutions in Mount Vernon’s agricultural life, American politics, and Washington’s views on slavery. Featuring: Dr. Bruce Ragsdale, former Director of the Federal Judicial History Office Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Dr. Cassandra Good, Assistant Professor of History, Marymount University Dr. Lynn Price Robbins, historian of George and Martha Washington and Early America Ramin Ganeshram, Executive Director, Westport Museum for History and Culture Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
44:20 11/22/2021
Episode 1: Passages
Episode 1: “Passages” Sambo Anderson was just a boy when he was captured in West Africa, survived the Middle Passage, and purchased by an ambitious George Washington sometime in the late 1760s. During his years of enslavement at Mount Vernon, Anderson became a carpenter, a husband, and a father. In this episode, we tell the story of Anderson’s life to explore the rise of slavery in the Chesapeake Bay region, George and Martha Washington’s connections to the transatlantic slave trade, and the laws that marked the boundaries between slavery and freedom in Virginia. Featuring: Dr. Brenda Stevenson, Hillary Rodham Clinton Endowed Chair in Women’s History, St. John’s College, Oxford University Dr. Lorena Walsh, Research Historian Emerita, Colonial Williamsburg Dr. John C. Coombs, Professor of History, Hampden-Sydney College Dr. Lynn Price Robbins, historian of George and Martha Washington and Early America Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
40:58 11/15/2021
Episode 2: Laboring
Episode 2: “Laboring” As an overseer, Davy Gray was entrusted by George Washington with the management of the enslaved laborers on Dogue Run Farm. His weekly reports to Washington revealed progress toward Washington’s goal of transforming Mount Vernon into a model of British agriculture. But Gray was also enslaved, just like the men, women, and children he oversaw. In this episode, we explore Gray’s complicated story to learn about the daily labor of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community and Washington’s relentless quest to make his plantation into a self-sustaining enterprise. Featuring: Jessie MacLeod, Associate Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Thomas Reinhart, Director of Preservation, George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington Dr. Kelley Fanto Deetz, Director of Collections and Visitor Engagement, Stratford Hall Plantation, and Director of Education and Historic Interpretation, Virginia’s Executive Mansion Dr. Lorena Walsh, Research Historian Emerita, Colonial Williamsburg Dr. Bruce Ragsdale, Independent Scholar and former Director of the Federal Judicial History Office Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
36:14 11/15/2021
Introducing Intertwined: The Enslaved Community at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Intertwined tells the story of the more than 577 people enslaved by George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon. Told through the biographies of Sambo Anderson, Davy Gray, William Lee, Kate, Ona Judge, Nancy Carter Quander, Edmund Parker, Caroline Branham, and the Washingtons, this eight-part podcast series explores the lives and labors of Mount Vernon’s enslaved community, and how we interpret slavery at the historic site today. Intertwined is narrated by Brenda Parker and is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and CD Squared. Find Intertwined on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts. Learn more, subscribe to the show, and find full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.
01:21 11/04/2021