Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

CW Foundation navigation

Looking to Buy Tickets & Gifts or Book a Vacation? Click Here

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger
Teacher Gazette

No. 3

 George Washington, Slave Owner
Teaching Strategy
George Washington is a well-documented figure in American history. Much is known about his life, and many of his writings were carefully kept for future generations. But much less is known about the lives of the more than one hundred enslaved people who worked for him. In this lesson, students conduct multiple readings of a secondary source article to compile a timeline of Washington's slave ownership and collect information about the enslaved people he owned. They draw conclusions and generate questions about how information about enslaved people is preserved and what information could be uncovered from other sources. More
Primary Source
MET MUSEUM OF ART The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This portrait of George Washington includes his enslaved personal servant, William Lee (often known as Billy Lee). Washington purchased Lee in 1768, and Lee served as his valet, helping him dress, accompanying him on his travels, delivering his letters, and serving his meals. Lee served at Washington's side throughout the Revolutionary War, and accompanied him to the Constitutional Convention. More
"I never mean . . . to possess another slave by purchase; it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this Country may be abolished."
George Washington to John F. Mercer, September 9, 1786.

HERO Live! Upcoming Broadcast
November 19, 2015
How did a young woman escape slavery and evade the most powerful man in the nation? Learn about the dangers Oney Judge faced when she left her life as the enslaved servant of George and Martha Washington. Oney's quest was threatened by her former owners, the law, and poverty. How was she able to live as a free woman? More

New Orleans, November 13-15, 2015

Colonial Williamsburg will be exhibiting and presenting at the National
Council for the Social Studies annual conference in the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. We will be hosting a Thursday preconference workshop on "Character Interpretation: Bring History to Life in Your Classroom" with Thomas Jefferson, Napoleon Bonaparte and a surprise guest; a concurrent session on "Sustaining a Democratic Society" with Thomas Jefferson; and another concurrent session "Napoleon Bonaparte: A New Age of Human Rights?" with Napoleon himself! Stop by booth 813 and get a demo of the new The Idea of America™. More
It's a great time to step back and explore what's new in our lively, 300-acre city of tradeshops, homes, and community buildings. Experience the world of our nation's founders. Learn about trade, politics, and family life in the 1700s, as well as math, science, women's roles and African American history. We can customize your study visit with a guided tour around any special interest or standard of learning. 
Book your 2016 student group now and lock in pricing at the 2015 rate. Call 1-800-228-8878 or email us at [email protected] today. 

Featured Product
A More Perfect Union DVD
Witness the conflict and compromises of ratifying the U.S. Constitution. Join young eighteenth-century observers as they travel from state to state tallying the vote. Learn about ratification and Americans' growing interests in their fledgling nation's new government. Includes accompanying teacher materials and program script. DVD, 30 minutes. More
Colonial Williamsburg Education Outreach is supported in part
by the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation | Education Outreach | PO Box 1776 | Williamsburg | VA | 23187