Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Enslaved Africans in the Household of George and Martha Washington
Austin,half brother of Ona Judge. He died on December 20, 1794, after a fall from a horse while returning to Mt. Vernon, leaving a wife and five children.
Christopher Sheets attempted to escape from Mt. Vernon in 1799, but was unsuccessful. His fate after Martha Washington's death in 1802 is unknown.
Giles was a driver, postillion, and stable hand. He returned to Mt. Vernon in 1791, after being injured in an accident during Washington's tour of the southern states. He died before 1799.
Hercules served for many years as cook both at Mt. Vernon and in Philadelphia. He seized his freedom just before the family retired to Mt. Vernon. He was celebrated for his mastery of his craft and for setting
Joe (Richardson) is mentioned in 1795 as "Postillion Joe," although his time in Philadelphia is uncertain. He was married to a woman freed (along with their children) after Washington's death, whereupon the family took the name Richardson.
Moll was nursemaid to Martha Washington's two grandchildren. She also served as nursemaid to Martha's children, from her first marriage and later at Mt. Vernon.
Ona/Oney Judge was, like her mother, a talented seamstress. She became Martha Washington's personal maid as a teenager. In 1796, Ona seized her freedom and escaped to New Hampshire, where she lived until her death in 1848. In New Hampshire, she married a free black sailor named Jack Staines and had three children, who all died before her.
Paris was a young stable hand. He was returned to Mt. Vernon in 1791 for "unsatisfactory behavior" and died in 1794.
Richmond came to Philadelphia at the age of 11 with his father, Hercules. He worked in the kitchen briefly but returned to Mt. Vernon in 1791. His later fate is unknown.
Location. 39° 57.029′ N, 75° 9.01′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is at the intersection of Market Street and 6th Street, on the left when traveling west on Market Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Philadelphia PA 19106, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The President's House Site 1790-1800 (here, next to this marker); Archeology Methods and Interpretation (here, next to this marker); The President's House - Washington and Adams (here, next to this marker); Strengthening Ties with the United States (here, next to this marker); Awarding a Peace Medal (a few steps from this marker); History Lost & Found (a few steps from this marker); The Keeper of the House (a few steps from this marker); The House & the People Who Worked & Lived In It (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
More about this marker. The portrait on the lower left of this marker is a, "Presumed portrait of Washington's cook (Hercules), attributed to Gilbert Stuart." It is provided for the marker from the, "Collections of Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid
The drawing at top right is of, "Washington and family at Mount Vernon," provided for the marker from the, "Collection of New York Public Library."
Categories. • Abolition & Underground RR • African Americans • Notable Persons •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 6, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,017 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 6, 2008, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.