Master George's People by Marfe Ferguson Delano
George Washington, His Slaves, and His Revolutionary Transformation

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As the first President of the United States of America and the Commander in Chief who led a rebel army to victory in the Revolutionary War, George Washington was a legendary leader of men. He had high expectations of his soldiers, employees, and associates. At his Virginia plantation, Mount Vernon, his expectations of his workers were no different: “I expect such labor as they ought to render,” he wrote.

Except there was a big difference. The workers who kept Mount Vernon operating were enslaved. And although Washington called them “my people,” by law they were his property. The Founders birthed a document celebrating “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” as unalienable rights at the same time people were being bought and sold. But the people of Mount Vernon were so much more, and they each have compelling stories to tell.

In the pages of Master George’s People, Marfé Ferguson Delano gives us fascinating portraits of cooks, overseers, valets, farm hands, and more—essential people nearly lost in the shadows of the past—interwoven with an extraordinary examination of the conscience of the Father of Our Country.


About Marfe Ferguson Delano

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Marfé Ferguson Delano lives within biking distance of George Washington's Mount Vernon and has long been curious about her famous historic neighbor. Her curiosity led to a four-year research project and the discovery of a whole host of less-famous historic neighbors-the enslaved people who lived with George and Martha on their plantation farm and now so richly populate the beautifully written pages of Master George's People. Her previous books for National Geographic include Helen's Eyes: A Photobiography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller's Teacher and Earth in the Hot Seat: Bulletins from a Warming World. Visit her web site at
Published January 8, 2013 by National Geographic Children's Books. 64 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Children's Books.

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(Martha Washington’s slaves were her dower property from her first husband and were not affected by this.) A generous serving of period illustrations and photographs of Mount Vernon’s historical interpreters adds great visual interest and clarity, although the contemporary folk are no doubt much ...

Nov 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Master George's People: Georg...

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