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

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

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Intertwined Stories: What We Leave Behind...
Apr 26 2022
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.
Intertwined Stories: What We Leave Behind...
Apr 26 2022
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.
Intertwined Stories: Martha Washington's Mount Vernon
Apr 19 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.
Intertwined Stories: Living and Laboring
Mar 29 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.
Intertwined Stories: How Historians History
Mar 22 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.
Intertwined Stories: Dividing Families
Mar 14 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.
Intertwined: The Soundtrack
Feb 14 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) - 01:29Main Title: "A Tender Heart" by The David Roy Collective (Artlist) - 04:38Episode 1: "Sin's Deceitfulness" By Jordan Hatfield (Artlist)- 06:34Episode 2: "In The Clouds" by Be Still The Earth (Artlist) -14:32Episode 3: "The River Brethren" by Doug Kaufman (Artlist) - 18:29Episode 4: "Songbird" by Doug Kaufman (Artlist) -22:52Episode 5: "Close" by Eleven Tales (Artlist) - 25:26Episode 6: "Valhalla" by Searching for Light (Artlist) - 30:49Episode 7: "Perception" by Borrtex (Artlist) - 32:25Episode 8a: "Those Who Wait" by We Dream of Eden (Artlist) - 37:54Episode 8b: "Sit Down Servant, Sit Down" performed by Larry Earl Jr., Christina Lane and Willie Wright (MVLA) - 40:36 All music, except for "Sit Down Servant, Sit Down," was sourced from Artlist.io. "Sit Down Servant, Sit Down" is a production of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.  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.
Episode 8: Legacies
Dec 20 2021
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.
Episode 6: Leaving
Dec 13 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 VernonMary V. Thompson, Research Historian, Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George WashingtonDr. Cassandra Good, Assistant Professor of History, Marymount UniversityDr. Bruce Ragsdale, former Director of the Federal Judicial History OfficeDr. Lynn Price Robbins, historian of George and Martha Washington and Early AmericaJudge Rohulamin Quander, President and Founder, Quander Historical and Educational SocietyWilliam Norwood Holland, Jr., J.D., retired, National Labor Relations BoardAnn Louise Chinn, Founder, The Middle Passages Ceremonies and Port Markers ProjectStephen Hammond, Syphax Family Historian and Scientist Emeritus, The United States Geological SurveyDr. Scott Casper, President, The American Antiquarian Society Full transcripts, show notes, and bibliographies available at www.georgewashingtonpodcast.com.