This is the next in a continuing series of photos from our week in Virginia this October past. If you want to ‘Like’ the series, please do so here at the first post.
Mt. Vernon, just outside of Washington, DC, was the plantation home of George Washington, leader of the Revolutionary forces and the first president of the United States of America. His home and estate has been preserved both accurately and lovingly as a testament to the honor in which he is held even to this day.
The curious thing about Mt. Vernon, however, is that I am certain that Mr. and Mrs. Washington would never have thought that their slaves would, in the year 2016, take an equal place with them in their story. And yet, today, that is the truth.
I am a Washington admirer. But even I fail to understand how men who were so wrapped up in the concept of freedom and honor could have kept slaves. I used to think that it was just a ‘thing of their times’ and it was not possible to judge men of one time by the morality of another. But sadly, as I dig deeper into the issue, the questioning of the morality of slavery was very much alive in their day.
And yes, at his death, Washington did free the slaves that he could. But even that does not wash clean: he freed them, it’s true, but only after he was done with them and when the act meant him no personal inconvenience.
But I wag on too long. In any case, the Mt. Vernon estate is fascinating, as was being close to the legacy of a great, if flawed, man without whom this country could not exist in the way that it does.
As always, special thanks to my dearest spouse Lyn, who does all the heavy lifting in selecting the photos. And thank you sincerely for dropping by the Book of Bokeh. I would also like to invite you to visit my Book of Pain poetry blog.
All photographs and comments ©John Etheridge with all rights reserved; not to be used without the expressed written permission of the copyright owner.