Slavery Episodes

March 18, 2021

197. Stumbling Upon the Journal of Johann Peter Oettinger with Craig …

Two weeks ago, we brought you the story of Johann Peter Oettinger, a seventeenth-century German-speaking barber-surgeon who in 16…

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March 4, 2021

196. Reconstructing the Life of a German Barber-Surgeon in the Atlant…

In 1693, the young German barber-surgeon Johann Peter Oettinger joined a slave trading venture for the second time. In the employ…

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Dec. 31, 2020

191. (Recast) The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret with Mary Thomps…

This is Part Two of Jim Ambuske's July 2019 chat with Washington Library Research Historian Mary V. Thompson. We’re recasting it …

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Dec. 31, 2020

190. (Recast) The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret with Mary Thomps…

Forty years ago, Mary V. Thompson began her career at Mount Vernon as a museum attendant and history interpreter. She was quickly…

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Nov. 19, 2020

185. Seeking a City of Refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp with Marcus P…

The Great Dismal Swamp is a remarkable feature of the southern coastal plain. Spanning from Norfolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, …

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Aug. 27, 2020

173. Tracing the History of the Syphax Family with Steve Hammond and …

The Syphax Family has deep historic ties to Mount Vernon and other sites of enslavement in Virginia. In 1821, Charles Syphax, an …

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Aug. 20, 2020

172. Exploring White Women as Slave Owners in the American South with…

It’s easy to think of slave holding as a male profession. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and countless other…

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June 18, 2020

163. Returning to Lives Bound Together on Juneteenth with Jessie MacL…

This Friday marks the anniversary of Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the moment on June 19, 1865 when enslaved people i…

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June 4, 2020

161. (Repeat) Finding Ona Judge's Voice with Sheila Arnold

Note: This episode originally aired on January 30, 2020. In May 1796, Ona Judge , Martha Washington’s enslaved maidservant, freed…

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May 28, 2020

160. Recasting Tacky's Revolt as an Atlantic Slave War with Vincent B…

Virginia is a landscape shaped by slavery and the enslaved communities who labored in bondage on plantations like Mount Vernon, M…

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Jan. 30, 2020

143. Finding Ona Judge's Voice with Sheila Arnold

In May 1796, Ona Judge , Martha Washington’s enslaved maidservant, freed herself by walking out of the Washington’s Philadelphia …

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Jan. 16, 2020

141. Accounting for Women in the Business of Slavery with Alexi Garre…

When George Washington died in December 1799, it changed Martha Washington’s legal status. Just as she did when she was widowed f…

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Jan. 2, 2020

139. Harnessing the Power of Washington's Genealogy with Karin Wulf

Early Americans like George Washington obsessed over genealogy. Much was at stake. One's place on the family tree could mean the …

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Nov. 21, 2019

133. Facing the Wrath of Rachel Jackson's God with Melissa Gismondi

If you know anything about Rachel Jackson, chances are you know her best as Andrew Jackson’s wife. You might also know that Rache…

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May 30, 2019

109. Birthing a Nation

In this episode Associate Curator Jessie MacLeod sits down with Library research fellow Sara Collini to discuss her latest findin…

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