Bruce Ragsdale Profile Photo

Bruce Ragsdale

Author and Independent Scholar

Bruce Ragsdale is the author of Washington at the Plow: The Founding Farmer and the Question of Slavery (2021). He was a fellow at the Washington Library and the International Center for Jefferson Studies, and he was Mount Vernon’s inaugural fellow with the Georgian Papers Programme. Ragsdale formerly served as the director of the Federal Judicial History Office at the Federal Judicial Center. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Virginia.

Mount Vernon Slavery The Washingtons

218. Finding Washington at the Plow with Dr. Bruce Ragsdale

Jan. 20, 2022

In the 1760s, tobacco was one of Virginia’s chief exports. But George Washington turned away from the noxious plant and began dreaming of wheat and a more profitable future. Washington became enamored with new ideas powering…