I visited Mount Vernon on July of 2015, and i can say it was a delight to visit the house where Gen. George Washington lived.
You can find tons of very well written and politically correct articles of Mount Vernon and George Washington on thousands of sites on the internet so i decided not to write more about the same so this is my impression of the visit, viewed from the perspective of a regular citizen of the USA.
The first impression was that the house is not as big as I imagined it would be, it is not small either, it has 3 floors and about 21 rooms, of which they only show you a few.I was ready with my Nikon to take all the photos of the interior, when one of the workers told me “No photos inside please” I immediately asked why, and he said “Copyright reasons” you have to pay to be able to take photos inside and you have to submit a request 4 weeks in advance.That was a surprise, here I am in a historic place that is supposed to be also a tourist attraction and it’s prohibited to take photos.
The outdoors is a very beautiful place, his backyard had the Potomac river as a view and he had a very large property.
Mr Washington lived a very comfortable life,you could say even by modern standards that he lived like a very wealthy man, with more than 300 slaves that took care of everything, including taking the poop and urine from the bedroom everyday, or probably several times a day.As we were taken from room to room i noticed that there was no bathroom or toilet room, so i dared to ask the guide, which was a lady and she immediately blushed and told me that those chairs in the bedroom had a cover that lifted exposing a toilet seat and underneath there was a bowl where the droppings dropped,then a slave would remove it and take it somewhere,there was another toilet room outside the house ,but it’s strange that nobody would ask about that so important part of life, i also was curious because i knew that there was no toilet paper, so what did they use, i didn’t ask because i didn’t want to put the lady in an embarrassing situation,.
Thru the guided tour they emphasized a lot the of the life and virtue of General Washington and his wife, but what i saw according to what they said and in my view it was the slaves that made that place possible, without the slaves mt Vernon would not exist, the slaves did everything, from the food to the shoes, they took care of the horses, there were slaves that were specialized in every aspect of the life of that house, I find very surprising that to this day the contribution of the slaves has not been recognized, even today they are not given the credit that they deserve.
Overall the visit was enormously interesting, because it gives you a chance to step into the world that does not exist anymore, and see how these people lived, from the General all the way to the seamstress slave, Owner and slave lived very different lives, but at the end they died the same way and their bodies decomposed the same with no distinction between them, at the end they were equal.
My main impression was about the slaves more than about General Washington, Mount Vernon talks more about the slaves than about General Washington, and that is because their presence was everywhere, their life energy was much larger than the people that lived in the house.
They say that Gen. Washington gave orders before he died that when he died the slaves were to remain in service of Washingtons Wife Martha, but he left in his will that as soon as Martha Died the slaves were to be freed.
From what I’ve read slavery is not something that happened many years ago in the past, it still exist, just not in the open and it exist here in the USA and many other countries, and slave owners are not only of one race, all the races on earth in one time used slaves, it’s something that humans have done of all races and still happens here in the USA, but it has a new name “Human Trafficking” you can read about it here