Buried Lives, The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Deeply moving, this book intended for older children and teens will be an education for adults as well. Carla Killough McClafferty presents the stories of William Lee, Christopher Sheels, Caroline (Branham), Peter Hardiman, Ona Marie Judge, and Hercules, six of the best known slaves owned by our first president. The author also presents detailed information about the archaeological dig uncovering the location of the graves in the previously forgotten slave cemetery at Mount Vernon. Documented in the book is the history of George Washington’s contradictory positions on slavery and how his awakening conscience affected his business.

Buried Lives fills in the picture of George Washington to include the people who unwillingly made his place in history possible. Hamilton fans will be glad to know that he and Lafayette and John Laurens had a strong effect on the first president — and, through him, on some of his slaves .

Good to read before a trip to Mount Vernon or before reading another study of George Washington that leaves out his slaves. Forward by a decedent of Caroline (Branham).

Sue Monk Kidd's latest chosen for Oprah's Book Club

December 10, 2013

wingsTwo strong women characters dominate the latest novel by Sue Monk Kidd, “The Invention of Wings.” Her “Secret Life of Bees” was a runaway bestseller in 2003. Kidd examined different theories of feminist theology in that book. This time she focuses on a young girl, Sarah Grimke, and the girl given to her as a slave, “Handful.” The novel follows the course of their lives over the next few decades and the struggles they face during the 1800’s in Charleston. Here’s the link to Oprah‘s website and discussion of this selection. This link will take you to the LA Times article on the Oprah book club process.

Shira S.

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