Wreath Laying for Enslaved

The Mount Vernon Estate, located in Alexandria, was the home of George Washington. It was also where hundreds of enslaved men, women, and children lived under Washington’s control. He depended on their labor to build and maintain his household and plantation.  Yet, despite their contributions, there was no mention of these people in the history of this storied estate.  Under the leadership of Shelia Coates, a group of women toiled for years, as Black Women United for Action, to gain the recognition these families deserved.  Several of these women were members of Heritage.  And Heritage has supported Black Women United for Action and this effort for many years. 

Forty years ago this year, they were successful in gaining this recognition.  Several grants later and there is a more complete record of the lives of the enslaved families which lived and operated Mount Vernon.  A memorial marker was placed at Mount Vernon honoring the lives and the contributions of the enslaved men, women and children.  Each year since, they partner with the Mount Vernon’s Ladies Association to commemorate the lives of these families with a wreath laying ceremony at this marker.

This year the event will be held on Saturday October 7, 2023, at 11.  It is free to attend, and many Heritage members will be part of the ceremony.