Slave Children of Mount Vernon
Children born to slaves would become property of their slave owners. Below are pie charts depicting the ages of the children who lived at Mount Vernon in 1786 and 1799. The ages of these children ranged from less than a year old to 18. Some of the children had deceased mothers, such as 9 year old Aggy (1786), 16 year old Isbel [sic] (1799), and the three children of Cornelia: 6 year old Davy, 4 year old Lewis, and 2 year old Alce[sic] (all from the 1799 inventory). Children stayed in the Female Slave House on a pallet such as this. Scroll down to see a visual of the age ranges.
In 1786 there were 42 girls inventoried by George Washington. The highest age range was between 4 and 8 years old, with 18 little girls. There were no unknown ages, and no 16 to 18 year olds (or else they were listed as adults).
In 1786 there were 48 boys inventoried by George Washington. The highest age range was between 0 and 8 years old-19 boys aged 0 to 3 and 19 boys aged 4 to 8. There were no unknown ages, and no 16 to 18 year olds (or else they were listed as adults).
In 1799, the number of female children owned by Washington almost doubled in the 13 years since the last inventory. There were 83 girls listed in 1799, with the highest age range again between 4 and 8 years old. The smallest two groups were the children with unknown ages and the 16 to 18 year old girls, each listed with 6 children.
In 1799, the number of male children owned by Washington increased by 20 in the 13 years since the last inventory. There were 68 boys listed in 1799, with the highest age range again between 0 and 3 years old. The smallest age range was between 16 and 18 years old with 2 boys, most likely because the other young men were already working as adults.
George Washington, “Diary Entry: 18 February 1786,” National Archives Founders Online, Accessed 29 April 2015, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/01-04-02-0003-0002-0018.
George Washington, “Washington’s Slave List, June 1799,” National Archives Founders Online, Accessed 30 April 2015, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Washington/06-04-02-0405.