A meeting took place at 10 a.m. on March 17, 2000 at Mount Vernon, which provided the descendants of West Ford with a key opportunity to present a united front to those who now oversee the historic home of George Washington. Linda Allen Bryant and Dr. Judith Saunders Burton served as the spokespersons for the Ford family. Mrs. Allen Bryant began by reading a statement and presenting the panel with a document of compiled research about family patriarch West Ford.
The staff at Mount Vernon proved to be gracious hosts, hosting the meeting and a delicious luncheon, while maintaining their opposition to the idea that George Washington helped start the Ford family tree. The summit resulted in lively debate, provocative analysis, and yielded some breakthroughs for the case of West Ford. The event helped the family to discover:
The family also saw, for the first time, a sketch of patriarch West Ford which was drawn to commemorate his receiving his freedom. The sketch, which is preserved in an ornate, antique frame, was found in the Washingtons private papers. Mount Vernon's librarians brought out a number of items, including a famous letter written by West Ford, for us to see and we'd like to thank them for their work.
The Mount Vernon event was also a family reunion for two branches of the Ford family tree who came together in the 1990's as a result of their family's oral history. Come back to westfordlegacy.com to see pictures and read about their trip.
Soon to be available: