"I am an invisible man. No, I am not a spook like those who haunted Edgar Allan Poe; nor am I one of your Hollywood-movie ectoplasms. I am a man of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids--and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me."

 - Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"

Historical

Mount Vernon Plantation in ruin

Photo of the Mount Vernon Plantation when West Ford was a caretaker there. (Photo courtesy of MVLA). Pamela Cunningham founded the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union and wanted...

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Memorial Stone

This is a moument placed in the Mount Vernon Slave Cemetery titled "Life Unfinished". The slave cemetery is considered sacred ground for the slaves and freed blacks who worked at the...

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Slave Cemetery at Mount Vernon

Article on the dedication of the slave cemetery at the Mount Vernon Plantation.

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Slave Cemetery Burial Records, page 1

This page shows that  West Ford death, who he was, and the burial grounds of the servants. The Ford family's oral history was that he was placed in the old tomb of George Washington....

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Slave Cemetery Burial Records, page 2

This page of burial records comes from 1929 minutes p. 46 about the graveyard which was used by General Washington for his slaves at Mount Vernon. It delves into how the markers were worn and...

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Slave Cemetery Burial Records, page 3

Entry from Mount Vernon records on slave burials that George Ford visited the plantation in 1929 when two workers were placing the memorial tablet.  The workers stated that Ford told them...

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Slave Cemetery Burial Records, page 4

This is a continuing entry from page 3. It states that George Ford told the two workers at the slave cemetery where the tablet was laid that the burying ground used to have a rail fence around...

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Spinning Room Mount Vernon Plantation

Major George Ford was born in the room above the spinning room on the Mount Vernon Plantation.

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Plaque at Mount Vernon in honor of West Ford

This is a plaque that was placed at the entry of the Mount Vernon Slave cemtery for slave burial area.  It mentions West Ford: West Ford (1784-1863), a freed slave who was hird by the...

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List of Slaves owned by John Augustine, page 1

This is a two-page list of slaves owned by John Augustine, the master of Venus. The document is dated March 1783.  Venus was a housemaid on the Bushfield Plantation and her mother, Jenny,...

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Page 2 List of Slaves by J. A. Washington, 1783

Venus and her mother (Jenny) names appear below. MLV put in the writing next to the names. Data from the MVLA.

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West Ford's Property

West Ford was willed 160 acres of land adjoining Mount Vernon in 1829, making him the richest black man in Virgina at that time.  He later sold his land and purchased 214 acres adjacent to...

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The Pittsburgh Courier Sat Aug 19 1961

Article stating that West Ford was known as the Negro son of George Washington.

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The Pittsburgh Courier Sat May 20 1967
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Cover, Harper's Weekly

Cover drawing from Harper's Weekly, 1884

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Crisis Magazine Cover
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Article, Fairfax Chronicles

Newspaper article about West Ford from the Fairfax Chronicles, 1986, by Donald Sweig.

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Know Your History
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Wreath for West

A wreath dedicated to West Ford at the slave cemetery at Mount Vernon. From LABH collection.

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Meeting with George Ford

Meeting of the reading of Abraham Lincoln's will with Major George Ford.  Ford was the treasurer of the Lincoln Exposition in Chicago.

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