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She also secured work as a domestic servant. Betty, Ona Judge’s mother, came to Mt. Ona Judge was a slave of the Washington’s who escaped to freedom while George was President of the United States. Ona also accompanied Martha on her social visits and attended to the first lady’s needs at home. Video courtesy of Making History Productions. A judge has just recommended that Erika Jayne‘s estranged husband Thomas Girardi face criminal investigation over embezzlement claims as his assets, as well as the assets of his law firm, Girardi Keese, were also frozen. Ona was often called Oney by the Washingtons, but later in life introduced herself as Ona, so we have followed her preference. Ona Judge Staines lived with her husband and their three children until Jack’s death in 1803. It would have made her a fugitive in the eyes of the law and she likely would never be able to see her family again. So Ona Judge passed the disease of slavery through her lineage to her children, making Ona and her children the property of Martha Washington. To evade a gradual abolition law that took effect in Pennsylvania in 1780, the Washingtons made sure to transport their enslaved workers in and out of the state every six months to avoid them establishing legal residency. What are some interesting facts about presidents and first ladies? She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and sons. Washington’s term ended on March 4, and he returned to Mount Vernon without her. Given Ona’s enslaved status, any white man could sexually assault her without punishment and she may have feared for her safety in a new household with a disreputable owner.9. Instead, “Card-playing and wine-drinking were the business at his parties; and he had more of such company Sundays than on any other day.”31 The newspapers included these arguments to criticize the institution of slavery and its many cruelties. 1 Ona’s father was Andrew Judge, a white indentured servant who was employed on the estate. (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1977), pp. Instead, she … Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge. by the Rev. Ona’s father was an English indentured servant who had worked at Mount Vernon. George Washington to Joseph Whipple, 28 November 1796. In 1845, Ona Judge was interviewed by an abolitionist newspaper. The shoe purchases are especially telling. Learn more about Ona Judge’s path to freedom. He would acquire many more in the years to come, whether through the death of other family members or by purchasing them directly. Taking the surrounding historical events and known details concerning the Washington's life, this book paints the picture of how Ona Judge's life might have been while growing up to the time of her escape and beyond. In April 1774, one of Martha Washington’s enslaved housemaids, Betty, gave birth at Mount Vernon to a daughter named Ona Judge.1 Ona’s father was Andrew Judge, a white indentured servant who was employed on the estate. Ona probably attended this church to hear Reverend Samuel Haven's sermons. Explore the Timeline. October 21, 2019, Next It was common practice for slave owners to give their enslaved workers nicknames that ended in”y” to subtly infantilize adult men and women. Later, Ona Judge claimed that after Washington’s death, the family never bothered her again. Washington had given him “orders to take her by force, and carry her back” if necessary and he shared these plans with Langdon.24 Langdon’s family had a long history of slave ownership, so Bassett assumed the senator would support his mission. Another, more insidious possibility also exists. Work was scarce, and Ona’s son, William, is believed to have left home in the 1820s to become a sailor, like his father. Ona died on February 25, 1848, in Greenland, New Hampshire as a free woman.32. Joseph Whipple to Oliver Wolcott, Jr., 4 October 1796, Dunbar. Ona’s status as Martha’s preferred lady’s maid meant that she received a fancier wardrobe than most enslaved people because she visited homes and buildings normally off-limits to enslaved people. Oney had three children with Staines, all of whom predeceased her, as did her husband. On October 4, 1796, Whipple wrote to Wolcott that he had failed to secure Ona. She found lodging within the free black community, which was accustomed to aiding fugitive slaves, and supported herself doing domestic work, one of the few opportunities available for women of color. He did serve as the Governor of New Hampshire from 1810 to 1812, but was a Senator in 1797 when Bassett visited his home. Betty was lucky to be able to keep her son Austin with her with the move to Mt. When George Washington was elected president, he reluctantly left behind his beloved Mount Vernon to serve in Philadelphia, the temporary seat of the nation’s capital, after a brief stay in New York. Judge Esther Salas said her husband, Mark Anderl, would likely need additional surgery after having already undergone 13 surgeries since the attack in July. Ona Judge Staines lived with her husband and their three children until Jack’s death in 1803. Upon her death, they were to be divided among the Custis heirs. Over a month after the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member filed for divorce from the famed attorney, a […] Thousands of Images covering the History of the White House, Official White House Ornaments, Books & More, https://www.mountvernon.org/george-washington/slavery/slavery-database/, https://founders.archives.gov/?q=Correspondent%3A%22Washington%2C%20George%22%20Correspondent%3A%22Whipple%2C%20Joseph%22&s=1111311111&r=2. The New Years’ Day reception became a White House tradition with President John Adams in 1801 and ended with President Herbert Ho... Congress passed the Compensated Emancipation Act to end slavery in the District of Columbia and President Abraham Lincoln signed the... Women are often overlooked in history for their role in the institution of slavery. In April 1774, one of Martha Washington’s enslaved housemaids, Betty, gave birth at Mount Vernon to a daughter named Ona Judge. Beginning in 1789, she worked as a personal servant to First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households in New York City and Philadelphia. This book puts a face and a story to that of early enslaved people and makes it clear that enslaved people always desired the ability to make choices for themselves. Either way, she quickly discovered his purpose for traveling to Portsmouth. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Judge was secretly placed aboard the Nancy, a ship piloted by Captain John Bowles and bound for Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Oney "Ona" Judge (c.1773—February 25, 1848) – known as Oney Judge Staines after marriage, was an enslaved African-American servant on George Washington's plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. Six years after Ona was born, Betty gave birth to another daughter, Delphy.3. South Church, Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1903. In 1789, the new federal government was located in New York City. Benjamin Chase. She is also the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. "Interview with A Slave of George Washington." Judge, who … But Ona certainly met her father and likely had some relationship with him given his extended stay, which was not always the case for enslaved children. Tobias Lear Account Books, Philadelphia Household Accounts, 1789-1797. Ona Judge, a young enslaved woman in her 20s, has recently received some terrifying news. 1846 interview with Ona Judge Staines. The gunman arrived at the home of Judge Esther Salas in North Brunswick, New Jersey, around 5 p.m., NBC New York reported. The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Published in The Liberator in 1846. Ona Judge became Ona Staines and understood that her husband’s long absences at sea meant that she would have to defend herself if slave catchers … Vernon as a slave, when Martha accepted the hand of George Washington to marry him as her second husband in 1759. Betsy Langdon recognized Oney, having encountered her before when calling on Martha Washington, a family friend, or her granddaughter Nelly Custis. Ona’s father was an English indentured servant who had worked at Mount Vernon. NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite facing criminal charges she helped procure girls for the late financier Jeffrey Epstein to sexually abuse, on Monday forcefully proclaimed her innocence and proposed a $28.5 million bail package in a renewed effort to be freed from a New York jail this year. Few enslaved workers left written records, let alone participated in interviews with reporters. In January 1797, she married Jack Staines, a free black sailor. Burwell Bassett. Ona Judge was born as a slave into George and Martha Washington's household. Ona Judge Staines died in Greenland, New Hampshire on February 25, 1848. In the afternoon of Saturday, May 21, 1796, Ona slipped out of the house while the Washingtons enjoyed their dinner. When Washington headed to New York City in 1789 for his inauguration as president, Oney was one of only a handful of enslaved people the couple took with them. She is also the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. During the summer after she escaped, Judge was walking in Portsmouth when she saw Elizabeth Langdon, the daughter of New Hampshire Senator John Langdon. When Bassett dined with Langdon and told him of his intention, the senator quickly got word to Ona through one of his servants. Accordingly, Tobias Lear, Washington’s household manager, documented regular purchases of textiles for dresses, bonnets, stockings, and shoes for Ona. With an active and growing free black community of some 6,000 people, Philadelphia had become the nation’s leading hotbed of abolitionism. Ona Judge was afforded more comforts than most slaves, however, she risked it all to escape the nation’s capital and reach freedom. The exhibition will furthermore profile 18 other former slaves. Though the gesture was far from meaningless, it didn’t go far enough. Ona likely made her way out of Philadelphia immediately to avoid being recognized by Washington’s contemporaries.14 In one of her later interviews, she revealed that she had escaped on a vessel commanded by Captain John Bowles, who left Philadelphia and eventually made his way to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She has written several books, including the award-winning middle grade novel Drizzle. Her husband died only seven years after their marriage and she could not afford to support her three children, two of whom pre-deceased her. A few years later, Ona gave birth to a second daughter, Nancy, and then a son. Late the following year, when the federal capital moved to Philadelphia, the presidential household moved with it. However, Landgon’s family had freed their slaves and rehired them as paid workers, even if they didn’t consider themselves abolitionists.25 Langdon “entertained Bassett very handsomely, and in the meantime sent word to Mrs. [Ona] Staines to leave town before twelve o’clock at night.”26 Upon receiving the message, Ona hired a horse and carriage to take her to Greenland, New Hampshire, where she hid in safety at “Mr. But because her mother was enslaved, Judge, by law, became a slave, too. It must have been incredibly scary for sixteen-year-old Ona to travel to New York City, a place she had never visited before. Despite all the hardships, Ona enjoyed the benefits of a life of freedom: She taught herself to read and write, embraced Christianity and worshiped regularly at a church of her choice. Oney Judge, a light mulatto girl, much freckled, with very black eyes and bushy black hair, she is of middle stature, slender, and delicately, about 20 years of age. Many decades later, when all of her family members had died, Ona gave two interviews about her life and escape to freedom. In August 1799, Washington made one more attempt to find and recapture Ona Judge. Ona Judge, a young enslaved woman in her 20s, has recently received some terrifying news. The judge ordered the registration of a case against Syed Ali Azhar, Arzoo's purported husband, as well as against cleric Qazi Abdul Rasool Naqshbandi, the justice of … When George Washington was sworn in as America’s first president in 1789, his wife Martha did not accompany him to the nation’s capital in Manhattan. She revealed, “I never told his name till after he died, a few years since, les they should punish him for bringing me away.”15, Once she arrived in Portsmouth, Ona found lodging with a free African-American family. Finally, Ona may have worried about Law’s questionable reputation. Martha also left one enslaved man, Elish (or Elijah), whom she could have legally freed, to her grandson in an addendum to her will. In 1773, Ona Judge … © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Martha announced that she planned to give Ona to Eliza as a wedding present, separating Ona from her family and the life she knew in Philadelphia and at Mount Vernon. When he was just 11 years old, George Washington inherited 10 slaves from his father’s estate. Kathleen Van Cleve teaches creative writing and film at the University of Pennsylvania. The couple went on to have three children: Eliza, Will, and Nancy. Yet, he remained in the area until at least 1784, when Washington loaned him £12. So, when the opportunity presented itself, Judge left everything she knew to escape to New England. Additionally, if women’s shoes wore out more quickly than men’s shoes, Ona may have needed more pairs than the enslaved coachmen or postilions. Like her mother, she became a talented and highly valued seamstress, and was later promoted to become Martha Washington’s personal maid. But Washington did not give up. Letter to the editor, The Liberator, January 1, 1847..As quoted in Slave Testimony, Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies, John W. Blassingame, ed. Ona, more commonly known as Oney, moved into the mansion house when she was just 9 years old. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. There are no records of Andrew Judge’s departure from Mount Vernon, or whether his relationship with Betty was consensual. Technically, Ona was owned by Martha Washington’s first husband so she would not have been qualified to receive liberation in George’s will, meaning her only hope was to take the risky running into her own hands. Moll, the enslaved nanny for Martha’s grandchildren, did not usually join them out of the house, so she likely needed fewer pairs of new shoes. TOPICS: George Washington, Martha Washington, Mount Vernon, Slavery, Washington or Custis Family by Kathryn Gehred, Research Editor July 6, 2018. Her mother, Betty, was recognized as the finest seamstress on the plantation and was a “dower slave,” technically still owned by the estate of Martha Washington’s first husband, Daniel Peake Custis. After his election, John Adams resided in the same house in Philadelphia, before moving into the White House in Washington, D.C. on November 1, 1800. Ona took the opportunity to share her thoughts on the institution of slavery, proclaiming, “that she never received the least mental or moral instruction, of any kind, while she remained in Washington’s family.”30 She also criticized the Washingtons’ piety, saying she never saw or heard any indication of “piety and prayers” while she was enslaved. By the 1780s, Washington’s feelings about slavery had changed, and he expressed his uneasiness with the institution to close friends, including his Revolutionary War comrade the Marquis de Lafayette. Tobias Lear Account Books, June 6, 1792; April 1, 1793; June 24, 1793. There are no records to indicate why Ona received new shoes several times a year, but she likely received them because she was in New York and Philadelphia with the Washingtons.7, Ona may have been tempted to pursue her freedom during the early years of Washington’s presidency, but there were severe consequences for such an act. Oney Judge was born into slavery several years before the American Revolution. A family member was perfect for this unsavory task that Washington wished to keep under the radar. So said former slave Ona Judge during an interview in 1845, long after she had obtained her freedom, and long after her owners, George and Martha Washington, had tried to get her back. Many slave mothers were less fortunate as the birth of their children added value property for their owners who could sell the child or the mother separately. In September 1798, he sent his nephew, Burwell Bassett, to bring Ona Judge Staines back. There are seven enslaved people that go, only two women, and Ona’s one of them. Paul Jennings. Staines was a sailor and although the pay was decent, it was sporadic and seasonal. This article was originally published First Lady Julia Dent Grant, wife... Born to an affluent family in 1790, John Tyler spent most of his life in Charles City County, Virginia. All Rights Reserved. Ona Maria Judge was born around 1774 at Mount Vernon. This article would not be possible without her scholarship. Though Ona Judge lived a life of relative comfort, the few pleasantries she was afforded were nothing compared to freedom, a glimpse of which she encountered first-hand in Philadelphia. Vernon as a slave, when Martha accepted the hand of George Washington to marry him as her second husband in 1759. She has written several books, including the award-winning middle grade novel Drizzle. Ona Maria Judge was born around 1774 at Mount Vernon. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and sons. Safe for the time being, she started building a life in Portsmouth, and married Jack Staines, a free black sailor, in early 1797. Vernon. Ona Judge was owned by the first In the 1700s and 1800s, many white people, including George Washington, believed that enslaved people were better off in slavery than free. With antislavery sentiment growing in New Hampshire, and Washington’s influence waning as his term ended, Whipple did little more to pursue Judge on his behalf. N ever Caught is a nonfiction book about the life of Ona Judge, a woman who was enslaved by George and Martha Washington and escaped.. Washington knew of Judge's whereabouts by September 1, when he wrote to Oliver Wolcott Jr., the Secretary of the Treasury, about having her captured and return… “Runaway Advertisement,” Frederick Kitt, Philadelphia, 24 May 1796. When a reporter from the Granite Freeman asked her if she regretted leaving the relative luxury of the Washingtons’ household, as she had worked so much harder after her escape, Ona Judge Staines memorably replied “No, I am free, and have, I trust been made a child of God by the means.”. 248-50.. Jack Staines was at sea at the time, but Ona managed to escape to the neighboring town of Greenland, where she and her infant daughter hid with a free black family, the Jacks, until Bassett left Portsmouth, empty-handed. Thank you to Dr. Erica Armstrong Dunbar for her work on Ona Judge. MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has announced her separation from husband Joe Jones, after almost four years of marriage. In August 1799, Washington asked his nephew, Burwell Bassett Jr., to try and seize Judge and any children she may have had on his upcoming business trip to New Hampshire. A depiction of George Washington during a harvest. Whipple owed his position to the Washington administration, so he reluctantly agreed to help send Ona back to Mount Vernon. He complained that they were unreliable and lazy, yet George seemed to like and trust Andrew. … She revealed that her life in Portsmouth had been difficult. ONA, WV (WOWK) – If we’ve learned anything so far this holiday season, it is that the spirit of “community” runs deep in the tri-state. When he married the wealthy widow Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759, she brought more than 80 enslaved workers along with her, bringing the total number of enslaved men, women and children at Mount Vernon to more than 150 by the time the Revolutionary War began. When Whipple tracked Judge down (by falsely advertising that he was seeking a female domestic for his home), he asked her about her reasons for fleeing bondage, and offered to negotiate on her behalf. How many weddings have been held at the White House? Betty, Ona Judge’s mother, came to Mt. And Ona really becomes, and had already really become, Martha Washington’s top … Kathleen Van Cleve teaches creative writing and film at the University of Pennsylvania. But when Whipple arrived at the docks to ensure Ona boarded the ship at the agreed upon time, she never arrived.18. Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by Erica Armstrong Dunbar is a very informative and interesting read. As Dunbar writes, “Martha Washington’s decision to turn Judge over to Eliza was a reminder to Judge and everyone enslaved at the Executive Mansion that they had absolutely no control over their lives, no matter how loyally they served.”. Her mother, Betty Davis, served a seamstress for the Washingtons at their Mount Vernon plantation. Judge had been among a group of slaves held by the estate of Martha Washington's first husband, Daniel Parke Custis. At age 10, she began serving as a personal maid to Martha Washington at the Virginia mansio… Paul Jennings was born in 1799 at Montpelier, the Virginia estate of James and Dolley Madison. Her mother, Betty, was recognized as the finest seamstress on the plantation and was a “dower slave,” technically still owned by the estate of Martha Washington’s first husband, Daniel Peake Custis. Which administration holds the record for the number of Christmas trees displayed at the White House? The person shot Salas’ 20-year-old son, Daniel Anderl, when he answered the door and then shot her husband multiple times before fleeing. One of the latest examples of this happened at St. Stephen’s Catholic Church in Ona, West Virginia. Four months later, George Washington died, freeing all of his enslaved workers according to his will. She was never caught and would spend the remainder of her life in New Hampshire Betty was lucky to be able to keep her son Austin with her with the move to Mt. Describe Ona Judge's life as a slave in Never Caught.How did her experience differ in Virginia, New York, and Philadelphia? After Judge passed by without acknowledging her, Betsy likely told her father of the sighting, and her father felt obligated to notify Washington of his fugitive slave’s whereabouts. Product details. Though marriage gave her some additional legal protection, Ona remained vigilant–with good reason. Sharing the news with her Instagram followers on … But as his reaction to Judge’s escape made clear, Washington was not ready to give up on the bound labor on which his Virginia plantation—and his life—was built. Because of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 which Washington signed into law in Philadelphia (probably in his private office barely a dozen feet from where Oney slept), she lived the rest of her life as a fugitive. (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1977), pp. Ona Judge Plots Her Escape. Several years before her death in 1848, she granted two interviews to abolitionist newspapers recounting her journey from bondage. Ona’s calculations changed after March 21, 1796, when Eliza Custis, Martha’s granddaughter, married Thomas Law. He was one of George Washington’s preferred tailors, eventually creating the blue uniform George wore when he was named commander in chief of the American forces in 1775. Upon arriving in Portsmouth, Bassett made himself comfortable at Senator John Langdon’s home.21 Bassett then went to the Staines’s house and knocked on the door. It tells about a very determined Ona Judge and very sneaky Washingtons. Philadelphia's father is unknown, but in 1807 she was freed from slavery and married William Costin, an abolitionist and free man, who was the son of an enslaved woman, Ann Dandridge, and whose father was possibly John Parke Custis, Martha Washington's son. Much like George’s enslaved manservant, coachmen, and postilions, these individuals wore fancy livery because their uniforms needed to reflect the president’s wealth and status; Ona’s clothing was an extension of Martha’s status. She probably did the laundry, cooked meals, scrubbed floors, and cleaned the home—all physically demanding labor.16 In January 1797, she married a free man named Jack Staines and they moved into their own home. She continued in this role until 1789, when she traveled with Martha to the President’s House in New York City. So said former slave Ona Judge during an interview in 1845, long after she had obtained her freedom, and long after her owners, George and Martha Washington, had tried to get her back. After fulfilling his four-year work contract at Mount Vernon, Andrew Judge moved off the plantation to start his own farm. At some point during the spring of 1796, Ona made contact with members of the free black community that would facilitate her escape. In 1796, a 22-year-old enslaved woman named Ona Judge fled President George Washington’s household for a life of freedom in New Hampshire. Frustrated, Washington wrote directly to Whipple asking him to return Ona by force.19 A quiet abolitionist, Whipple was deeply uncomfortable with this sort of violence. He recommended that Washington secure a lawyer’s services and direct future letters to “the Attorney of the United States in New Hampshire.”20, With Whipple unwilling to assist further, Washington turned to Burwell Bassett Jr., Martha Washington’s nephew. After briefly holding a live-in position with the Bartlett family in Portsmouth, Ona left and moved with her children into the home of the Jacks family, where they remained. The 38-year old shared … Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge - Ebook written by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Vernon. But New York City, and then Philadelphia, offered new opportunities.4 Ona encountered a sizable free African-American community for the first time, saw interesting sights, tasted different foods, and met new people. She revealed that her life in Portsmouth had been difficult. Washington, his family, and his enslaved workers lived in two different homes in New York City until the summer of 1790. PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) — Stepping off a boat in a New Hampshire port in 1796, 22-year-old Ona Judge was on the run from the family of President George Washington. Over more than five years in Philadelphia—traveling in and out every six months—she met and became acquainted with members of the city’s free black community and former enslaved workers who had gained their freedom under the gradual abolition law. Just eight months after her escape from the President’s House, Ona Judge married Jack Staines here, a free black seaman, with whom she would have three children. Jack’s.”27 This attempt was the last time Ona heard from her former owners, as Washington died shortly thereafter and “they never troubled me any more after he was gone.”28. So, Ona Judge and six other enslaved people are taken to New York, where the nation’s first capital is. When Law arrived in Philadelphia, he brought his two illegitimate children that he had fathered while in India and he was plagued by rumors about his character. Ona Judge was the daughter of Andrew Judge who was from England. In November 1790, they moved into a new house in Philadelphia when the government relocated. There are no records of how she was introduced to this community or who helped her, and Ona kept this information secret to protect everyone’s safety. In 1803, Jack Staines died and Ona moved in with the Jack family to share household expenses. Reuters. After a five-day journey, Judge disembarked in that coastal city, where she would begin her new life. After she fell into a fearful silence, Whipple confessed that he had received instructions from President Washington, but that he was eager to help her and would try and negotiate her eventual manumission. With a free black population of some 360 citizens and virtually no enslaved workers, Portsmouth was different from any place Judge had ever known. That encounter with Oney (who also went by Ona) was more than 20 years ago. For example, Christopher Sheels, Washington’s enslaved manservant received shoes once per year. “Improving upon this direction of her husband, Mrs. Washington, ... Martha actively tried to recapture her enslaved maid Ona Judge after Judge ran away in Philadelphia. The Massive, Overlooked Role of Female Slave Owners. Her mother, Betty, was an enslaved seamstress; her father, Andrew Judge, was an English tailor working as an indentured servant at Mount Vernon. Her friends in the free black community had already carried her belongings to the port and they were waiting for her when she arrived at the docks.10 Two days later, Frederick Kitt, Washington’s steward, placed an advertisement in the Philadelphia Gazette chronicling the details of Ona’s escape: Absconded from the household of the President of the United States. Ona Judge was born around 1773. ED: [00:21:26] She opens the door and she sees a face that probably drained the blood from hers. So, as the household prepared for the Washingtons’ return to Mount Vernon for the summer, Judge made plans for her escape. There are seven enslaved people that go, only two women, and Ona’s one of them. Taking the surrounding historical events and known details concerning the Washington's life, this book paints the picture of how Ona Judge's life might have been while growing up to the time of her escape and beyond. She worked exclusively for Martha Washington in every capacity of a personal maid and was shocked and horrified that Martha would callously give her away to her incredibly selfish and nasty-tempered granddaughter as a wedding present! The baby Eliza grows into a toddler and one day when Ona's husband Jack is out at sea there's a knock at the door. And Ona really becomes, and had already really become, Martha Washington’s top slave, for the lack of a better term or phrase. Eventually, Judge’s husband, a sailor, passed away. Usually George Washington did not prefer white indentured servants. Ona Maria Judge Staines is the protagonist of Erica Armstrong Dunbar ’s Never Caught.Born into slavery at George and Martha Washington ’s Mount Vernon estate in 1773, Ona was, as a teenager, assigned to a position in the Washingtons’ home, where she worked as Martha’s seamstress and personal “go-to girl.” When George Washington ascended to the presidency, bringing Martha along … This book is the story of her to run . In fact, as Erica Armstrong Dunbar writes in her book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, Oney would have been in the minority as a enslaved woman in Philadelphia; fewer than 100 slaves lived within city limits in 1796. Ona Judge was the daughter of Andrew Judge who was from England. Ona worked as Martha’s enslaved housemaid for the next seven years before running away. by the Rev. (Credit: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images). When Martha brought Ona to the President’s House, Ona left her family for the first time. For example, in June 1792, she attended the theater; in April 1793, she saw “tumbling feats” (probably acrobats); and in June 1793 she went to the traveling circus.5 Click here to learn more about the enslaved households of President George Washington. Ona probably lived with Betty in a small cabin near the mansion house, completing simple chores, helping her mother with easy tasks in their cabin, or playing unsupervised with other enslaved children.2 When Ona was twelve, Martha brought her into the mansion house to begin her official training as a housemaid. When a reporter asked why she chose that moment to escape, Ona said “she was determined never to be her slave,” referring to Eliza Custis.8 Eliza had earned a reputation among the enslaved women for being highly volatile and erratic—dangerous qualities in a slave owner. And yet, she never … Dunbar writes in her book that Judge never intended to honor this agreement: “She told Whipple what he wanted to hear, agreed to return to her owners, and left his presence with no intention of ever keeping her word.” In any case, Washington bluntly refused Whipple’s proposal, writing that “To enter into such a compromise…is totally inadmissible.” Though he might be in favor of gradual abolition of slavery, the president continued, he didn’t want to reward Judge’s “unfaithfulness” and inspire other enslaved people to try and escape. First, while still in office, he sent a letter through Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott, Jr. to Joseph Whipple, Portsmouth’s collector of customs. In the end, Washington and his fellow founders would push the hard decisions about slavery off onto future generations of Americans–with explosive consequences. Letter to the editor, The Liberator, January 1, 1847..As quoted in Slave Testimony, Two Centuries of Letters, Speeches, Interviews, and Autobiographies, John W. Blassingame, ed. Dunbar, of Wyncote, a professor of black studies and history at the University of Delaware, has spent nearly eight years coaxing Judge out of the shadows. Bassett insisted Ona return to Virginia and “used all the persuasion he could” but Ona “utterly refused to go with him.”22 He even promised that the Washingtons would free her once she returned to Virginia, to which she replied “I am free now, and choose to remain so.”23, As an elite white southerner, Bassett was accustomed to African Americans obeying his every command. While Ona lived in Virginia, she was surrounded by several family members. Never Caught Summary. Ona Judge (c.1773—February 25, 1848), known as Ona Judge Staines after marriage, was a light-skinned, heavily freckled and slight of build slave on George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia.. Shortly after George Washington‘s death, the London newspaper Bell’s Weekly Messenger praised the first U.S. president’s decision to free his slaves in his will. In her interviews fifty years later, Ona referred to John Langdon as Governor. After she became too old for physical labor, Ona herself lived in poverty, relying on donations from the community. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Her mother, Betty, was a “dower slave,” part of the estate of Martha’s first husband; her father, Andrew Judge, was a white indentured servant who had recently arrived in America from Leeds, England. By then, Ona had an infant, and her husband [s2If !is_user_logged_in()] The History and Traditions of a Classic Dessert, Lindsay M. Chervinsky Salas was reportedly in the basement at the time of the shooting and was not injured. 248-50.. Watcher in the Woods is the next gripping installment of #1 bestselling Kelley Armstrong's riveting Casey Duncan series.. PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) - Stepping off a boat in a New Hampshire port in 1796, 22-year-old Ona Judge was on the run from the family of President George Washington.. Judge… Ona Judge was born as a slave into George and Martha Washington's household. Dunbar tells the story in a new book, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (Feb. 7, Atria, $26). White House Historian, This article is part of the Slavery in the President’s Neighborhood initiative. Benjamin Chase. Andrew Judge, Ona’s father, was also an expert at sewing. Husband … She walked out of the house and quickly rushed to safety. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. (Credit: Martin Falbisoner/Creative Commons). They believed they had treated her like a daughter and felt betrayed by her departure. Ona, on the other hand, said “she did not want to be a slave always, and she supposed if she went back to Virginia, she should never have a chance to escape.”13. Read this book using Google Play Books app on your PC, android, iOS devices. Stunned by Ona’s lack of cooperation, he returned to Langdon’s house to regroup. When Ona opened the door, perhaps with her one-year-old daughter, Eliza, in her arms, she may have recognized him from her time at Mount Vernon. While the records of her son’s life are inconclusive, it’s possible his name was William and he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a sailor. He told his friends that he was looking for a good maidservant to help his wife. Far from a passive bystander in the perpetuation of slavery, Washington at this point was actively engaged in returning Judge to his (or his wife’s) possession. Unlike Washington’s other enslaved servants in Philadelphia, Ona received new shoes several times per year while working in the President’s House.6 Perhaps Ona wore out her shoes while accompanying Martha on her visits. READ MORE: The Massive, Overlooked Role of Female Slave Owners, In the spring of 1796, when she was 22 years old, Judge learned that Martha Washington planned to give her away as a wedding gift to her famously temperamental granddaughter, Elizabeth Parke Custis. 1846 interview with Ona Judge Staines. Judge holds attorney husband of RHOBH star Erika Jayne and his law firm in contempt after he misappropriated $2M in funds meant for the families of victims of the 2018 Lion Air crash. Runaway advertisement requesting the return of Ona Judge. While she was likely grateful for the work, it was a change from the needlework and tending to Martha’s needs. Governor John Langdon’s Home in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Her husband died only seven years after their marriage and she could not afford to support her three children, two of whom pre-deceased her. The Washington slaves knew that the president had taken precautions to prevent them from taking advantage of this law. On May 21, 1796, she slipped out of the mansion while the president and first lady were eating their supper. Such interactions undoubtedly fueled her thinking about slavery, the changing laws regarding the institution and the possibilities of freedom. She quickly became suspicious, however, when Whipple began asking personal questions to verify her identity—the type of questions that would be unusual in a job interview. PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Stepping off a boat in New Hampshire port in 1796, 22-year-old Ona Judge was on the run from the family of President George Washington. When Betty came to Mount Vernon with Martha, she brought her infant son, Austin. Ona married John Staines, a seaman, on Jan. 14, 1797, and settled in Portsmouth. While the newspapers did not print the interviews verbatim, the quotes are rare examples of a formerly enslaved person describing their experiences in their own words. Erica Dunbar: [00:00:13] She found out that she was going to be given away as a wedding gift to her owner's granddaughter, that she would be returned to the South, a place that she had no interest in living. (Credit: Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images). As children born to enslaved women were considered property of the slaveholder, according to Virginia law, his daughter remained in bondage. ‘MasterChef Australia’ judge Melissa Leong has announced her separation from husband Joe Jones. As the first lady’s bodyservant, Judge helped dress her mistress for special events, traveled with her on social calls and ran errands for her. At sixteen, Ona may have been growing still and she may have outgrown her earlier shoes. While I was aware that the Washington's held slaves, the history surrounding Ona Judge was new to … She may have thought she had found safe haven, but that summer she was recognized on the streets of Portsmouth by Elizabeth Langdon, the teenage daughter of Senator John Langdon and a friend of Nelly Custis. So, Ona Judge and six other enslaved people are taken to New York, where the nation’s first capital is. Built c. 1824-1826. In 1845, Ona Judge was interviewed by an abolitionist newspaper. Ona also knew her siblings. Now, at the current Ona Judge exhibition, we’ll finally get to hear more of Judge’s side of the story, as it were. He subsequently wrote to Washington that she had agreed to return, on the condition that she be freed when Martha Washington died. To help make ends meet, Ona continued her domestic work and they took in a boarder in one of their extra rooms.17, Washington made two concerted attempts to re-enslave Ona. Philadelphia's father is unknown, but in 1807 she was freed from slavery and married William Costin, an abolitionist and free man, who was the son of an enslaved woman, Ann Dandridge, and whose father was possibly John Parke Custis, Martha Washington's son. Interviews about her life in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1903 so he reluctantly to! Betty gave birth to a second daughter, Delphy.3 for physical labor, Ona Judge Staines ;... Place ona judge husband had agreed to help his wife advantage of this happened at St. Stephen ’ s mother Betty... Referred to John Langdon as governor at some point during the spring 1796. To Philadelphia, the New federal government was located in New York City, where nation... Were to be able to keep her son Austin with her with the move to Mt and then son! A change from the community administration, so he reluctantly agreed to help send Ona to! Many ona judge husband have been growing still and she sees a face that drained. 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