The Westside Gazette Newspaper is honored to feature these editorial contributions made by local students.
By Samara Rawls
This past week for my Spring Break, I traveled to Norfolk, Virginia to visit my family. While there we had a great time, and we also went to a city called Mount Vernon, which was three hours away from Norfolk. We woke up early on March 9 and left the house around 6 A.M. We had breakfast, and a few hours later we had made it to Mount Vernon. When we first got there, I was amazed at how large the land was, about 500 acres which is incredible! After we went through security, my family and I started walking around the museum. While there, I saw how they created a remake of George Washington, artifacts that he may have owned, and a video about the American Revolution. After the museum, we went on a tour of the enslaved people on George Washington’s land. We learned, that in total, there were 317 slaves on his land. Not all the slaves were his; some were his wife, Martha Washington, and some he rented from neighbors. Martha had been married previously, so when she left her husband, she took some slaves with her, that worked on Washington’s land. We visited where the slaves slept at night, and it was very cramped. Their houses were made of brick, so it was always stuffy, and there was only one small window. We also learned stories of individuals who ran away, like a man named Hercules who was a cook for the Washington household. He earned himself a high ranking place as a slave, but in 1797, He ran away while others were celebrating Washingtons sixty-fifth birthday, he was never caught and escaped to freedom. After we finished the slave tour, we went inside his mansion. In total there were 21 rooms in the house! Most of the room was guest rooms because the Washingtons always had people come and go to visit them. While at the mansion, I was able to see George Washington’s room which was pretty great. In conclusion, I feel like this trip to Mount Vernon was amazing, because I was able to learn more about George Washington and his lifestyle. If you ever in the area, I would highly suggest visiting there.