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Muddy Hole at Mount Vernon, Fairfax County, Virginia

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Fairfax, Virginiamap
Surnames/tags: Washington Slavery
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Index of Plantations

Virginia Plantations

Mount Vernon Estate



Muddy Hole Farm was located in the northeast corner of the plantation, running alongside Little Hunting Creek. George Washington inherited the main chunk of the farm in December 1754 as part of the original Mount Vernon Tract. The remainder was purchased from Sampson Darrell in December 1757 and George Mason in October 1769.[1]According to George Washington’s diary, hemp was grown at Muddy Hole in 1765 as part of his attempt to exit the tobacco industry in pursuit of more profitable cash crops. According to the diary, more hemp was indeed sowed at Muddy Hole, the mill, and Dogue Run farms in March 1766. As Washington evolved as a farmer, Muddy Hole Farm became a part of the crop rotation implemented by him plantation-wide.

Slaves at Muddy Hole

Kate: She was married to Will, the overseer at Muddy Hole. She later became the “Granny,” or midwife, to the estate’s enslaved women. As George Washington’s property, Kate and her living children—Molly, Virgin, and Kate—became free in 1801 through the provision in his will. Because her husband, Will, belonged to the Custis estate, he remained enslaved. He was inherited by one of Martha Washington’s grandchildren.[2]

List of Negro Men, Women and Children at Muddy Hole Farm 1786


NamesDistinction Places of AbodeChildrenAges
WillOverseerMuddy Hole
WillLaboring menMuddy Hole
CharlesLaboring menMuddy Hole
GabrielLaboring menMuddy Hole
JupiterLaboring menMuddy Hole
KateLaboring womenMuddy HoleMolly14
NannyLaboring womenMuddy Hole
SarahLaboring womenMuddy HoleIsbel3
AliceLaboring womenMuddy HoleKate4
PegLaboring womenMuddy HoleLetty7
SackeyLaboring womenMuddy HoleUriah10
DarcusLaboring womenMuddy HoleMoses8
AmyLaboring womenMuddy Hole
NancyLaboring womenMuddy Hole

Slaves at Muddy Farm in 1799

In 1799, Washington took stock of all his enslaved laborers at Mount Vernon. According to the account, we know forty-one slaves in total lived and worked on Muddy Hole Farm at the time, thirty-six owned by Washington and five dower slaves belonging to the Custis family. Twenty-one of these slaves are listed as workers, while nineteen are listed as children and one as “does nothing.”



  1. ‘The Growth of Mount Vernon, 1754-86’ in The Diaries of George Washington. Vol. I. 1748-65. Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1976, p. 240-241.
  2. https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/kate/
  3. http://catalog.mountvernon.org/digital/collection/p16829coll11/id/316/rec/1

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Category created and added -Gina
posted by Gina (Pocock) Jarvi