Benjamin Chase. 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. Product details. “Runaway Advertisement,” Frederick Kitt, Philadelphia, 24 May 1796. 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. After she became too old for physical labor, Ona herself lived in poverty, relying on donations from the community. While I was aware that the Washington's held slaves, the history surrounding Ona Judge was new to … Ona Judge, a young enslaved woman in her 20s, has recently received some terrifying news. 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. Ona was often called Oney by the Washingtons, but later in life introduced herself as Ona, so we have followed her preference. Paul Jennings. He would acquire many more in the years to come, whether through the death of other family members or by purchasing them directly. Vernon as a slave, when Martha accepted the hand of George Washington to marry him as her second husband in 1759. 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. Safe for the time being, she started building a life in Portsmouth, and married Jack Staines, a free black sailor, in early 1797. How many weddings have been held at the White House? The advertisement was posted by Frederick Kitt in the Philadelphia Gazette on May 23, 1796. Betty was lucky to be able to keep her son Austin with her with the move to Mt. During the summer after she escaped, Judge was walking in Portsmouth when she saw Elizabeth Langdon, the daughter of New Hampshire Senator John Langdon. 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. She is also the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1977), pp. Her mother, Betty, was an enslaved seamstress; her father, Andrew Judge, was an English tailor working as an indentured servant at Mount Vernon. Video courtesy of Making History Productions. “A Slave of George Washington,” Benjamin Chase, Auburn, NH, December 1846. Several years before her death in 1848, she granted two interviews to abolitionist newspapers recounting her journey from bondage. 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. Betty, Ona Judge’s mother, came to Mt. Yet, he remained in the area until at least 1784, when Washington loaned him £12. 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 … She is also the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave Ona Judge. (Credit: Fine Art Images/Heritage Images/Getty Images). 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 … Ona Judge was a slave of the Washington’s who escaped to freedom while George was President of the United States. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. 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. The South Church is pictured, where Ona Judge was married in 1797 to Jack Staines. 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. 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. 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. 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. She was never caught and would spend the remainder of her life in New Hampshire (Credit: Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images). Tobias Lear Account Books, June 6, 1792; April 1, 1793; June 24, 1793. At age 10, she began serving as a personal maid to Martha Washington at the Virginia mansio… Like her mother, she became a talented and highly valued seamstress, and was later promoted to become Martha Washington’s personal maid. MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has announced her separation from husband Joe Jones, after almost four years of marriage. The shoe purchases are especially telling. FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. Judge Esther Salas said her husband, Mark Anderl, would likely need additional surgery after having already undergone 13 surgeries since the attack in July. Vernon as a slave, when Martha accepted the hand of George Washington to marry him as her second husband in 1759. The couple went on to have three children: Eliza, Will, and Nancy. Husband … (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1977), pp. 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. The Washington slaves knew that the president had taken precautions to prevent them from taking advantage of this law. Ona Judge Staines died in Greenland, New Hampshire on February 25, 1848. Which administration holds the record for the number of Christmas trees displayed at the White House? 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. Betty, Ona Judge’s mother, came to Mt. While she was likely grateful for the work, it was a change from the needlework and tending to Martha’s needs. There are seven enslaved people that go, only two women, and Ona’s one of them. 1846 interview with Ona Judge Staines. 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. Tobias Lear Account Books, Philadelphia Household Accounts, 1789-1797. 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. 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. Yet freedom would not come without its costs. 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. Late the following year, when the federal capital moved to Philadelphia, the presidential household moved with it. 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. 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