Oct 06, 2018

George Washington's slaves

...dressed differently than you'd think. On p. 637 of my copy of Albion's Seed:

Gentlemen also had family colors, which were displayed with much ceremony. When they could afford to do so, they dressed their house slaves in livery. George Washington’s slaves were gorgeous in the family livery of white coats, scarlet facings, scarlet waistcoats and cheap trimmings called “livery lace” – the same colors as the Washington arms.

Also this, on p. 691:

Slavery came late to Virginia... when Sir William Berkeley first arrived [in 1641], there were fewer Africans in the Chesapeake than in New England or New Netherlands. Their legal status remained very unclear. The concept of chattel slavery was defined very gradually in a series of statutes through the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century.