Explore George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens to learn about The Father of our Country and his internal struggle with the institution of slavery. A daily 30-minute guided walking tour highlights the lives and contributions of the African-Americans who built and operated Washington’s plantation home. Videos and exhibits in the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center explain Washington’s personal views on slavery.
A few miles from Mount Vernon is Gum Springs, the historic African American community founded by Washington’s freed slave West Ford. The Gum Springs Historical Society highlights the history of this area where descendants of its founders still live today. Experience Laurel Grove School the restored prize possession of a striving people. The school shares the story of a community’s refusal to narrow its ambitions. This restoration project again opens the school’s doors to learning as a “living museum” and teaching center. The Alexandria Black History Museum, located nearby, serves as the perfect complement as a place to discover even more rich history of the African Americans that lived throughout the Capital Region.
Sully Historic Site is an oasis of the past that allows you a glimpse of slave life on a small plantation. Sully produced the award winning "Sully Slave Quarter: From the Ground Up", a video that complements this unique Fairfax County experience. Next, cross the Potomac River into Washington D.C. and you can connect with Cedar Hill, the home of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass. Nearby is the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum which honors the soldiers that fought for the cause Douglass so intensely believed in.
Day 1 - George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
Day 2 - Gum Springs, Laurel Grove School, Alexandria Black History Museum
Day 3 - Sully Historic Site, Frederick Douglass' Cedar Hill, African American Civil War Memorial and Museum