Watch: Caroline Branham an enslaved housemaid at George Washington's Mount Vernon

Caroline Branham was an enslaved housemaid on George Washington’s plantation Mount Vernon. A few days ago, her life was honored during a Facebook Live event with a historical reenactment by historic interpreter Brenda Parker (she has been discussed here before).

During the live event Parker was asked questions by an audience. All the questions were responded to in character. These “in character” responses by historical interpreters make the event feel like an interactive one-person theater show. One of the shining aspects of this live event was Parker's honest portrayal of Caroline Branham. She told the good, the bad, and the personal. All while staying in character. She did not use modern expressions and truly felt like a living breathing person.  It is important to note that although the event focused on accuracy, it was just as entertaining and moving as a short film.  

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association has taken on the responsibility of accurately portraying slavery at Mount Vernon. They opened an exhibit on October 1, 2016 titled Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The exhibit explores the personal stories of the people enslaved at Mount Vernon. If this live event is any indication, the exhibit is a historically accurate way to show the lives of the enslaved community at Mount Vernon.

With events like this Mount Vernon is a living museum that is honoring their responsibility to history. I highly suggest this 30-minute historical reenactment as it is both entertaining and historically accurate.


  1. I feel absolutely humbled and honored to have received your notice. I tell "our" stories to thousands of people weekly at Mount Vernon. Sometimes I feel that my very presence here makes people uncomfortable. Guest may have a variety of reactions from snide remarks to absolute avoidance. The few that I do actually have conversations with I genuinely pray daily, to have made a difference somehow. I am so happy to know that you are somewhere out there on a similar mission. Giving voice to the voiceless. Giving a face to the faceless. Being heard by those who's ears have long since waxed over and been dulled.

    1. I truly am humbled to have received your notice. You are an amazing storyteller. You honor Caroline Branham and those like her when you give her voice.

      Thank you so much for what you do!

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