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Made at the Library: Bruce Ragsdale’s “Washington at the Plow”

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Landscape painting of Mount Vernon
The East Front of Mount Vernon by Edward Savage, c. 1787-1792

For Washington’s birthday, join us for a conversation between Kluge Staff Fellow and Manuscript Division historian Julie Miller and historian Bruce Ragsdale. Ragsdale’s recent book Washington at the Plow: The Founding Farmer and the Question of Slavery (Harvard University Press, 2021) explores the first president’s relationship with farming and slavery and draws on the George Washington Papers held by the Manuscript Division. Kerrie Cotten Williams, the Manuscript Division’s Head of Reference and Reader Services, will co-host the event.

George Washington’s passionate interest in farming was central to his identity, and his commitment to the “New Agriculture” of the eighteenth century shaped the lives of the hundreds of people held in bondage at Mount Vernon.

Event took place online only, on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, 12:00pm – 1:00pm EST. Watch the program here:

Request ADA accommodations five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

Made at the Library is an event series highlighting works inspired by and emerging from research at the Library of Congress. Featuring authors, artists and other creators in conversation with Library experts, this series takes a deep dive into the process of working with the Library’s collections.

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Comments (2)

  1. I listened to Bruce Ragsdale’s about Washington in the field – that he considered himself a farmer first & foremost

    One of my biggest pet peaves is how many times a person says “ and / um” during the course of their lecture.

    Mr Ragsdake said and um almost every other word
    That drives me NUTS

    He needs to go listen to himself speak.

  2. Agree with Cecil regarding “um”. For an apparently well educated man Ragsdale never learned how to not use verbal crutches. I had to turn off the video half-way through.

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