By 1794, as he contemplated retirement, Washington began organizing his affairs so that in his will he could free all the slaves whom he owned outright.
.... At the time of Washington's death in 1799, 317 slaves lived at Mount Vernon: 123 were owned by Washington himself, 154 were held by his wife as "dower slaves", and 40 others were rented from a neighbor. Washington's will provided for all of his slaves to be freed upon the death of his widow, but she chose to free them about 12 months after his death. The will also provided for the training of the younger former-slaves in useful skills and for the creation of an old-age pension fund for the older ones. - - George WashingtonPosted by gerardvanderleun at February 17, 2014 12:40 PM