Ona Judge’s enslaver was Martha Washington (wife of George Washington, the first President of the United States). The Washingtons had moved from Mount Vernon, Virginia to Philadelphia as it was temporarily the capital city of the United States. In 1796, eleven years after the American Revolution that George Washington had led as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army, Ona Judge ran away from her life of enslavement in Philadelphia and lived a life of freedom in New Hampshire. She was never caught.
Read this primary source, make notes as you do so (Ten Dollars Reward.
ABSCONDED from the household of the President of the United States, on Saturday afternoon, ONEY JUDGE, a light Mulatto girl, much freckled, with very black eyes, and bushy black hair – She is of middle stature, but slender and delicately made, about 20 years of age. She has many changes of very good clothes of all sorts, but they are not sufficiently recollected to describe.
As there was no suspicion of her going off, and it happened without the least provocation, it is not easy to conjecture whither [where] she is gone – or fully what her design is; but as she may attempt to escape by water, all matters of vessels and others are cautioned against receiving her on board, although she may, and probably will endeavour to pass for a free woman, and it is said has, wherewithal to pay for her passage.
Ten dollars will be paid to any person (white or black) who will bring her home, if taken in the city, or on board any vessel in the harbour; and a further reasonable sum if apprehended and brought home, from a greater distance, and in proportion to the distance. FRED. KITT, Steward.
A newspaper advertisement from American Daily Advertiser, May 26, 1796. The advert offers a reward for the return of Ona Judge, an enslaved woman belonging to Martha Washington who ran away from the president’s house in Philadelphia.)
Why is it important historians retell the story of Ona Judge?
You’re asked to write a 2 paragraph response specifically for an audience aged between 10 and 12
years old. Use the Primary Source to structure your response.
-Who is the subject of this newspaper advertisement?
-Where and when did the subject of this newspaper advertisement run away?
-Why has someone put this advertisement in a newspaper? Or, what is the purpose of this
-Why might the subject of this primary source have found this newspaper advertisement
offensive? Quote from the primary source to support your answer, you should not use long
quotes e.g. more than 2-3 lines of text.
-Why is it important historians retell the story of Ona Judge?
Note: While your opinion is important, this exercise is asking you to use the primary source first and foremost. You should not use Google or other websites at all, as you’re being graded on your primary source analysis.
-What is my Grade based on?
● Ability to write for the audience specified in the assignment instructions
● Ability to analyze the primary source as evidence rather than copying large lines without
● Ability to summarize succinctly and clearly
● Ability to write clearly without spelling mistakes and use of correct grammar
● Use of specific places, and the ability to write about specific people without making gross