"If I Am Not For Myself, Who Will Be for Me?" George Washington's Runaway Slave
Oney Judge Staines, according to the Constitution, was only three-fifths of a person. To her masters, George and Martha Washington, she was merely "the girl." All she wanted was the freedom to control her own actions, but her account of escaping the Executive Mansion in Philadelphia, fleeing north and establishing a life in New Hampshire is not a typical runaway story. Portrayed by Gwendolyn Quezaire-Presutti, Oney's tale provides an alternative perspective on the new nation's social, political, and economic development, from one whose personal experience so contradicted the promise of the principles embodied in the nation's founding documents.