Christopher Sheels - Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon

Sheels was permanently returned to Mount Vernon by January 1792, where he worked as a waiter, serving the family meals. Washington returned to Virginia permanently in March 1797, following his second term as President.

In September 1799, Washington discovered a note at Mount Vernon outlining an escape plan for Sheels and his fiancee. (The note proves that Sheels could read.) Washington foiled the escape. Three months later, Sheels was at his bedside when Washington died on December 14, 1799.

As a "dower slave," Sheels was not included among the 124 slaves whom George Washington owned and freed under the terms of his will. Following Martha Washington's 1802 death, he was one of the 153 "dower" slaves inherited by her four grandchildren, but there is no documentation as to which slave went to which heir.

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