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Fredericksburg to unveil highway marker honoring former slave

Overlooking Fredericksburg, the Chatham Bridge, and the Rappahannock River.

Fredericksburg City Government: “An Unveiling Event is being planned for the new historical highway marker commemorating the “Great Exodus from Bondage” and honoring John Washington.”

“Please join us on Wednesday, June 21 at 2:00pm. The public is invited to the ceremony which will be held at the Fredericksburg Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall, 810 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg. An unveiling of the new marker on Princess Anne Street will follow the ceremony.”

Encyclopedia Virginia: “John M. Washington was a slave in Fredericksburg who escaped to freedom during the American Civil War (1861–1865) and later wrote a narrative of his life entitled ‘Memories of the Past.”

“Born in Fredericksburg, Washington spent his earliest years on an Orange County plantation where his mother had been hired out as a field laborer. Upon their return to Fredericksburg, Washington served as his owner’s personal slave, remaining in that role even when his mother was hired out to a school principal in Staunton. In 1860, Washington labored in a Fredericksburg tobacco factory and then spent the next year as a waiter in Richmond.”

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