Young Washington, like so many back in his time, gave no thought owning slaves. It wasn’t until he led the American Colonies’ battle for independence, in the Revolutionary War, that his opinions on slavery gradually but drastically changed.
At sixty-seven Washington began drafting his will. In it he declared that all one hundred twenty-three slaves, were to be freed, this was a bold decision at the time.
Throughout 1780-1790 he made the personal decision that he was no longer going to be a slave owner at all. However, he didn’t always act on his antislavery fundamentals. He actually avoided this topic publicly, believing that it would lead to several unwanted debates, and eventually pull apart our delicate nation.
Washington made several small points on antislavery during his presidency, but it wasn’t until his death on December 14, 1799, that people became fully aware of his opinions through his will.