Oney “Ona” Judge (c.1773 – February 25, 1848), known as Oney Judge Staines after marriage, was an enslaved woman owned by Martha Washington who worked on George Washington’s plantation, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. Beginning in 1789, she worked as a lady’s maid to First Lady Martha Washington in the presidential households in New York City and Philadelphia.
With the aid of Philadelphia’s free black community, Judge liberated herself in 1796 and lived as a fugitive slave in New Hampshire for the rest of her life.
More is known about her than any other enslaved person on the Mount Vernon plantation because she was twice interviewed by abolitionist newspapers in the mid-1840s.
She’ll educate and entertain us as she tells us what it was like to work as a slave for Martha Washington.