"Ties That Bound: Founding First Ladies and Slaves". By Marie Jenkins Schwartz. ISBN-13: 978-0-226-14755-0. Copyright 2017. Hardcover with 420 pages including notes and index.
American icons like Martha Washington, Martha Jefferson, and Dolley Madison were all slaveholders at Mount Vernon, Monticello, Montpelier, and at the White House. For these women and for other elite women and their families, slaves were more than an agricultural workforce; slavery was an entire domestic way of life that reflected and reinforced their status. In many cases slaves were more constant companions to the white women of the household than were their husbands and sons, who often traveled or were at war.
This close look at the complicated intimacy these women shared reveals how they negotiated their roles, illuminating much about the lives of slaves themselves, as well as class, race, and gender in early America.