Hudson Shares New Mission, Preservation Plans at Tudor Place

Three invitations were extended by The Georgetowner’s April 20 cultural power breakfast speaker, Mark Hudson, executive director of Tudor Place, the National Historic Landmark on five and a half acres at 1644 31st St. NW in Georgetown.  

“Come and spend some time in our garden,” Hudson said, calling it an “opportunity for quiet reflection.” He then reminded attendees that the annual Spring Garden Party will take place on May 24. 

Hudson’s third invitation at the breakfast, held at the Four Seasons Hotel, was to the 2023 Landmark Lecture Series, subtitled Centering Stories of Enslavement at Tudor Place. Four evening lectures remain in the free spring-and-fall series. 

Next, on May 16, Walter Hawthorne of Michigan State University and Daryle Williams of the University of California, Riverside, will talk about Enslaved, an open-source, open-access platform that recovers and aggregates online the names and life stories of enslaved persons. 

Read the full article here:

Press Release: Tudor Place Hosts Series on Inclusive Interpretation of Enslavement

Press Release 

February 28, 2023

Washington, DC — Tudor Place Historic House & Garden launches the 2023 Landmark Lecture Series exploring ways to reposition stories of traditionally underrepresented communities in historical narratives and how these practices are leading to an inclusive interpretation of enslavement at Tudor Place.

Click to read the full press release.


Contact | 202-580-7323




New Lafayette Square marker highlights role of slavery in building White House

Three new plaques in Lafayette Square note the contributions of enslaved people to the building of the White House, the location of the park as a protest zone and former first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s role in preserving the park and creating the White House Historical Association.  Featured on the plaques are photos of paintings created by Peter Waddell, Artist-in-Residence at Tudor Place, for the White House Historical Association in 2010 and 2007.

Read the full article from the Washington Post here.

Photo: Peter Waddell, Lafayette Square, Washington DC 2021

Honoring the enslaved people who resisted bondage in ways large and small: Juneteenth 2021

Photo: Tudor Place Archive, A1.305

A day known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union troops brought news of emancipation to Texas, ending slavery in the US. As a historic site that bears the scars of slavery, Tudor Place also remembers the enslaved people who resisted bondage in ways large and small.  John Luckett, the Tudor Place gardener for 44 years, shared his self-emancipation story with his employer, Armistead Peter Jr.:

“I was a slave…at Lewinsville, Va. That evening, a bunch of Yankees came along…The following morning, I was ordered to drive a pair of mules that were hitched to an army wagon. In the afternoon, we could hear the booming of the guns at Bull Run…Three of us deserted. We traveled at night and hid in the day-time, for we had no passes to be on the road. One night, when we were near Lewinsville, a bunch of Yankees picked us up and took us to headquarters…Fortunately, they let us go…I just kept on…” 

Click here to learn about John Luckett and others who worked at Tudor Place.

Click here to learn about slavery at Tudor Place.

Click here to learn more about emancipation in the District of Columbia.

For questions or more information, please contact us at

Enslaved Labor and Building the Smithsonian

· Enslaved and Free ·

Historian Mark Auslander details the roles of enslaved workers in building the original Smithsonian “castle.” Some of the slave workers involved labored at Maryland quarries owned by Peter family members and had roots in enslaved families owned by First Lady Martha Custis Washington, who bequeathed 90 such “dower slaves” to Martha Custis Peter, original owner of Tudor Place. Tudor Place Archivist Wendy Kail assisted with this essay on the darker history of an iconic national institution.

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The Slavery Code of the District of Columbia

· Enslaved and Free ·

Held in the Library of Congress, this comprehensive compendium reprises the full text, judicial decisions, and commentary on regulations governing slavery in the District and Maryland up until D.C. Emancipation in 1862.

  • View the document

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District of Columbia Emancipation Act

· Enslaved and Free ·

Held in the National Archives and signed on April 16, 1862, the law required the release from bondage of “ all persons held to service or labor within the District of Columbia by reason of African descent,” and the manner in which their owners, if willing to swear allegiance to the Union, could obtain government compensation for the loss of human “property.”

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