Tuesday, February 26, 2008

City honors Washington's slave - and 'power of archaeology'
Oney Judge died 160 years ago yesterday, 52 years after she cast off her bonds, 52 years after fleeing Philadelphia to escape the man and woman who owned her and who wanted to give her away as a wedding bauble - George and Martha Washington.

Oney Judge was about 75 when she died in New Hampshire on Feb. 25, 1848. Her husband was dead. Her three children were dead. But she died a free woman - if still legally a fugitive - one who had defied the first president of the United States.

Mayor Nutter recognized her tenacity by issuing an official city tribute in honor of the anniversary, and Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, with Council President Anna C. Verna, issued a similar citation in the name of City Council.