Slaves and masters have always been at odds in Colonial Virginia. However, in the case of Jane Vobe and Gowan, it is more complicated. As the wealthy owner of the King’s Arms Tavern, Mrs. Vobe has a high reputation, manages properties, and educates her enslaved workers. Gowan, her right-hand man, has become a devoted follower of the Baptist faith and the message that all are equal in the eyes of God. Although Mrs. Vobe gives some liberties in Gowan’s enslavement, society demands that they fit into the normal hierarchy of slave and master. When Gowan makes a radical request, both of their lives could be at stake. Meet Jane Vobe and Gowan in 1772 as they look for meaning in their roles in the changing social climate in Colonial Virginia.
Dates & Times
The True Master
Randolph Yard Exploration
Explore the kitchen building and yard of the Randolph House at your own pace. Learn about the paradox of the Randolph household, home to 27 enslaved people and the Randolph family.
Visit with Foodways
Join our Historic Foodways staff as they explore cuisines of the 18th century. Limited capacity.
Light in the Darkness
Join Gowan Pamphlet and George Washington as they discuss the impact the season has on them and their communities, both enslaved and free.
Art Museums Admission