caroline, isam, and malinda
By Robin Kirk
Content warning: child slavery, slave trade
Washington Duke is remembered as an “able industrialist and a conscientious Methodist philanthropist.” He also profited from an economy founded on slavery. Duke owned at least one slave, Caroline. According to the Duke Homestead State Historic Site, Caroline cared for the Duke children and kept house. Duke also hired slave labor from neighboring owners for farm chores. Prior to his enlistment in the Confederate Navy, Duke hosted an estate sale that included “some eight or ten likely NEGROES.” Duke should recognize the contributions that Caroline and other enslaved people — among them Isam and Malinda, enslaved children owned by Braxton Craven, and George Wall, an enslaved man who after being freed worked for Trinity College — made to the wealth and development of the institution.