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Lawn Jockey and George Washington Horse

***The staff of the Jim Crow Museum receives dozens of letters and emails. Some of these communiques offer insight into race relations -- historically and in the present. While some are hateful, we have decided to share some of these letters and emails with our Internet visitors.***


Growing up in Atlanta during the 1970s, I heard the origin of the lawn jockey story by listening to elderly people.

The lawn jockey represents the young boy child enslaved by George Washington. His job was to hold the reins of Washington's horse. One cold winter's night at Valley Forge, Washington told him to hold the horse, and then forgot about him. The boy stood all night, and he froze to death while holding on the horse's reins. His dead body was frozen into a standing position with the reins still in his hand.

To the Slavers and their White Supremacist descendants, this boy represents the ideal of the "good n-word". He did what he was told by his white master without protesting to the point of death. To Southern Anglo-Saxons steeped in slaver/Klan religion and culture, the frozen black boy was an ideal that all properly behaved African-blooded people should aspire to

Sarah F.
-- October 24, 2015

Jim Crow Museum response

Thank you for contacting the Jim Crow Museum. You may find our article about lawn jockeys informative.