Anyone who manages a team for a living can attest to how much effort is involved. Depending on the size of the organization, a team leader might even have to bring in extra managers, not to get the “job” done, but just to help manage the people who are getting the job done.
Keep that in mind when considering that George and Martha Washington’s home, Mt. Vernon, generally housed 4-6 family members, and anywhere from 150-300 enslaved people.
The Washington’s lived in their workplace and their roles in that workplace was not to actually plant the tobacco or wheat, but rather to “manage” the people who did. It was a 24/7 job because all of them, the Washington’s and the slaves, lived at their workplace. I use the word “manage” flippantly. Imagine how much thought and effort would go into running an organization where none of the workforce wanted to be there. Imagine if you had to resort to violence to keep them going. Imagine if your entire workforce being there was itself an act of violence.
Could you run it as an afterthought? How much intention and effort would it take?
I run a very modest sized team and I cannot schedule a simple one hour meeting without having to consider the effect it will have on the attitudes and productivity of my PAID employees.
Is it reasonable to think that slavery was a footnote or afterthought when George Washington and his cohort were forming a new nation?
41 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence owned captive Black people as slaves.