Mary Thompson has a B.A. in History (with a minor in Folklore) from Samford University, and an M.A. in History from the University of Virginia. Ms. Thompson assisted at two United States Army museums and was as a field researcher of traditional folk crafts. Since 1980, Mary has filled a number of roles at Mount Vernon: Historic Interpreter; Curatorial Assistant; Curatorial Registrar; Research Specialist; and Research Historian. She is now responsible for research in all departments at Mount Vernon, focusing on everyday life on the Mount Vernon Estate, where she lectures on diverse topics.
Mary’s curated exhibitions include, Treasures from Mount Vernon: George Washington Revealed, which opened in 1998 and travelled to five cities. She has contributed to book chapters, encyclopedia entries, numerous articles, and she was a major contributor to The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association: 150 Years of Restoring George Washington’s Home, and to, Dining with the Washingtons: Historic Recipes, Entertaining, and Hospitality from Mount Vernon. Mary’s books include, “In the Hands of a Good Providence”: Religion in the Life of George Washington (received both the 2009 Alexandria History Award and the 2013 George Washington Memorial Award. Recently, for Applewood Books’ young adult market, Mary wrote, A Short Biography of Martha Washington. Her latest book, “The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret”: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon, was published by the University of Virginia Press, 2019.