[caption id="attachment_31496" align="alignleft" width="298"]<img class="size-full wp-image-31496" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2018\/02\/Fire-and-Freedom-Washington.jpg" alt="" width="298" height="194" \/> (Photo courtesy Mount Vernon Ladies\u2019 Association)<br \/>Fire and Freedom Washington: Washington at Mount Vernon, 1797, Nathaniel Currier, 1852[\/caption]\r\n<h1>What do meals have to do with societal placement? WVSOM\u2019s James R. Stookey Library explores this topic with \u201cFire and Freedom: Food and Enslavement in Early America.\u201d<\/h1>\r\nThe traveling exhibit is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine and will be on display through Mar. 24.\r\n\r\nIn the Chesapeake region, during the colonial era, European settlers\u2019 survival relied on indentured servants and slave labor for life-saving knowledge of farming and food acquisition. At that time settlers suffered from poor nutrition and widespread illness due to lack of medical care.\r\n\r\nThe exhibition uses George Washington\u2019s Mount Vernon as an example of how meals reveal the way power is exchanged between and among different peoples, races, genders and classes.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_31497" align="alignright" width="286"]<img class="size-full wp-image-31497" src="https:\/\/mountainmedianews.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/13\/2018\/02\/Fire-and-Freedom-The-Prudent-Housewife.jpg" alt="" width="286" height="142" \/> (Courtesy National Library of Medicine)<br \/>Fire and Freedom The Prudent Housewife: Detail from The Prudent Housewife, Or compleat English Cook\u2026, Lydia Fisher, 1800[\/caption]\r\n\r\nIt also highlights the dangers of the kitchen in colonial times. Enslaved cooks endured sweltering heat and were at risk of being burned at all times. Preparing food over an open flame was also dangerous, if the fire was too hot, food would be destroyed.\r\n\r\nStories such as Lucy Lee, an enslaved cook, are featured. The display includes her blended cooking style, incorporating African, Native American and European methods for residents at Mount Vernon.\r\n\r\nCommunity members are invited to the WVSOM library exhibit, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information about the exhibit, contact the library at 304-647-6261. Information about the exhibit can also be found at www.nlm.nih.gov\/fireandfreedom.