Some Walk Together Updates

Posted by on Jul 3, 2013 in Archaeology, History, Preservation | No Comments
Some Walk Together Updates

A few updates and follow up about what’s happening with the Walk Together Project:

Juneteenth Lecture

Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at Historic St. Mary’s City in honor of Juneteenth. Despite the competing NBA Championship game, we had a wonderful turnout. This was likely due to the talk being featured in the Washington Post’s Southern Maryland Section! It was a pleasure to speak with everyone about the research that I’ve been doing over the past few years, and to put it into the context of celebrating Juneteenth. For those of you who missed it, the talk was recorded, and we will be putting up a video of it at some point soon, so you can hear my voice and see the images.

 Duplex Quarter Exhibit

I was particularly delighted to have a number of Emma Hall’s family in attendance, and to share with them some of our plans for interpreting the duplex quarter that she grew up in. We are currently in the process of addressing a number of concerns that the Maryland Historical Trust had regarding our plans to re-add the 1940s shed to the back of the building, and our hope to interpret the structure as a 19th and 20th century building, not just as a slave quarter (you can read some of my opinions about this process at my personal blog, here). Once we have the approval, we’ll be able to start getting to work on designing the exhibit. It is our hope that we will be able to partner with Ms. Hall and her family to ensure that this is done in a way that is respectful, informative, and useful!

St. Mary’s Manor Exhibit

For those of you who were at the talk or who have been following the blog lately, you know that HSMC is also hard at work getting signage into the Inn at Brome-Howard, which was once the 19th century manor home. Our Intern, Steven Gentry, has been hard at work on the language and design of these panels, so we are well on our way to having them up! Please read his first blog post about the project, and stay tuned for two more installments over the coming weeks.

Digital Humanities Conference

I have been asked by some colleagues to participate in the Digital Humanities Conference in Lincoln, Nebraska the week of July 15th, to discuss this digital exhibit and our use of social media for public engagement. The talk will specifically discuss these applications for archaeology, but also cultural heritage in a broader sense. Once again, I’d like to thank you all for reading and sharing these posts, and would encourage you to be as active as you are comfortable throughout the exhibit: we have designed it so that you can interact with us, so please, don’t hesitate!

In preparation for this talk, I am going to build a quick survey to gather your input about how we can make the exhibit more interactive, and to encourage more feedback. Please stay tuned!

Trip to the National Archives for Pensions

Last Friday, I took a trip to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. to look for the pension files of Alexander Gough and William Gross who were both enslaved at St. Mary’s Manor and served in the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War. I was able to find the latter, and I’ve put a couple photos of some of the documents below (actually, we could use some help deciphering his wife’s name in the first document. Please help!). There will be more coming in a separate blog post later this week!

Questionnaire filled out by Gross detailing his marriage after the War

 Gross had been thought to be dead in 1910, but evidence proved otherwise

 Gross' testimony that he is, in fact, himself, and as a slave "belonged to Old Dr. Broom"

A Couple Links

Here are a few links from the past few weeks that might be of interest to you all:

Montpelier has been conducting excavations at the homes of James Madison’s Field Slaves, and has provided an update on their excavations.

The Southern Maryland Historical Center at the College of Southern Maryland has a wealth of oral history interviews available online.

 

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