Historie Podcasts

Colonial Slave Quarters, Mount Vernon

Colonial Slave Quarters, Mount Vernon


The Twisted History Of Washington's Mount Vernon

Den maleriske og meget historiske by Mount Vernon, Virginia er speciel på mange måder - nemlig fordi den er hjemsted for første præsident George Washingtons forfædres ejendom med samme navn. Den smukke grund med udsigt over Potomac-floden omfatter Washingtons hjem, men også mange andre bygninger af interesse-f.eks. Washingtons 16-sidede, specialdesignede lade. Også på godset er Washingtons gravsted, en udførlig grav, hvor ligene af ham, hans kone Martha og andre familiemedlemmer hviler i dag. Var det ikke bevaret i 1858, stod Mount Vernon muligvis ikke længere stående, men hjemmet og dets ejendom er nu opført på National Register of Historic Places.

I dag bliver besøgende på Mt. Vernon behandlet med masser af interessante trivia om Washingtons hjem. En kopi af en særlig vejrfane bestilt af præsidenten selv kan ses på hjemmets kuppel (originalen blev fjernet for at beskytte den mod elementerne). Gæster kan se de restaurerede, møblerede værelser i palæet og meget mere. Og selvom der er få hemmeligheder og ingen skjulte værelser på Mt. Vernon, har stedet en spøgelsesagtig historie, et par interessante fakta (som dengang Washington fik en kamel bragt ind for at underholde gæster) og nogle vilde artefakter, der bidrager til dens historie. Her er den snoede historie om Washingtons Mount Vernon.


Sort historie hjemme hos manden, der troede “Alle mænd er skabt lige ”

Forestil dig, hvordan præsidenten og hans familie modtog gæster på Mount Vernon ’s restaurerede stue. Foto af Gavin Ashworth.

Deltag i historiske tolke på ejendommen ’s Slavekvarterer at tale om sine tidligere slavers liv og præstationer, et svært emne, som godset har affundet sig med. Dagligt i hele februar, som er Black History Month, er der mange særlige programmer på grunden og ved slaveminde.

I løbet af Washingtons ’ levetid strakte slavekvarteret sig over de fem gårde på ejendommen for at huse 317 slaver. Da George Washington døde, bad hans testamente om, at alle slaver skulle frigøres. Men slaver, der tilhørte hans kone eller hendes families ejendom, blev holdt i trældom og blev givet videre til deres arvinger. Book på forhånd for de særlige 60 minutter Enslaved People of Mount Vernon Tour afholdt weekender om vinteren, mindst en gang om dagen uden beregning.


Indhold

Langt de fleste plantager havde ikke store palæer centreret om et stort areal. Disse store godser eksisterede, men repræsenterede kun en lille procentdel af de plantager, der engang fandtes i Syd. [1] Selvom mange sydlige landmænd gjorde slaver af folk før emancipationen i 1862, gjorde få slaver af mere end fem. Disse landmænd havde en tendens til at arbejde på markerne sammen med de mennesker, de gjorde til slaver. [4] Af de anslåede 46.200 plantager, der eksisterede i 1860, havde 20.700 20 til 30 slaver, og 2.300 havde en arbejdsstyrke på hundrede eller flere, med resten et sted imellem. [3]

Mange plantager blev drevet af fraværsejere og havde aldrig et hovedhus på stedet. Lige så afgørende og uden tvivl vigtigere for komplekset var de mange strukturer bygget til forarbejdning og opbevaring af afgrøder, tilberedning og opbevaring af mad, læ udstyr og dyr samt forskellige andre husholdnings- og landbrugsformål. Værdien af ​​plantagen kom fra dens jord og slaverne, der sled på den for at producere afgrøder til salg. Disse samme mennesker producerede det byggede miljø: hovedhuset til plantageejeren, slavehytter, lader og andre strukturer i komplekset. [5]

Materialerne til en plantages bygninger kom for det meste fra godsets arealer. Der blev hentet tømmer fra ejendommens skovområder. [5] Afhængigt af dens tilsigtede anvendelse blev den enten delt, hugget eller savet. [6] Mursten blev oftest fremstillet på stedet af sand og ler, der blev støbt, tørret og derefter brændt i en ovn. Hvis en passende sten var tilgængelig, blev den brugt. Tabby blev ofte brugt på de sydlige søøer. [5]

Få plantagestrukturer har overlevet ind i den moderne æra, hvor langt de fleste er ødelagt gennem naturkatastrofer, omsorgssvigt eller brand gennem århundreder. Med plantageøkonomiens sammenbrud og den efterfølgende sydlige overgang fra et stort set agrarisk til et industrisamfund blev plantager og deres bygningskomplekser forældede. Selvom størstedelen er blevet ødelagt, er plantagehuse de mest almindelige strukturer, der har overlevet. Som det er tilfældet med bygninger generelt, har de mere væsentligt opførte og arkitektonisk interessante bygninger tendens til at være dem, der overlevede ind i den moderne tidsalder og er bedre dokumenteret end mange af de mindre og enklere. Flere plantagehuse for vigtige personer, herunder Mount Vernon, Monticello og The Hermitage er også bevaret. Mindre almindelige er intakte eksempler på slaveboliger. De sjældneste overlevende af alle er landbrugets og mindre indenlandske strukturer, især dem, der stammer fra tiden før borgerkrigen. [5] [7]

Slavekvarterer Rediger

Slaveboliger, selvom det engang var et af de mest almindelige og karakteristiske træk ved plantagelandskabet, er stort set forsvundet fra det meste af syd. Mange var uvæsentlige til at begynde med. [8] Kun de bedre opbyggede eksempler havde en tendens til at overleve, og så normalt kun hvis de blev vendt til anden anvendelse efter frigørelse. Slavekvarterer kunne være ved siden af ​​hovedhuset, langt væk fra det, eller begge dele. På store plantager blev de ofte arrangeret i en landsbylignende gruppering langs en allé væk fra hovedhuset, men nogle gange blev de spredt rundt om plantagen på kanterne af markerne, hvor slaverne sled, ligesom de fleste af deleboligerhytterne, der skulle komme senere. [9]

Slavehuse var ofte en af ​​de mest grundlæggende konstruktioner. De var beregnet til lidt mere end at sove, de var normalt ru bjælke eller ramme etværelseshytter tidlige eksempler ofte havde skorstene lavet af ler og pinde. [8] [10] Hal og stuehuse (to værelser) var også repræsenteret på plantagelandskabet og tilbyder et separat værelse til spisning og sove. Nogle gange blev sovesale og to-etagers boliger også brugt som slaveboliger. Tidligere eksempler hvilede på jorden med et snavsgulv, men senere blev eksempler normalt rejst på moler til ventilation. De fleste af disse repræsenterer de boliger, der er konstrueret til feltslaver. Sjældent, som f.eks. På den tidligere Hermitage Plantation i Georgien og Boone Hall i South Carolina, blev selv feltslaver forsynet med murstenshytter. [11]

Mere heldige i deres indkvartering var husets tjenere eller faglærte arbejdere. De boede normalt enten i en del af hovedhuset eller i deres egne huse, som normalt var mere komfortable boliger end deres modparters, der arbejdede på markerne. [10] [11] Et par slaver gik endnu længere for at skaffe boliger til deres husstandere. Da Waldwic i Alabama blev ombygget i gotisk genoplivningsstil i 1852, fik husholdningstjenesterne store boliger, der matchede hovedbygningens arkitektur. Denne model var imidlertid yderst sjælden. [7]

Den berømte landskabsdesigner Frederick Law Olmsted havde denne erindring om et besøg på plantager langs Georgiens kyst i 1855:

Om eftermiddagen forlod jeg hovedvejen og nåede hen mod natten et meget mere dyrket distrikt. Fyrreskoven strækkede sig uafbrudt på den ene side af vejen, men på den anden side var en fortsat række af meget store marker eller rig mørk jord-tilsyneladende genvundet sumpjord-som var blevet dyrket året før i bomuld fra Sea Island, eller majs. Ud over dem, en flad overflade af stadig lavere land, med en sølvtråd af vand, der krummer gennem det, udstrakt, Holland-lignende, til horisonten. Normalt var så stor afstand som en kvart mil fra vejen og fra en halv kilometer til en kilometer fra hinanden plantageres boliger - store hvide huse med lunde af stedsegrønne træer omkring dem og mellem disse og vejen var små landsbyer med slavehytter. Sommerhusene var indrammede bygninger, ombord på ydersiden, med singeltag og murstensskorstene stod de 50 meter fra hinanden med haver og svinegårde. I spidsen for bebyggelsen, i en have med udsigt ned ad gaden, var et tilsynsmands hus, og her delte vejen sig og løb hver vej i rette vinkler på den ene side til laden og en landing på floden, på den anden mod palæet .

Andre boligstrukturer Rediger

En afgørende boligstruktur på større plantager var et tilsynshus. Tilsynsmanden var stort set ansvarlig for ejendommens succes eller fiasko, idet han sørgede for, at kvoter blev opfyldt og undertiden udmålte straf for overtrædelser af slaverne. Tilsynsmanden var ansvarlig for sundhedsvæsenet, hvor slaver og slavehuse blev inspiceret rutinemæssigt. Han var også rekordfører for de fleste afgrødebeholdninger og havde nøglerne til forskellige lagre. [13]

Tilsynsmandens hus var normalt en beskeden bolig, ikke langt fra de slaveres arbejderes hytter. Tilsynsmanden og hans familie, selv når de var hvide og sydlige, blandede sig ikke frit med plantemaskinen og hans familie. De befandt sig i et andet socialt lag end ejerens og forventedes at kende deres sted. I slavekvarterer af landsbytypen på plantager med tilsynsmænd var hans hus normalt i spidsen for slavebyen frem for nær hovedhuset, i det mindste delvist på grund af hans sociale position. Det var også en del af et forsøg på at holde slaverne eftergivne og forhindre begyndelsen på et slaveoprør, en meget reel frygt i hovedet på de fleste plantageejere. [13]

Økonomiske undersøgelser viser, at færre end 30 procent af plantagerne ansatte hvide tilsynsførende for deres slavearbejde. [14] Nogle plantemaskiner udnævnte en betroet slave som tilsynsmand, og i Louisiana blev der også brugt gratis sorte tilsynsmænd. [13]

En anden boligstruktur, der stort set var unik for plantage -komplekser, var garconnière eller ungkarlsboliger. For det meste bygget af Louisiana Creole -folk, men lejlighedsvis fundet i andre dele af det dybe syd tidligere under dominans af New France, var de strukturer, der husede de unge eller ugifte sønner af plantageejere. På nogle plantager var det en fritstående struktur, og på andre var det fastgjort til hovedhuset med sidevinger. Det udviklede sig fra den akadiske tradition for at bruge loftet i huset som et soveværelse for unge mænd. [15]

Køkkenhave Rediger

En række indenlandske og mindre landbrugsstrukturer omringede hovedhuset på alle plantager. De fleste plantager besad nogle, hvis ikke alle, af disse udhuse, ofte kaldet afhængigheder, almindeligvis arrangeret omkring en gårdsplads bag på hovedhuset kendt som køkkenhaven. De omfattede et kogehus (separat køkkenbygning), pantry, vaskehus (vasketøj), røgeri, kyllinghus, forårshus eller ishus, mælkehus (mejeri), overdækket brønd og cisterne. Privierne ville have været placeret et stykke væk fra plantagehuset og køkkenhaven. [16]

Køkkenhuset eller køkkenet var næsten altid i en separat bygning i syd indtil moderne tid, undertiden forbundet til hovedhuset ved en overdækket gangbro. Denne adskillelse skyldtes delvist, at kogebranden genererede varme hele dagen lang i et allerede varmt og fugtigt klima. Det reducerede også risikoen for brand. På mange plantager blev kogebygningen faktisk bygget af mursten, mens hovedhuset var af trækonstruktion. En anden grund til adskillelsen var at forhindre støj og lugte fra madlavningsaktiviteter i at nå hovedhuset. Nogle gange indeholdt kokhuset to værelser, det ene til det egentlige køkken og det andet til at tjene som bolig for kokken. Endnu andre arrangementer havde køkkenet i det ene værelse, et vaskeri i det andet og en anden historie til tjenestekvarterer. [7] [16] Pantryet kunne være i sin egen struktur eller i en kølig del af kogekammeret eller et lagerhus og ville have sikret genstande såsom tønder salt, sukker, mel, majsmel og lignende. [17]

Vaskehuset er, hvor tøj, duge og sengetæpper blev rengjort og stryget. Det havde også nogle gange beboelse for vaskekvinden. Rengøring af vasketøj i denne periode var arbejdskrævende for de hjemlige slaver, der udførte det. Det krævede forskellige gadgets for at udføre opgaven. Vaskekedlen var en støbejerns- eller kobberkedel, hvor tøj eller andre stoffer og sæbevand blev opvarmet over åben ild. Vaskepinden var en træpind med et håndtag i den øverste del og fire til fem stikker i bunden. Det blev samtidigt banket op og ned og roteret i vaskebadekarret for at lufte vaskeopløsningen og løsne snavs. Varerne blev derefter gniddet kraftigt på et bølgepapvaskbræt, indtil de var rene. I 1850'erne ville de blive ført gennem en mangel. Inden den tid blev vridning af emnerne udført i hånden. Varerne ville derefter være klar til at blive hængt ud til tørring eller i dårligt vejr placeret på et tørrestativ. Strygning ville have været udført med et metaljern, ofte opvarmet i pejsen og forskellige andre enheder. [18]

Mælkehuset ville have været brugt af slaver til at lave mælk til fløde, smør og kærnemælk. Processen startede med at adskille mælken i skummetmælk og fløde. Det blev gjort ved at hælde sødmælken i en beholder og lade cremen naturligt stige til toppen. Dette blev dagligt opsamlet i en anden beholder, indtil der var akkumuleret flere liter. I løbet af denne tid ville cremen svine lidt gennem naturligt forekommende bakterier. Dette øgede effektiviteten af ​​den kommende vending. Churning var en vanskelig opgave, der blev udført med en smørklump. Når det var fast nok til at adskilles, men blødt nok til at klæbe sammen, blev smørret taget ud af churnen, vasket i meget koldt vand og saltet. Hakkeprocessen producerede også kærnemælk som et biprodukt. Det var den resterende væske, efter at smørret blev fjernet fra churnen. [19] Alle produkterne fra denne proces ville have været opbevaret i forårshuset eller ishuset. [16]

Røgeriet blev brugt til at konservere kød, normalt svinekød, oksekød og fårekød. Det blev almindeligvis bygget af huggede træstammer eller mursten. Efter slagtningen i efteråret eller den tidlige vinter blev salt og sukker påført kødet i begyndelsen af ​​hærdningsprocessen, og derefter blev kødet langsomt tørret og røget i røgeriet ved en brand, der ikke tilførte varme til røgeriet sig selv. [20] Hvis det var køligt nok, kunne kødet også opbevares der, indtil det blev spist. [16]

Hønsehuset var en bygning, hvor der blev holdt høns. Dens design kan variere, afhængigt af om kyllingerne blev opbevaret til ægproduktion, kød eller begge dele. Hvis der var æg, var der ofte redekasser til æglægning og siddepinde, som fuglene skulle sove på. Æg blev opsamlet dagligt. [16] Nogle plantager havde også duer (dovecotes), der i Louisiana nogle gange havde form af monumentale tårne, der var placeret nær hovedhuset. Duerne blev rejst til at blive spist som en delikatesse, og deres affald blev brugt som gødning. [21]

Få funktioner kunne finde sted på en plantage uden en pålidelig vandforsyning. Hver plantage havde mindst en, og nogle gange flere, brønde. Disse var normalt overdækket og ofte delvist lukket med gitterværk for at holde dyr ude. Da brøndvandet i mange områder var usmageligt på grund af mineralindhold, kom drikkevandet på mange plantager fra cisterner, der blev forsynet med regnvand af et rør fra et tagområde. Disse kan være enorme overjordiske træfade, der er dækket af metalkupler, som man ofte så i Louisiana og kystområder i Mississippi eller underjordiske murede kupler eller hvælvinger, der er almindelige i andre områder. [7] [22]

Hjælpestrukturer Rediger

Nogle strukturer på plantager gav subsidiære funktioner igen, udtrykket afhængighed kan anvendes på disse bygninger. Nogle få var almindelige, såsom vognhuset og smedeforretningen, men de mest varierede meget blandt plantager og var stort set en funktion af, hvad plantemaskinen ville, havde brug for eller havde råd til at tilføje til komplekset. Disse bygninger kan omfatte skolehuse, kontorer, kirker, kommisærbutikker, gristmills og savværker. [7] [23]

Planteskolehuse, der findes på nogle plantager i hver sydlig stat, tjente som et sted for den hyrede underviser eller guvernør til at uddanne plantagerens børn og nogle gange endda andre plantageres i området. [7] På de fleste plantager var et værelse i hovedhuset imidlertid tilstrækkeligt til skolegang frem for en separat dedikeret bygning. Papir var dyrebart, så børnene reciterede ofte deres lektioner, indtil de lagde dem udenad. De sædvanlige tekster i begyndelsen var Bibelen, en primer og en hornbog. Da børnene blev ældre, begyndte deres skolegang at forberede dem til deres voksne roller på plantagen. Drenge studerede akademiske emner, korrekt social etikette og plantagestyring, mens piger lærte kunst, musik, fransk og de indenlandske færdigheder, der passer til elskerinden på en plantage. [24]

De fleste plantageejere beholdt et kontor til journalføring, handel med forretninger, skrivning af korrespondance og lignende. [7] Selvom det ligesom skolelokalet oftest lå i hovedhuset eller en anden struktur, var det slet ikke sjældent, at et kompleks havde et separat plantagekontor. John C. Calhoun brugte sit plantagekontor på sin Fort Hill-plantage i Clemson, South Carolina som en slags privat helligdom, hvor det blev brugt som både studie og bibliotek i løbet af sit femogtyve års ophold. [25]

En anden struktur fundet på nogle godser var et plantagekapel eller kirke. Disse blev bygget af forskellige årsager. I mange tilfælde byggede plantemaskinen en kirke eller et kapel til brug for plantageslaverne, selvom de normalt rekrutterede en hvid minister til at udføre gudstjenesterne. [26] Nogle blev bygget til udelukkende at tjene plantagefamilien, men mange flere blev bygget til at tjene familien og andre i området, der delte den samme tro. Dette ser især ud til at være tilfældet med plantageejere inden for det biskoppelige kirkesamfund. Tidlige optegnelser tyder på, at på Faunsdale Plantation elskede ejendommen Louisa Harrison regelmæssigt instruerede sine slaver ved at læse kirkens tjenester og undervise i bispekatekismen for deres børn. Efter hendes første mands død lod hun bygge en stor tømrer -gotisk kirke, St. Michaels Kirke. Hun giftede sig igen med pastor William A. Stickney, der fungerede som bispeminister i St. Michael's og senere blev udnævnt af biskop Richard Wilmer til en "missionær til negerne", hvorefter Louisa sluttede sig til ham som en uofficiel medminister blandt Afroamerikanere i det sorte bælte. [27]

De fleste plantagekirker var af trærammekonstruktion, selvom nogle blev bygget i mursten, ofte stukket. Tidlige eksempler havde tendens til folkemunde eller nyklassicisme, men senere eksempler var næsten altid i den gotiske genoplivningsstil. Et par konkurrerede med dem, der blev bygget af menigheder i den sydlige by. To af de mest detaljerede eksisterende eksempler i Deep South er Chapel of the Cross på Annandale Plantation og St. Mary's Chapel ved Laurel Hill Plantation, begge episkopalske strukturer i Mississippi. I begge tilfælde er de originale plantagehuse blevet ødelagt, men kvaliteten og designet af kirkerne kan give et indblik i, hvor detaljerede nogle plantage -komplekser og deres bygninger kan være. St. Mary-kapellet, i Natchez, dateres til 1839, bygget i stukket mursten med store gotiske vinduer og Tudor-buevinduer, emhættelister over døre og vinduer, understøtninger, en renset taglinje og et lille gotisk spir, der kronen på det hele. [28] Selvom konstruktionsoptegnelser er meget skitserede, kan korsets kapel, bygget fra 1850 til 1852 nær Madison, tilskrives Frank Wills eller Richard Upjohn, som begge designede næsten identiske kirker i nord i samme tidsperiode, som korsets kapel blev bygget. [29] [30]

En anden sekundær struktur på mange plantager i højden af ​​delingstiden var plantagebutikken eller kommissæren. Selvom nogle antebellumplantager havde en kommissær, der distribuerede mad og forsyninger til slaver, var plantagebutikken i det væsentlige en postbellum -tilføjelse til plantage -komplekset. Ud over den andel af deres afgrøde, der allerede skyldtes plantageejeren for brugen af ​​hans eller hendes jord, købte lejere og delebønder, normalt på kredit mod deres næste afgrøde, de madvarer og udstyr, som de stolede på for deres eksistens. [7] [31]

Denne type gældsbinding, for sorte og fattige hvide, førte til en populistisk bevægelse i slutningen af ​​1800 -tallet, der begyndte at bringe sorte og hvide sammen til en fælles sag. Denne tidlige populistiske bevægelse krediteres i vid udstrækning med at være med til at få statslige regeringer i Syd, for det meste kontrolleret af planteeliten, til at vedtage forskellige love, der udelukker franchise fattige hvide og sorte, gennem bedstefarsklausuler, læsefærdighedstest, afstemningsafgifter og forskellige andre love. [31]

Landbrugsstrukturer Rediger

Landbrugsstrukturer på plantager havde nogle grundlæggende strukturer til fælles og andre, der varierede meget. De var afhængige af, hvilke afgrøder og dyr der blev opdrættet på plantagen. Almindelige afgrøder omfattede majs, bomuld i højlandet, bomuld fra øen, ris, sukkerrør og tobak. Udover de tidligere nævnte blev kvæg, ænder, geder, svin og får opdrættet for deres afledte produkter og/eller kød. Alle godser ville have besat forskellige former for dyrekure, stalde og en række stalde. Mange plantager udnyttede en række specialiserede strukturer, der var afgrøde-specifikke og kun findes på den type plantage. [32]

Plantage stalde kan klassificeres efter funktion, afhængigt af hvilken type afgrøde og husdyr der blev opdrættet. [33] I det øvre Syd, ligesom deres kolleger i nord, måtte stalde give grundlæggende husly til dyrene og opbevaring af foder. I modsætning til de øvre regioner behøvede de fleste plantager i det nedre Syd ikke at give deres dyr et stort ly i løbet af vinteren. Dyr blev ofte opbevaret i slagtesvinestalde med et simpelt skur til læ, idet hovedstaldet eller staldene kun blev brugt til opbevaring eller forarbejdning af afgrøder. [32] Stalde var en væsentlig type stald på plantagen, der bruges til at huse både heste og muldyr. Disse var normalt adskilte, en for hver dyreart. Muldyrstallen var den vigtigste på langt de fleste godser, da muldyrene gjorde det meste af arbejdet og trak plove og vogne. [32]

Barne, der ikke var involveret i husdyrhold, var oftest krybbe stald (majs krybber eller andre former for kornmagasiner), opbevaringslader eller forarbejdningsstald. Krybbe stalde var typisk bygget af ukrukkede bjælker, selvom de undertiden var dækket med lodret træbeklædning. Lagerlader husede ofte uforarbejdede afgrøder eller dem, der afventer forbrug eller transport til markedet. Forarbejdning af stalde var specialiserede strukturer, der var nødvendige for at hjælpe med faktisk at forarbejde afgrøden. [33]

Tobaksplantager var mest almindelige i visse dele af Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Tennessee, South Carolina og Virginia. De første landbrugsplantager i Virginia blev grundlagt på dyrkning af tobak. Tobaksproduktion på plantager var meget arbejdskrævende. Det krævede hele året at samle frø, starte dem med at vokse i kolde rammer og derefter transplantere planterne til markerne, når jorden var blevet varm. Derefter måtte slaverne luge markerne hele sommeren og fjerne blomsterne fra tobaksplanterne for at tvinge mere energi ind i bladene. Høstning blev foretaget ved at plukke individuelle blade over flere uger, efterhånden som de modnede, eller skære hele tobaksplanter og hænge dem i ventilerede tobaksstald til tørring, kaldet hærdning. [34] [35]

Risplantager var almindelige i South Carolina Lowcountry. Indtil 1800-tallet blev ris tærsket af stilkene, og skallen blev banket ud af kornet i hånden, en meget arbejdskrævende indsats. Dampdrevne risknusere var blevet almindelige i 1830'erne. De blev brugt til at tærske kornet fra den uspiselige agn. En separat skorsten, der kræves til brande, der driver dampmaskinen, støder op til bankende mølle og er ofte forbundet med et underjordisk system. Den vindende stald, en bygning, der nogenlunde rejste en historie fra jorden på stolper, blev brugt til at adskille den lettere agn og støv fra risene. [36] [37]

Sukkerplantager blev oftest fundet i Louisiana. Faktisk producerede Louisiana næsten alt det sukker, der blev dyrket i USA i antebellumperioden. Fra en fjerdedel til halvdelen af ​​alt sukker, der forbruges i USA, kom fra sukkerplantager i Louisiana. Plantager voksede sukkerrør fra Louisianas kolonitid og fremefter, men produktion i stor skala begyndte først i 1810'erne og 1820'erne. En vellykket sukkerplantage krævede en dygtig følge af lejet arbejdskraft og slaver. [38]

Den mest specialiserede struktur på en sukkerplantage var sukkermøllen (sukkerhuset), hvor den dampdrevne mølle i 1830'erne knuste sukkerrørstilkene mellem rullerne. Dette pressede saften fra stilkene, og sukkerrørsaften løb ud i bunden af ​​møllen gennem en sil, der skulle opsamles i en tank. Derfra gik juicen igennem en proces, der fjernede urenheder fra væsken og fortykkede den ved fordampning. Det blev dampopvarmet i kar, hvor yderligere urenheder blev fjernet ved at tilsætte kalk til sirupen, og derefter blev blandingen anstrengt. På dette tidspunkt var væsken blevet omdannet til melasse. Det blev derefter anbragt i en lukket beholder kendt som en vakuumpande, hvor den blev kogt, indtil sukkeret i siruppen var krystalliseret. Det krystalliserede sukker blev derefter afkølet og adskilt fra eventuelle tilbageværende melasse i en proces kendt som rensning. Det sidste trin var at pakke sukkeret i tønder til transport til markedet. [39]

Bomuldsplantager, den mest almindelige plantagetype i syd før borgerkrigen, var den sidste plantage, der udviklede sig fuldt ud. Bomuldsproduktion var en meget arbejdskrævende afgrøde at høste, idet fibrene skulle plukkes med hånden fra ballerne. Dette blev koblet med den lige så besværlige fjernelse af frø fra fibre i hånden. [40]

Efter opfindelsen af ​​bomuldsginen sprang bomuldsplantager op overalt i Syd, og bomuldsproduktionen steg til, sammen med udvidelsen af ​​slaveriet. Bomuld fik også plantager til at vokse i størrelse. Under de finansielle panikker i 1819 og 1837, hvor efterspørgslen fra britiske møller efter bomuld faldt, gik mange små plantager konkurs, og deres jord og slaver blev købt af større plantager. Da bomuldsproducerende godser voksede i størrelse, voksede antallet af slaveholdere og det gennemsnitlige antal slaver. [41] [40]

En bomuldsplantage havde normalt et bomulds ginhus, hvor bomulds gin blev brugt til at fjerne frøene fra rå bomuld. Efter egrenering skulle bomuld presses, før det kunne oplagres og transporteres til markedet. Dette blev opnået med en bomuldspresse, en tidlig type presser, der normalt blev drevet af to muldyr, der gik i en cirkel med hver fastgjort til en overliggende arm, der drejede en enorm træskrue. Denne skrues nedadgående komprimering af den forarbejdede bomuld til en ensartet balleformet træindretning, hvor ballen blev fastgjort med garn. [42]

Mange herregårde overlever, og i nogle tilfælde er tidligere slaveboliger genopbygget eller renoveret. For at betale for vedligeholdelsen er nogle, som Monmouth Plantation i Natchez, Mississippi og Lipscomb Plantation i Durham, North Carolina, blevet til små luksushoteller eller bed and breakfasts. Ikke kun Monticello og Mount Vernon, men nogle 375 tidligere plantagehuse er museer, der kan besøges. Der er eksempler i hver sydlig stat. Centre for plantageliv, såsom Natchez, driver plantageture. Traditionelt præsenterede museets huse et idyllisk, værdigt "tabt årsag" syn på antebellum Syd. For nylig og i forskellige grader er nogle begyndt at erkende "slaveriets rædsler", som gjorde dette liv muligt. [43]

I slutningen af ​​2019, efter kontakt initieret af Color of Change, "har fem store websteder, der ofte bruges til bryllupsplanlægning, lovet at skære ned på at promovere og romantisere bryllupper på tidligere slaveplantager." Det New York Times, tidligere i 2019, "besluttede. at udelukke par, der blev gift på plantager, fra bryllupsmeddelelser og anden bryllupsdækning." [44]

Plantageejer Rediger

En person, der ejede en plantage, blev kendt som en plantemaskine. Historikere i antebellum Syd har generelt defineret "planter" mest præcist som en person, der ejer ejendom (fast ejendom) og 20 eller flere slaver. [45] I "Black Belt" amterne i Alabama og Mississippi var udtrykkene "planter" og "landmand" ofte synonyme. [46]

Historikerne Robert Fogel og Stanley Engerman definerer store plantageejere som dem, der ejer over 50 slaver, og mellemstore plantemaskiner som dem, der ejer mellem 16 og 50 slaver. [47] Historikeren David Williams, i En folks historie om borgerkrigen: kampe for frihedens betydning, tyder på, at minimumskravet til plantestatus var tyve slaver, især da en sydlig plantager kunne fritage konfødereret told for en hvid mand pr. tyve slaver ejet. [48] ​​I sin undersøgelse af Black Belt amter i Alabama definerer Jonathan Weiner plantekasser ved ejerskab af fast ejendom frem for slaver. En plantemaskine, til Weiner, ejede ejendomme til en værdi af mindst $ 10.000 i 1850 og $ 32.000 i 1860, svarende til omkring de otte procent af grundejerne. [49] I sin undersøgelse af det sydvestlige Georgien definerer Lee Formwalt plantekasser i form af størrelsen på jordbesiddelser frem for i antal slaver. Formwalt's plantageejere er i top 4,5% af grundejerne og oversætter til fast ejendom til en værdi af $ 6.000 eller mere i 1850, $ 24.000 eller mere i 1860 og $ 11.000 eller mere i 1870. [50] I sin undersøgelse af Harrison County, Texas, Randolph B. Campbell klassificerer store plantageejere som ejere af 20 slaver og små plantageejere som ejere af mellem 10 og 19 slaver. [51] I Chicot og Phillips amter, Arkansas, definerer Carl H. Moneyhon store plantemaskiner som ejere af 20 eller flere slaver og på 600 acres (240 ha) eller mere. [52]

Mange nostalgiske erindringer om plantageliv blev udgivet i post-bellum syd. [53] For eksempel udgav James Battle Avirett, der voksede op på Avirett-Stephens Plantation i Onslow County, North Carolina, og tjente som en bispekapellan i de konfødererede staters hær, udgivet Den gamle plantage: Hvordan vi levede i stort hus og hytte før krigen i 1901. [53] Sådanne erindringer indeholdt ofte beskrivelser af julen som indbegrebet af antimoderne orden eksemplificeret ved det "store hus" og storfamilien. [54]

Romaner, ofte tilpasset til film, præsenterede et romantisk, sanitært syn på plantagelivet. De mest populære af disse var En nations fødsel (1916), baseret på Thomas Dixon Jr., den bedst sælgende roman Klanen (1905) og Borte med blæsten (1939), baseret på den bedst sælgende roman med samme navn (1936) af Margaret Mitchell.

Tilsynsrediger

På større plantager repræsenterede en tilsynsmand plantemaskinen i spørgsmål om daglig ledelse. Usually perceived as uncouth, ill-educated, and low-class, he had the often despised task of meting out punishments in order to keep up discipline and secure the profit of his employer. [55] [ bedre kilde nødvendig ]

Slavery Edit

Southern plantations depended upon slaves to do the agricultural work. "Honestly, 'plantation' and 'slavery' is one and the same," said an employee of the Whitney Plantation in 2019. [56]

"Many plantations, including George Washington's Mount Vernon and Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, are working to present a more accurate image of what life was like for slaves and slave owners." [57] "The changes have begun to draw people long alienated by the sites' whitewashing of the past and to satisfy what staff call a hunger for real history, as plantations add slavery-focused tours, rebuild cabins and reconstruct the lives of the enslaved with help from their descendants." [56]

McLeod Plantation focuses primarily on slavery. "McLeod focuses on bondage, talking bluntly about “slave labor camps” and shunning the big white house for the fields." [56] "'I was depressed by the time I left and questioned why anyone would want to live in South Carolina,' read one review [of a tour] posted to Twitter." [57]


Indhold

When George Washington's ancestors acquired the estate, it was known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation, after the nearby Little Hunting Creek. [7] However, when Washington's older half-brother, Lawrence Washington, inherited it, he renamed it after Vice Admiral Edward Vernon, who had been his commanding officer during the War of Jenkins' Ear and was famed for having captured Portobello from the Spanish. [8] When George Washington inherited the property, he retained the name. [7]

The current property consists of 500 acres (200 ha) [9] the Mansion and over 30 outbuildings are situated near the riverfront. [10] The property contained 8,000 acres (3,200 ha) when Washington lived there. [11]

Arkitektur Rediger

The present mansion was built in phases from approximately 1734, by an unknown architect, under the supervision of Augustine Washington. [4] This staggered and unplanned evolution is indicated by the off-center main door. As completed and seen today, the house is in a loose Palladian style. The principal block, dating from about 1734, was a one-story house with a garret. [4] In the 1750s, the roof was raised to a full second story and a third floor garret. There were also one-story extensions added to the north and south ends of the house these were torn down during the next building phase. [12] The present day mansion is 11,028 sq ft (1,025 m 2 ). [13]

In 1774, the second expansion began. A two-story wing was added to the south side. Two years later a large two-story room was added to the north side. [12] Two single-story secondary wings were built in 1775. These secondary wings, which house the servants hall on the northern side and the kitchen on the southern side, are connected to the corps de logis by symmetrical, quadrant colonnades, built in 1778. The completion of the colonnades cemented the classical Palladian arrangement of the complex and formed a distinct cour d'honneur, known at Mount Vernon as Mansion Circle, giving the house its imposing perspective.

Det corps de logis has a hipped roof with dormers and the secondary wings have gable roofs with dormers. In addition to its second story, the importance of the corps de logis is further emphasized by two large chimneys piercing the roof and by a cupola surmounting the center of the house this octagonal focal point has a short spire topped by a gilded dove of peace. [14] This placement of the cupola is more in the earlier Carolean style than Palladian and was probably incorporated to improve ventilation of the enlarged attic and enhance the overall symmetry of the structure and the two wings a similar cupola crowns the Governor's House at Williamsburg, of which Washington would have been aware.

Though no architect is known to have designed Mount Vernon, some attribute the design to John Ariss, a prominent Virginia architect who designed Paynes Church in Fairfax County (now destroyed) and likely Mount Airy in Richmond County. [15] Other sources credit Colonel Richard Blackburn, who also designed Rippon Lodge in Prince William County and the first Falls Church. [16] [17] Blackburn's granddaughter Anne married Bushrod Washington, George's nephew, and is interred at the Washingtons' tomb on the grounds. Most architectural historians believe that the design of Mount Vernon is solely attributable to Washington alone and that the involvement of any other architects is based on conjecture. [18]

Interior Edit

The rooms at Mount Vernon have mostly been restored to their appearance at the time of George and Martha Washington's occupancy. Rooms include Washington's study, two dining rooms (the larger known as the New Room), the West Parlour, the Front Parlour, the kitchen and some bedrooms. [19]

The interior design follows the classical concept of the exterior, but owing to the mansion's piecemeal evolution, the internal architectural features – the doorcases, mouldings and plasterwork – are not consistently faithful to one specific period of the 18th-century revival of classical architecture. Instead they range from Palladianism to a finer and later neoclassicism in the style of Robert Adam. [19] This varying of the classical style is best exemplified in the doorcases and surrounds of the principal rooms. In the West Parlour and Small Dining rooms there are doorcases complete with ionic columns and full pediments, whereas in the hall and passageways the doors are given broken pediments supported by an architrave. [19] Many of the rooms are lined with painted panelling and have ceilings ornamented by plasterwork in a Neoclassical style much of this plasterwork can be attributed to an English craftsman, John Rawlins, who arrived from London in 1771 bringing with him the interior design motifs then fashionable in the British capital. [19]

Visitors to Mount Vernon now see Washington's study, a room to which in the 18th century only a privileged few were granted entry. This simply furnished room has a combined bathroom, dressing room and office the room was so private that few contemporary descriptions exist. Its walls are lined with naturally grained paneling and matching bookcases. [20] In contrast to the privacy of the study, since Washington's time, the grandest, most public and principal reception room has been the so-called New Room or Large Dining Room – a two-storied salon notable for its large Palladian window, occupying the whole of the mansion's northern elevation, and its fine Neoclassical marble chimneypiece. [21] The history of this chimneypiece to some degree explains the overall restrained style of the house. When it was donated to Washington by English merchant Samuel Vaughan, Washington was initially reluctant to accept the gift, stating that it was "too elegant & costly I fear for my own room, & republican stile of living." [22]

Efforts have been made to restore the rooms and maintain the atmosphere of the 18th century this has been achieved by using original color schemes and by displaying furniture, carpets and decorative objects which are contemporary to the house. The rooms contain portraits and former possessions of George Washington and his family. [19]

Grounds Edit

The gardens and grounds contain English boxwoods, taken from cuttings sent by Major General Henry Lee III ("Light Horse Harry" Lee, a Governor of Virginia and the father of Robert E. Lee), which were planted in 1786 by George Washington and now crowd the entry path. A carriage road skirts a grassy bowling green to approach the mansion entrance. To each side of the green is a garden contained by red brick walls. These Colonial Revival gardens [23] grew the household's vegetables, fruit and other perishable items for consumption. The upper garden, located to the north, is bordered by the greenhouse. [24] Ha-ha walls are used to separate the working farm from the pleasure grounds that Washington created for his family and guests. [25] The overseer's quarter, spinning room, salt house, and gardener's house are between the upper garden and the mansion.

The lower garden, or southern garden, is bordered on the east by the storehouse and clerk's quarters, smokehouse, wash house, laundry yard, and coach house. A paddock and stable are on the southern border of the garden east of them, a little down the hillside, is the icehouse. The original tomb is located along the river. The newer tomb in which the bodies of George and Martha Washington have rested since 1831 is south of the fruit garden the slave burial ground is nearby, a little farther down the hillside. A "Forest Trail" runs through woods down to a recreated pioneer farm site on low ground near the river the 4-acre (16,000 m 2 ) working farm includes a re-creation of Washington's 16-sided treading barn. [26]

A museum and education center are on the grounds and exhibit examples of Washington's survey equipment, weapons, and clothing, as well as dentures worn by the first President. The Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington opened in 2013. [27] The library fosters new scholarship about George Washington and safeguards original Washington books and manuscripts. The site is open for scholarship by appointment only.

Washington family Edit

In 1674, John Washington (the great-grandfather of President Washington) and his friend Nicholas Spencer came into possession of the land from which Mount Vernon plantation would be carved, originally known by its Indian name of Epsewasson. [28] [a] The successful patent on the acreage was largely executed by Spencer, who acted as agent for his cousin Thomas Colepeper, 2nd Baron Colepeper, [28] the English landowner who controlled the Northern Neck of Virginia, in which the tract lay. [29]

When John Washington died in 1677, his son Lawrence, George Washington's grandfather, inherited his father's stake in the property. In 1690, he agreed to formally divide the estimated 5,000 acre (20 km 2 ) estate with the heirs of Nicholas Spencer, who had died the previous year. The Spencers took the larger southern half bordering Dogue Creek in the September 1674 land grant from Lord Culpeper, leaving the Washingtons the portion along Little Hunting Creek. (The Spencer heirs paid Lawrence Washington 2,500 lb (1,100 kg) of tobacco as compensation for their choice.) [28]

Lawrence Washington died in 1698, bequeathing the property to his daughter Mildred. On 16 April 1726, she agreed to a one-year lease on the estate to her brother Augustine Washington, George Washington's father, for a peppercorn rent a month later the lease was superseded by Augustine's purchase of the property for £180. [30] He built the original house on the site around 1734, when he and his family moved from Pope's Creek to Eppsewasson, [31] which he renamed Little Hunting Creek. [32] The original stone foundations of what appears to have been a two-roomed house with a further two rooms in a half-story above are still partially visible in the present house's cellar. [31]

Augustine Washington recalled his eldest son Lawrence (George's half-brother) home from school in England in 1738 and set him up on the family's Little Hunting Creek tobacco plantation, thereby allowing Augustine to move his family back to Fredericksburg at the end of 1739. [7] In 1739, Lawrence, having reached his majority (age 21), began buying up parcels of land from the adjoining Spencer tract, starting with a plot around the grist mill on Dogue Creek. In mid-1740 Lawrence received a coveted officer's commission in the Regular British Army and made preparations to go off to war in the Caribbean with the newly formed American Regiment to fight in the War of Jenkins' Ear. [33] He served under Admiral Edward Vernon returning home, he named his estate after his commander.

George Washington Edit

Lawrence died in 1752, and his will stipulated that his widow should own a life estate in Mount Vernon, the remainder interest falling to his half-brother George George Washington was already living at Mount Vernon and probably managing the plantation. Lawrence's widow, Anne Fairfax, remarried into the Lee family and moved out. [34] Following the death of Anne and Lawrence's only surviving child in 1754, George, as executor of his brother's estate leased his sister-in-law's estate. Upon the death of Anne Fairfax in 1761, he succeeded to the remainder interest and became sole owner of the property. [35]

In 1758, Washington began the first of two major additions and improvements by raising the house to two-and-a-half stories. [35] The second expansion was begun during the 1770s, shortly before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War. Washington had rooms added to the north and south ends, unifying the whole with the addition of the cupola and two-story piazza overlooking the Potomac River. The final expansion increased the mansion to 21 rooms and an area of 11,028 square feet. [25] The great majority of the work was performed by African American slaves and artisans. [36]

Agriculture and enterprise Edit

Washington had been expanding the estate by the purchase of surrounding parcels of land since the late 1750s and was still adding to the estate well into the 1780s, including the River Farm estate. [37] From 1759 until the Revolutionary War, Washington, who at the time aspired to become a prominent agriculturist, had five separate farms as part of his estate. He took a scientific approach to farming and kept extensive and meticulous records of both labor and results.

In a letter dated 20 September 1765, Washington writes about receiving poor returns for his tobacco production:

Can it be otherwise than a little mortifying then to find, that we, who raise none but Sweetscented Tobacco, and endeavour I may venture to add, to be careful in the management of it, however we fail in the execution, and who by a close and fixed corrispondance with you, contribute so largely to the dispatch of your Ships in this Country shoud [sic] meet with such unprofitable returns? [38]

In the same letter he asks about the prices of flax and hemp, with a view to their production:

In order thereto you woud do me a singular favour in advising of the general price one might expect for good Hemp in your Port watered and prepared according to Act of Parliament, with an estimate of the freight, and all other Incident charges pr. Tonn that I may form some Idea of the profits resulting from the growth. I should be very glad to know at the sametime how rough and undressd Flax has generally, and may probably sell for this year I have made an Essay in both, and altho I suffer pretty considerably by the attempt, owing principally to the severity of the Drougth [sic], and my inexperience in the management I am not altogether discouraged from a further prosecution of the Scheme provided I find the Sales with you are not clogd with too much difficulty and expence.

The tobacco market had declined, and many planters in northern Virginia converted to mixed crops. Like them, by 1766 Washington had ceased growing tobacco at Mount Vernon and had replaced the crop with wheat, corn, and other grains. Besides hemp and flax, he experimented with 60 other crops including cotton and silk. He also derived income from a gristmill which produced cornmeal and flour for export and also ground neighbors' grain for fees. Washington similarly sold the services of the estate's looms and blacksmith.

Washington built and operated a small fishing fleet, permitting Mount Vernon to export fish. Washington practiced the selective breeding of sheep in an effort to produce better quality wool. He was not as invested in animal husbandry as he was in cropping experiments, which were elaborate and included complex field rotations, nitrogen fixing crops and a range of soil amendments. [39] The Washington household consumed a wider range of protein sources than was typical for the Chesapeake population of his day, which consumed a great deal of beef. [40]

The new crops were less labor-intensive than tobacco hence, the estate had a surplus of slaves. But Washington refused to break up families for sale. Washington began to hire skilled indentured servants from Europe to train the redundant slaves for service on and off the estate. [41] Following his service in the war, Washington returned to Mount Vernon and in 1785–1786 spent a great deal of effort improving the landscaping of the estate. It is estimated that during his two terms as President of the United States (1789–1797), Washington spent a total of 434 days in residence at Mount Vernon. After his presidency, Washington tended to repairs to the buildings, socializing, and further gardening.

George Washington's will Edit

In his will, written several months before his death in December 1799, George Washington left directions for the emancipation of all the slaves who belonged to him. Of the 317 slaves at Mount Vernon in 1799, a little less than half, 123 individuals, belonged to George Washington. Under the terms of his will, these slaves were to be set free upon Martha Washington's death. [42]

In accordance with state law, George Washington stipulated in his will that elderly slaves or those who were too sick to work were to be supported throughout their lives by his estate. Children without parents, or those whose families were too poor or indifferent to see to their education, were to be bound out (or apprenticed) to masters and mistresses who would teach them reading, writing, and a useful trade, until they were ultimately freed at the age of twenty-five. [42]

When Martha Washington's first husband, Daniel Parke Custis, died without a will, she received a life interest in one-third of his estate, including the slaves. Neither George nor Martha Washington could free these slaves by law. Upon Martha's death, these slaves reverted to the Custis estate and were divided among her grandchildren. By 1799, 153 slaves at Mount Vernon were part of this dower property. [42]

Fearing that her deceased husband's slaves might kill her to gain their freedom, Martha signed a deed of manumission for them in December 1800. [43] Abstracts of the Fairfax County, Virginia, Court Records record this transaction. The slaves received their freedom on January 1, 1801. [42]


Placing slavery’s role in history

The homes of the nation’s first presidents receive as much care and attention as any historic sites in the nation. Special societies raise money to preserve and protect them. Researchers dote on the finest points of their architecture and family heritage.

But until recent years, there was little focus on a painful reality in the history of several of the founding fathers: George Washington, who led the Colonial forces seeking freedom from the British Thomas Jefferson, whose Declaration of Independence proclaimed the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and James Madison, who wrote the Constitution “in order to . . . secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity,” all owned slaves.

“How do you deal with the fact that Jefferson’s a national hero, Madison and Washington were heroes, and they all had slaves?” asked James Oliver Horton, a history professor at George Washington University who focuses on slavery. “Most people try to ignore it.”

The most famous -- and most visited -- presidential home, Washington’s Mount Vernon, has just added a piece of history that has long been known but, until now, was not really visible -- a reconstructed slave cabin, similar to those that housed the slaves who worked the fields of its outlying farms.

The tiny cabin -- with its crudely cut log exterior, rough pallet on the floor and bare loft -- stands in stark contrast to Washington’s 11,400-square-foot mansion five miles away, with its opulent furnishings, white-pillared veranda and vistas of the Potomac River.

Construction of the 16-by-14-foot dwelling was based in part on a 1908 photo of a dilapidated slave cabin, one of many that once dotted the 8,000-acre estate. In a letter written in 1798, a Polish visitor to Mount Vernon described “the huts of the Blacks, for one cannot call them by the name of houses,” as “wretched” and “more miserable than the most miserable of the cottages of our peasants.”

But that jolt of despair, said Sheila Coates, president of Black Women United for Action, is what Mount Vernon needed. Before the dedication of the cabin Sept. 19, the only depiction of slave life at Mount Vernon was a dormitory-style brick structure reconstructed on the farm nearest the mansion. The original residence -- part of the estate’s greenhouse, which burned down in the mid-1800s -- housed 97 house servants and craftsmen, the “elite” of the estate’s 316 slaves.

“There are people who saw those slave quarters and would think, ‘Well, the slave didn’t have it so bad,’ ” said Coates, whose group had pushed for years for a realistic representation of how the field slaves lived.

The cabin interprets the lives of actual slaves on one of Mount Vernon’s farms: a married couple, Slammin’ Joe and Silla, and their six children. Inside are their rations, salted fish and two sacks of cornmeal outside are a small vegetable garden and a chicken coop that they used to supplement their diet. “In order to fully understand what their lives were like, visitors must see how they lived,” said Dennis J. Pogue, Mount Vernon’s director of preservation.

Acknowledging slave ownership “is much more common than it was 20 years ago,” he said. “It’s still a topic that people would like us to deal with more.”

Other presidential homes in Virginia are taking similar steps.

At Monticello, Jefferson’s home near Charlottesville, communications director Wayne Mogielnicki said construction would soon begin on the slave cabins and workshops along Mulberry Row, an area near the main house where root cellars, thousands of artifacts and cabin foundations were excavated 30 years ago.

Tour guides discuss Jefferson’s slave ownership, along with the belief that he fathered one or more children born to Sally Hemings, a house slave.

So far, though, the only depiction of slave life at Monticello is the restored cook’s quarters, a comfortably furnished 10-by-14-foot room next to the home’s expansive kitchen.

Ash Lawn-Highland, James Monroe’s estate near Monticello, rebuilt quarters for a house slave in 1985. The executive director, Carolyn Holmes, said the long-term plan was to reconstruct the homes of the field slaves, “when we have documentation present.”

And there are promises of reconstructed slave quarters within the next decade at Montpelier, James Madison’s home near Orange, Va., where a freedman’s cabin dating from the 1800s has been restored. “As far as we know, it’s the only freedman’s home in Virginia,” said Christian Cotz, the estate’s student education coordinator.

But where presidents’ homes have, until now, lacked concrete depictions of the difficult lives of the slaves who worked there, other historical sites in Virginia have shown slaves’ contributions to Colonial America and the conditions in which they lived.

“It may not be the world through rose-colored glasses, but it is an essential element for the history of this nation, and you cannot ignore it,” said Jim Bradley, a spokesman for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

At Carter’s Grove, a plantation along the James River eight miles from Williamsburg, four slave cabins were reconstructed in the late 1980s, after archaeological excavations a decade earlier revealed remnants of slaves’ home lives. The historic area in Williamsburg itself offers reenactments of slaves’ daily lives in a thriving Colonial town.

“At the time of the American Revolution, slightly over half of the population of Williamsburg was of African descent,” Bradley said. Without slave labor, “a tremendous amount of accomplishments would have been impossible.”

Although presidential homes have acknowledged on their tours that the founding fathers did own slaves, said Horton, the historian at George Washington University, they are years behind Williamsburg in bringing the difficulties of slaves’ daily existence to life. “Freedom-loving” Americans just can’t deal with slavery, he said.

“All these national heroes were doing things that we thought were evil,” Horton said. “Even in their society, people knew they were hypocritical.”


Lives Bound Together

Lives Bound Together: Slavery at George Washington's Mount Vernon. Edited by Susan P. Schoelwer, Senior Curator at George Washington's Mount Vernon, with an introduction by Annette Gordon-Reed of Harvard University. ISBN-13: 978-970931917-0. Copyright 2016. Softcover with 172 pages.

At the time of George Washington's death in 1799, more than 300 enslaved men, women, and children lived on his Mount Vernon plantation. Lives Bound Together provides fresh research on this important topic, with brief biographies of 19 enslaved individuals, 10 essays, and 130 illustrations (including paintings, prints, and household furnishings from the Mansion, artifacts excavated by archaeologists from the slave quarters, documents, maps, and conjectural silhouettes that suggest the presence of the enslaved). The text illuminates the lives, families, and experiences of the enslaved people of Mount Vernon as well as Washington's own evolving views on slavery, culminating in his pioneering action to free his slaves per the terms of his will.

A Mount Vernon bookplate, signed by the author, is included with your purchase.


Colonial in: The complicated history of Colonial Williamsburg

It’s a gorgeous morning in Colonial Williamsburg, and I am cheering for America’s most notorious traitor. It’s not just me, it’s everyone — 250 people, families, people in wheelchairs, people in strollers, people with dogs, children with tricorne hats and wooden guns. We’re standing bunched together in something of a mob at the end of Duke of Gloucester Street, right outside the colonial Capitol, and for a moment we are all clapping and whistling and yelling “huzzah.” We are psyched.

Robert Weathers has been working up the crowd. He’s yelling at the top of his voice news about the glorious American victory in the Battle of Saratoga (huzzah!) thanks to our brave troops (huzzah!) and their talented major general, Benedict Arnold (huzz . uh). Laughter flickers through the crowd, and I hear a dad tell a child, good-naturedly, to stop cheering. A few of us keep going. I’m not sure if the others are being funny or perverse or don’t recognize the name, but I am cheering for what just happened. Every one of us had to take a second to think about the complexity of war, and the fickleness of heroism.

Meanwhile, removed from the crowd, I notice a person in period costume who is not cheering. He looks subdued, doubtful, conflicted. Han er sort. The speaker is talking about the necessity of fighting for one’s freedom.

That’s right, I’m in Colonial Williamsburg, and it’s making me think. Revolutionary.

Since the 1930s, when the project opened to the public, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation has employed tour guides in 18th-century costumes. They were originally all female and called “hostesses” the most important requirement, according to the project’s founder, the Rev. W.A.R. Goodwin, was that they be Southern.

By 1940, the foundation was employing African Americans to represent slaves. “Archaically clad slaveys,” as a Washington Post travel article called them, dressed the part but did not pretend to be colonial-era persons. Through the ’50s, the costumed employees lived in segregated dorms, and black visitors had only one designated day a week to tour the historic area. In the ’60s, critics began to complain about Williamsburg’s emphasis on rich white men, noting as late as 1976 the “almost total absence of any reference to slavery,” in one visitor’s words. Historian Anders Greenspan refers to this period as Williamsburg’s transition from monument to educational institution. In 1979, Colonial Williamsburg hired three black interpreters, including Rex Ellis, who went on to develop the African American studies program at Colonial Williamsburg and today is director of curatorial affairs at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Ellis told the Daily Press in 2009 that, at first, his family thought that pretending to be a slave was the worst thing he could do, given his education and opportunities.

As our culture learns more and thinks differently about the past, Williamsburg has grown with us, struggling, as it must, to follow both historical accuracy and financial viability. Bill Weldon, the foundation’s manager of public history development, says the mission is “that people be provoked to think about citizenship.” Since 2006, that enterprise has taken a turn for the theatrical, with 40 actor-interpreters representing real historical people from the town, with names and identifying details discovered the same way any historian discovers them. The characters participate in scripted scenes, extended monologues and extemporaneous conversation with visitors. This street-theater reimagining of Williamsburg is called Revolutionary City.

From a theater nerd’s perspective, which I just happen to have, this is terribly exciting. Street theater and educational plays have a pretty bad rap of late. But there’s street theater three hours south of Washington that gets more than a million visitors a year — painfully cool, avant-garde street theater that wants to change the minds of families on vacation and middle-schoolers on field trips. Tourists can avoid the darker parts of Colonial Williamsburg if they wish — or they can seek it out.

“We never found anything we aren’t willing to portray,” Weldon says. “We’d try to find a way to portray tar -and feathering, if it had happened.” It nearly does, in one scene. Revolutionary City has staged execution by firing squad — behind a wall — and scenes with slaveholders and enslaved characters, as well as scenes of a town occupied by a foreign power.

“If you are responsible and if you portray things responsibly and realistically, it’s the best teaching method,” Weldon says of the interactive, environmental street theater. “Public history, as opposed to academic.” The same year that Revolutionary City debuted, Mount Vernon unveiled its $5 million, 20-minute action-adventure movie starring a dashing young George Washington in the French and Indian War. History has gone cutting-edge.

Which makes the job of actor-interpreter at Revolutionary City a very interesting one indeed. Full-time, year-round, non-union acting gigs that pay a living wage (with benefits!) are thin on the ground already, but add the research and interactivity, and you’ve got financial stability, creativity, and a clear artistic and intellectual mission — facets that only a tiny, lucky fraction will find in New York or Los Angeles.

I’d been told to come to the 9 a.m. briefing/strategy session in the blacksmith’s house to meet the actor-interpreters during a bit of their downtime. The rebuilt historic houses along Duke of Gloucester Street are set up as colonial shops and private residences. Not seeing anyone coming or going, I assume I have the wrong address, but Jim Bradley, communications manager for Colonial Williamsburg, finds me and takes me around the back.

“When you live in a period house,” he tells me, “you don’t ever answer the front door. Come and go by the back doors. They’re usually outside of the public eye.” Around the back is the excavation of the next historical site being built, a half-dug-up smithy. Actors are arriving in costume from the parking lot — a mix of men and women, young and middle-aged, black and white. There’s a half-colonial feel to all of it, with ponytailed wigs still in the hairnets they’re stored in to protect the braids. A gentleman is using a steam iron on a drawstring bag. Suzie Allen is reading out the list of who will play what, when and where. There’s a coffeepot and a fridge. This is a break room it’s 18th century only on the outside.

“Anyone feel the need to rehearse?” Allen asks the room. There are about 20 actors here, and they are generally avoiding modern figures of speech, though I do hear one actor call another “Captain Queernabs,” which I figure must be a reference to something on YouTube.

Nobody feels the need to rehearse.

What is it like to interact with an audience as an 18th-century man? Robert Weathers, the Benedict Arnold champion, answers. “The number one mistake you can make is pointing out how [the visitors] are different from you. It opens you up to questions about the microphone.” The actors wear wireless mics, with a battery pack that tucks into their waistbands or under their skirts.

Colonial Williamsburg gives its actor-interpreters pamphlets about how to sound 18th-century. Say “above stairs” or “below stairs.” Terms like “hussy,” “slut” and “to make love” weren’t particularly rude. The actors tend to favor the insults. Bill Rose, one of the actor-interpreters, has an 1812 “Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue” and will write five archaic words for the day and their definitions. It turns out “Captain Queernabs” is a shabby gentleman.

The actor-interpreters call me out for saying a cobbler gør sko. (He only repairs them. It is a touchy subject.) They show me their handy chart, the “lowerarchy of humor,” on which they rate each others’ bad jokes on a low-threshold continuum from Yakov Smirnoff to Carlos Mencia. And they tell me about the two-hour discussion they had the other day about racism — whether colonial racism was necessarily about inherent racial inequality or whether it was about slaves being a “conquered people.” “Is racism today the same as it was then?” asks Art Johnson from the back of the room. He seems to want to rekindle the conversation, but this morning is too boisterous and slaphappy for it to catch hold.

There are also non-employee, non-volunteer folk who will make their own costumes and walk the streets, occasionally answering questions or giving unofficial talks. “We can’t vouch for everyone in a pointy hat,” Weathers says.

Each actor-interpreter does individual research during the park’s off period in January and February. Topics include colonial-era dance, boxing or cosmetics. “It reflects our interests,” says actor-interpreter Deirdre Jones. “And it benefits our interpretation. We can make these people more human.” And sometimes there are the tourists who object. “People tell me [as Kate, a slave], you can’t read!” Jones says. “And I say, there’s evidence that she could.” Kate is a real historical woman owned by a Mr. Trebell, who sent slaves to the Bray school, where Ann Wager taught them from the Bible. One of Jones’s slave characters gives tours of the Governor’s Palace — and because she would not be talkative with free Williamsburgers, the people taking the tour are cast as outsider slaves, sent to help set up a party.

There’s a scene in which Weathers has Eddie Menzies, playing a slave, in leather cuffs. “We walk down the street, and I explain he’s a runaway slave,” Weathers says. “Everyone thinks — runaway slave, good! People will try to free me,” says Menzies. “Robert will say I might get loose and hurt someone. One [tourist] said, ‘You wouldn’t hurt me!’ And I took it a step further: ‘If killing you meant getting my freedom, I’d kill you and your whole family.’ ”

For me, the only uncomfortable part of the whole experience is interacting with an actor pretending to be a slave.

Art Johnson, 49, realizes he has a hurdle to overcome. “You make the visitors feel comfortable so they can ask a question,” he says, eating a sandwich in the break room. Johnson sees himself more as an interpreter than an actor. He takes his historical knowledge and research and puts it in terms the visitor will understand. Which at times is more than people want to do.

“People will walk away, say they don’t want to hear it. People sit down in awe.” At another Williamsburg site, he says, “a lady I saw went down on her knees and cried, looking at the slave quarters.

“I’m in a city that at its height was over 50 percent black,” Johnson says. “It’s not always represented. It’s like taking someone to Georgetown and saying, ‘This is America.’ ”

Thomas Jefferson is onstage in front of a packed audience in the Hennage Auditorium in the mental hospital museum, showing off his “laptop.” It’s a portable desk he invented. The crowd eats it up. He tells us why the Declaration changed from one draft to the next. Originally, he held these truths to be sacred and inviolable, but he revised them in order to ground equality in human logic rather than in religious terms. Inevitably, at question-and-answer time, someone asks about his rumored sexual relationship with Sally Hemings, whom he owned.

“I would go to the ends of the earth to defend your right to say what you wish,” Jefferson says, “and my right not to answer.” Big laughs. . He stays afterward for 10 or 15 minutes, shaking hands and posing for pictures.

Bill Barker has been Thomas Jefferson for 27 years, originally at Independence Hall but here at Williamsburg for the past 17 years. He had been a history major but was pursuing theater in New York and Washington when a friend of his who played William Penn in Philadelphia asked if anyone had ever told him he looked like Thomas Jefferson.

Spend an hour with Bill Barker, and he’ll name-check Tacitus and Thucydides, drop paragraph-long quotations of Jefferson’s views on health care, and mention the medical experiments Jefferson performed on himself to try to cure his ailments — including attempts to self-catheterize. Barker will argue convincingly why he thinks Jefferson was a Freemason.

Whatever burden comes with wearing the frock coat and the ponytail, Barker embraces it. People expect him to say profound things, and he does. When a little boy asked him to define happiness, he answered with his take on Aristotle’s definition: fulfillment of one’s own capacity. And when a small girl asked what to say to your brother who has gone to war, he told her: “Let him know it’s for your benefit, the nation’s benefit. Help him to understand this is the highest duty.”

Barker has his own theory about the founders’ purpose in creating Colonial Williamsburg.He takes off his microphone and says: “My father, who was drafted into the First World War, said this was [primary donor John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s] gift to the South — after the Civil War, to remind us of when we were all working together, of compromise. It certainly took vision to see what something like this could mean.”

Revolutionary City is where Mr. Jefferson lives, but it’s also where a character named Wil, a slave owned by a tavern-keeper, lives. I meet Wil the first time when I come upon him telling a tourist family that the revolutionaries were talking only of their own freedom, not freedom for everyone. As I walked by, Wil straightened up, advised the family that you never know who is listening, and bowed to me, a white woman in jeans, telling me he “didn’t mean no trouble,” and acting worried about what my response would be. I was startled to suddenly be cast in the role of oppressor. Wil was afraid of me.

I responded with something awkward and modern, like, “No, you’re fine,” and I tried to bow back. I felt the need to make a joke. “I’m one of the nice ones!” Nothing worked nothing improved the situation of me against them. At that point, it didn’t matter what I did.

And that is when everything changed.

It didn’t matter at all that I was one of the nice ones. It didn’t matter what I said. What mattered to Wil was my white skin. It ruptured any sort of connection we could have. Somehow — it seems ridiculous now — I had imagined that if I had lived here in the 1700s, being nice, being me, having the conviction that slavery was wrong would make a friendship with someone like Wil possible.

I tracked Wil down the next day looking for catharsis. He stayed in his character, and left me in the one he’d designated for me the previous day. He was just as serious. He made me sit in the shade while he sat in the sun. He asked if I had brought a slave, and how a woman had traveled from Washington on her own, and if I was afraid, and he asked so plainly and earnestly and directly that I was playing along without realizing it. He told me his wife and son were sold down to North Carolina after a Christmas celebration got out of hand he showed me scars on his back — real scars, though not particularly lash-like — from the whipping he got when he left his owner without permission to help his uncle die. The uncle had died already when he arrived.

Wil asked me if I thought he should find another wife. He loves his wife still, but isn’t sure he’ll ever see her again, and a man gets lonesome. Nothing I said could comfort Wil. I asked him how much he cost — a hundred pounds — and he told another group of tourists that I would buy him and take him up North. I hadn’t said that. But I suspect a lot of people promise to buy Wil.

The best theater, the best art, will grow a compassion and perspective in you that you didn’t know you lacked. It will show you that you were incomplete and that you have more to learn.

Wil is played by Greg James. If you go to Revolutionary City to meet him, there is nothing you can do for him. But he can do so much for you.


7. Pay Your Respects at Washington’s Tomb and the Slave Memorial

George and Martha Washington are buried side-by-side in a tomb located below the fruit orchard. Washington died in his bedroom at Mount Vernon, and his will specified that he be buried on the estate. The Slave Memorial, located 50 yards from the tomb, is located on the site of a burial ground for slaves and free blacks who worked at Mount Vernon. Special wreath laying ceremonies are held at Washington’s Tomb and the Slave Memorial daily, but you can stop and pay your respects any time.

Tip: Washington’s Tomb and the Slave Memorial are located downhill from the Mansion on a dirt path so can be difficult to reach for people with limited mobility.


3D Sculpture of George Washington

The museum at Mount Vernon displays a collection of more than 700 objects including furnishings, china, silver, clothing, jewelry, Revolutionary War artifacts, rare books and manuscripts, and other personal effects of the Washington family. The building also serves as Washington's presidential library with classroom space and computers that will provide access to more than 20,000 letters written by Washington during his lifetime.


Se videoen: Urban Slavery at the Owens-Thomas House u0026 Slave Quarters (Oktober 2021).