Inalienable Rights: Free and Enslaved Blacks Crafting a Life in the Shenandoah Valley
Saturday, November 9, 2019, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Belle Grove Plantation will offer complimentary admission and feature special programming on the African American history of the site and of the Shenandoah Valley with speakers and special guests from The Slave Dwelling Project, Josephine School Community Museum, Shenandoah County Library and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.
The Slave Dwelling Project’s mission is to identify and assist property owners with documenting and preserving extant slave dwellings and they bring people together to talk about these important spaces of American history. While Belle Grove’s slave quarters have long ago been removed, the Joseph McGill (pictured at left), Founder of the Slave Dwelling Project will discuss the lower level of the Manor House, one place where the enslaved worked and may have slept. There will also be an opportunity to learn about the archaeological evidence that has been found where Belle Grove’s slave quarters once stood. The Hite family at Belle Grove owned and enslaved 276 men, women, and children from 1783 to 1851 and we are committed to learning more about their lives, contributions to the success of the plantation, and to remember and honor their legacy. Thank you for joining us!
Belle Grove Opens
10:15 – 11:15
Presentation: The Slave Dwelling Project, Joseph McGill, Founder of The Slave Dwelling Project (Lower Level Room)
11:30 – 12:00
Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Dontavius Williams and Terry James of The Slave Dwelling Project (Lower Level Kitchen)
12:15 – 12:45
Program: Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah, Shannon Moeck, Ranger, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (Lower Level Kitchen)
Presentation: Enslaved Shenandoahans and Locally-Made Ceramics, Matthew Greer, PhD Candidate, Syracuse University and Lead Archaeologist of the Belle Grove Enslaved Quarter Site (Lower Level Room)
Presentation: Popular Literature and the Reality of Slavery, Adeela Al-Kahlili, Board Member, Josephine School Community Museum, Berryville, Virginia (Lower Level Room)
2:45 – 3:15
Presentation: Bondage Biographies: Shenandoah County Enslaved Person Database, Zach Hottel, Archivist, Shenandoah County Library (Lower Level Room)
3:30 – 4:00
Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Dontavius Williams and Terry James, The Slave Dwelling Project (Lower Level Kitchen)
4:15 – 4:45
Program: Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah. Shannon Moeck, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (Lower Level Kitchen)
Upper Level of Belle Grove Manor House Closes
5:00 – 6:00
Presentation: Life in the Borderland: The Limits and Possibilities of Freedom for Enslaved and Free Blacks, Shannon Moeck, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (Lower Level Room)
All events held in the Belle Grove Manor House at 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown, VA
Schedule subject to change, please check back for most current information.
Thank you to our sponsors & Partners for this event