Digging Through Walls: Enslaved Africans And The Building Of Stratford Hall
AIA Society: ValparaisoLecturer: Kelley Fanto Deetz
In July of 1738, 70 enslaved West Africans were sold to Thomas Lee and tasked with building his Georgian style mansion on the Potomac River in Virginia. These men, women, and children lived in temporary housing while they hauled bricks, cut wood, and built the big house for their enslaver. Recent archaeological evidence and artifacts found hidden in the walls of the mansion tell stories of those West African people, and their attempts to pursurvere enslavement.
Stratford Hall plantation is a National Historic Landmark, the birthplace and boyhood home of two signers of the Declaration of Independence, Richard Henry and Francis Lightfoot Lee, and Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
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