Henry was one of the two listed carpenters at The Hermitage.  While it may forever be incomplete, his story is a fascinating one, and like Ned Davis, the other carpenter from Andrew Jackson’s plantation, Henry gives us an insight into the human side of the system of enslavement. Continue reading “Henry”

239 Records Total

This past weekend I was at Colonial Williamsburg for a conference that highlighted five different woodworkers, two of them enslaved: John Hemings, head joiner at Monticello and Poplar Forest, enslaved by Thomas Jefferson, and Cesar Chelor, the first recognized Black plane maker, enslaved by Francis Nicholson.  During the course of the weekend, I had the opportunity to talk to many who worked at Colonial Williamsburg, and I was impressed with their honesty on the question of enslavement in America.  I fully anticipated hearing excuses or glossing over, possibly listening to a brief mention of the enslaved people in Williamsburg.  To my surprise, it was not a side piece of the conference, but a major portion, taking up at minimum 40% of the total conversation. Continue reading “239 Records Total”