Family tree of former slaves coming together
Jennifer Farley, director of the Stagville state historic site, a plantation that once spanned about 47.5 square miles across parts of North Carolina's Durham, Orange, Wake and Granville counties, restarted the project two years ago, The News & Observer newspaper reported Thursday.
"We've just scratched the surface, I feel," Farley told the newspaper. "But if we don't have this, then these people will be forgotten. That is the worst thing you could do."
The first phase of the work started in the 1980s at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A student who interned at Stagville sifted through all the Cameron-Bennehan papers on campus and documented the name of every enslaved black he came across. The thick binder filled with pages of names such as Orange, Toast, Mittie, Solomon, Moses and Little Lot sat unused until Farley arrived.
"I thought it was amazing that nothing was being done about it," she said.
The work is difficult, hindered by a lack of birth certificates, which often were not issued for slaves or were incomplete.
Farley has had an easier time than other plantation researchers because Cameron and Bennehan -- early trustees at UNC-Chapel Hill -- kept meticulous records of the plantation.
comments powered by Disqus
- How the Martin Luther King estate controls the national hero’s image
- Benjamin Franklin's life inspired me, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi
- PTSD Found In Ancient Warriors
- 150 Years Later: Columbia, South Carolina wants the world to remember it also burned down in the Civil War
- ‘Bite-sized’ history textbooks used in the UK accused of ‘dumbing down’ the subject: should we be worried?
- West Point historian says if his cadets can understand the history of war, so can Congress
- Australian historian Alan Atkinson wins $100,000 literary prize
- From his perch in Saudi Arabia, Princeton’s Mark Cohen says Jews and Muslims should remember they used to get along
- Duke honors historian John Hope Franklin with year-long series of events
- What New Left History Gave Us