A former tobacco plantation in Southern Maryland that relied on slave labor and was the site where many captured Africans first touched land in America, will publicly honor the slaves who worked and died there next month.
It is the culmination of decades of work of a descendant of one of the former plantation owners working with a descendant of one of the former slaves of the Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood, Md.
“They wanted to show that however painful, this was part of our history,” said Jan Briscoe, a descendant of the last family to own slaves at Sotterley, which is in St. Mary’s County.
Sotterley has a recently restored slave cabin on the property, believed to be the only such cabin open to the public in Maryland.
It has a dirt floor, a simple pallet bed and low stairs leading to an attic space, alongside plaques that help visitors imagine life for an estimated dozen people in the tiny space, about 16 by 18 feet.