Joseph McGill founded the Slave Dwelling Project as a Civil War historian and descendant of the enslaved to identify and assist property owners, government agencies and organizations to preserve extant slave dwellings. Since it’s founding, he has brought his expertise to nearly 100 sites across the country – in October he will be on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Slave Dwelling Project
Dorchester County
October 13-14, 2017

In celebration of Dorchester County’s rich African American heritage, the two-day Slave Dwelling Project Come to Dorchester event will bring attention to little known county historic structures that once served as dwelling houses, churches or other cultural and utilitarian uses in the lives of African Americans. This project will feature Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project and Inalienable Rights, a living history troupe representing enslaved African Americans of the 19th century. Participants will sleep overnight at the Bayley House Slave Cabin in Cambridge and then in a slave chamber at Handsell in Vienna. With an impressive group of partners, the project will also provide an opportunity for the public to have discussions guided by members of Coming to the Table about the history and legacy of enslavement in the United States. The weekend includes multiple events at various sites around the county, facilitated discussions, living history reenactors, music and other historic demonstrations suitable for visitors of all ages.

The Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance received a Community Choice at the Preservation Maryland Best of Maryland Awards in 2015 for their dedication to the restoration of Handsell. The Alliance’s interpretation of Handsell deserves recognition for their ability to represent overlapping and often difficult histories of the 18th century site, including African American and Native American heritage. Their accomplishments include a replica Longhouse, restoration of the main house, interpretative signage and an array of educational offerings.

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