tv American Artifacts Green Hill Plantation CSPAN February 15, 2021 11:07pm-12:01am EST
five congressman were hit, then at jensen of, iowa four davis of tennessee, kenneth roberts of alabama, george h. felon of alabama, and albert edward binge lee of michigan who was lihh=um1e■ injured. observers noted the attack came as the american conference open in venezuela, and it suggested the motive might have been to -- through and a act of apparently blind violence calculated to inflame americas relations with her neighbors. estimates of the numbers of shots fired from 15 to 30, and each political found as a grim reminder who those who were president of the grim attack. the gang seized by sharp bystanders as they entered, were held a police headquarters as widespread search were launched for others who shared in the plot.
auction. auction block and auctioneer stand so that's so that's the brick dependency. that's the duck house. the dark house. this is the wash house. this one has a neat feature. a drain in the wall. that is where they would dump the water out. this is the sleeve house. we are at green hill plantation
which is that campbell county, virginia. i'm here with the company -- , they're here with me for the independent project. when i was in school from a masters thesis i started to do research with the historic american buildings survey collection which is a program that started in 1936 to get architects back to work, so 1000 architects were hired to get significant historic architecture around the united states. -- not necessarily intentionally but they did have sleeve houses and a lot of times it was just you got one photograph. or you would see that eight
sleep house in the back of a picture in a main house. from my masters thesis i identified all of the sites that had a sleep house in them. so the historic -- have a documented slave house. and my fieldwork of going back and doing my own documentation of the buildings, i was a intern, in the summer, -- i just did not stop. i just kept going. and tremble is a company that makes the survey comment that i use. one of the pieces of equipment that they make 3d laser scanners. that is a piece of equipment that i currently don't use for my service. it takes a little bit more set up and technical skill. and sometimes people, i would
like to start using it, it's right now the highest level of documentation that is out there. you can do it for buildings or objects, 3d scanning, they are here to document with, me i can have the highest documentation for my favorite sites. so the site, greenville plantation has the original sleep under here was very active in the sleeve trade. so one of the things that he decided to put, in his yard, is a sleeve auction yard, in addition to that, there were originally -- so it is a very rich site both historically, the history of, it and material culture wise. the site was, when he first
acquired the property and 1790, six about 1800, the site was 600 acres. when he died in 1864 he expanded to 5000 acres. so he was very active in growing his plantation. in addition to farming, he is active in sleeve trade, the plantation was large enough that it was divided into two separate towns. the main house where we're standing right, now and down by the river was called lower town, that was more where the enslaved people lived and worked. >> earlier today, you walk through this area with a tremble team. what are the challenges that they're facing today? >> one of the challenges besides the site, i was hoping to maybe scan the walk from the
river, because slaves would have been brought to the site on the, river and have to walk from the river to the auction block. i was just hoping to maybe capture that but it is quite a distance to capture. because it is, august and everything is in full bloom. a lot of the landscape is overgrown with trees and bushes and stuff. it's not a street path. so that was one of the challenges and we decide that it's maybe not the best way to show that. there's not a lot of technology that can capture the walk. so distance. height and size. the other one is the time of year that we are here the overgrown bushes around the buildings has made it a challenge. not only for us but also property owners. they recognize the historic significance of these buildings and when they bought that property they had good
intentions and they still do of maintaining these buildings. but you know have a 30 outbuildings maintained working full-time. you just can't do it. it takes a lot of upkeep to take care of these buildings, and when buildings are being used that is when they start to disappear from the landscape. and also natural disasters. when we walked we saw a giant tree had fallen. a tree can fall of any building and so once that happens you have lost the building. if we want to go back there this is where the other slave houses were. you can see the pile of stone. i think that there were two. so that's the chimney of another slave house. right next to this one. i think there could've been to.
down here. you see the trees. the chimney of the kitchen. that is all that survived from the kitchen. if you look at the other side, it has i think to fire places and act. red ovens. i mean it is pretty cool. this is brick. this is the one that we can look inside. it could be full of stuff. . >> so this also has a similar space under it. yes. it's just kind of an
interesting space underneath that. it does have a whole solar space. she have ball little ham thing that cuts the back would. these buildings would be perfect for. that would take down a lot of the brush up front. i'm richard. i work with trumbull. i have been involved in the atlantic slave trade project. we've been working there for three or four years. now as part of the project, judy has asked us to come and help or document some of the slave houses. when we scan, we scan our -- a panorama to take messages. and you can map those images on the laser scan. it provides a three dimensional
point cloud. we can use our other software packages to pull measurements and other kinds of useful information out of it. >> scanning that is happening here today. when you're done, what are you want to see? so the final product actually they are able to approximate the material in various ways. really what it is it's a model. so the 3d model can be used in different applications. one of the applications is it can be put into drafting programs. i can use it to create measured drawings of the buildings. floor plans, elevations. the 3d model can be used -- he can rotate it around and look inside, to get a sense of the space. they can take those 3d models
into virtual reality applications. take those 3d models to do 3d printing of buildings and objects. the deliverables are kind of open-ended, it depends on what software products you have. i'm going to use it primarily just to show a 3d model so people have an idea of what these buildings look like in÷8?■ realtime. spin around and not just rely on two dimensional photographs of the buildings. a 3d model helps people relate better to the buildings and the space. diab >> detail [inaudible] >>
so i have invited some people from local organizations that have been working with supporting my project. we have people like the virginia foundation, preservation virginia -- personnel which is a local retailer that has worked with me. i've people from -- coming out, historian's that's really exciting because he was documenting the site back in the eighties. it will be interesting to get his perspective what it's like now, because by lost time he was here was back in 1980.
doug >> -- >> my name is ed chapel. i'm an architect tech kicker, sometimes archaeologists. i'm -- to work with 36 years and change and retired in 2016. one of the principal things that our generation sort of did was to broaden the -- to look at regional buildings. we know that buildings we have in williamsburg tell stories but they don't tell the full story because not everything survived. it was our responsibility to restore -- cases the tell the fuller story,
especially stories about african americans, race and their slavery. we now have a campaign of 30 years to go into the countryside and study early buildings, particularly slave -related buildings. slave houses for slaves, her planter houses in green hill in which enslaved people were workers. the whole plantation ensemble, urban ensemble if he will. since i retired, and continuing to do this kind of. work i love to do this to work in the countryside. who -- it tells a powerful story. so we are at green hill, this morning in campbell county.
it's a remarkable plantation. green hill is probably the most intact plantation ensembles from the early 19th century. in virginia, maryland as well. so we were here about 20 years ago, so i am back with this team to look further and tried to report more. it's one of the many places that has this rich variety of people who worked and lived here, in the countryside. it was actually photographed before we came -- there is very for good photographic recordings. we came back did another layer of measured drawings, eight or ten buildings, planned sections,
elevations. a number of those extraordinary buildings are now gone. today we're using new technology, mine is in some ways a medieval system of drying things by hand. there's a role for that still i think, but we are also here doing extraordinary digital recording. takes the texture of the buildings to a degree that we were able to do in the old days using all fairness fashioned pencil and paper. and measuring stick. but we did an amazing amount of recording 20 some years ago. so be the drawings of all the buildings. >> there is a professor, my
thesis adviser, he has traveled to be here with me. he has been here all week and has really enjoyed. >> i'm wrecked minor, and i'm the senior archaeologists with -- i met joby when she came to the university of oregon to take a degree in historic preservation. i teach a course called historical archeology and historical preservation, and she was a student in the course. she stood out because she came in with this great idea of beginning with an inventory of standing slave houses. she subsequently asked me to me on her masters committee and we have just maintain contact relationship ever since. i went out to visit her when she had a fellowship at winds bergh one time, so i teach historical archeology and i do historical archeology in the
west, but the beginnings of historical archeology were in the east, so it just really helps to get out to see some of these places. you can read about them and talk about them, but to actually be here, it is special. she invited me here just to participate in what she is doing. african american archeology was a real stimulus for us studying the slavery period in the united states. it really didn't get going until 1969, i think was the first flavors excavation in florida. it was real stimulus for looking at the whole slave experience. it was a really important thing in the history of the united states and the history of archeology to document what was
going on here. >> what are your impressions of the place we are here now greenville? >> well this is the most impressive and extensive site we have been at. it just goes on and on. and must of had a really sizable population. it's the most underground, but they're also natural sources of stone here, so a lot of buildings were constructed of stones other really well preserved, more so than the log structures. there is just a lot going on here, and most of it is still under the brush. it's gonna take a lot to reveal it, and will not be done in the strip, that's for sure. >> as a scholar how could you characterize the importance of jobs project, saving slave
houses? >> i think it's a really outstanding project in the sense that it's bringing together a lot of the data. she's taking a multi state approach, on a state by state basis. right now of course, she is focusing on virginia, but the other thing that is really cool, that is sort of behind the scenes is bringing all the people that are interested in the subject together, and not only the scholarly people but the preservation people and families, it gets people talking and sort of generates this energy. she sort of at the center of this right now so for me to have been one of her professors to see this happen it's a cool
thing. >> i'm pretty sure this is the front of one, with the first, house it's the main house, so it's not my area of specialty. again, what is interesting is that the sleeve auction block, it's the teller, won the auctioneer stand is the taller one. the proximity to the mean. house it's closer to the main house than it is to any of the enslaved buildings but it is definitely within the wreck site of the enslaved buildings. if you can see where the kitchen would have been, you can see the chimney back in the trees,. but what i'm guessing is it is not in line with the kitchen
and the slave house, and it's slightly off so you could actually see the auction block. >> every day. >> if you come out of any one of those buildings you can see the auction block. >> my name is doctor, read -- we have actually worked quite a bit with her, and her work documenting sleeve homes -- to expand one of our projects called encyclopedia virginia, so we are increasing the slavery conduct, content, we are documenting the sleeve dwellings with google 360 image and software. so we are allowing virginians, americans, anyone around the world to see their sights from the grooms, they can find it on google maps. if they go to encyclopedia
virginia's page, they can see several historic sites that we've captured. if you searched, online you can find it anywhere. >> what is your background? how did you get involved in doing this kind of work? >> my background is public museums and history. i've spent much my career working with local historic firms. a year ago i joined the foundation for the humanities to help other historic sites about their capacity. so one of the things that we do is provide grants to libraries and universities for programming, research, for capacity building projects. we do our know own programs and produce our own -- my particularly responsibility now is working with the commission, to document as many existing african american historic sites as possible.
so all of the work believes together from what she's, doing to what the encyclopedia virginia is. doing documenting historic sites. this new general assembly project, we are trying to assemble it together into something that is accessible and friendly for teachers, families, visitors in the state of virginia to promote some of the unknown historic sites that are significant. >> i think it is a status symbol. so he was a slave trader and it shows one how good he was at his job, he is so good at moving slaves, he needed to have something right at his home. people were coming to him to buy slaves.
you don't need to travel to do this. he had somebody he could do this from home. the mile is -- the reverse a mile away. they would bring them right over here. >> they had to walk about a mile from the river to get here. the upper area, the town, the area and the group of buildings is called lower, town wilbur town is primarily sleeve buildings. i'm guessing an overseer to control and manage that area. up, here that was appertain. >> do you know where it exists today? laura town? >> yes. not a lot. we will walk this way and i'll point at the ones that exist out here. but more buildings exist in upper towns and lower town.
one thing that is interesting about the site, you will notice, there is a ton of stone. a ton of stone. a lot of it is hidden, but i will point it out from where you can see it. there is a stonewall around, you can call it a garden, but it's not a formal garden with shrubs and stuff. but that is all stone. originally the site had a lot of outbuildings. it showed off its well. the first building is the dark house. you build a house for ducks. do you know what i mean? i wouldn't call it a necessary building. he could do it. he had the material to do it so he did it.
>> that is better housing. >> at any given time, approximately how many slaves did he have here on the property living and working? >> that i don't now. that i think is tricky because he was a sleeve trader. he would be moving slaves, maybe hundreds, maybe thousands moving in here. and i don't know about what his shipments were. and how many he kept on hand permanently, i do know for here, there would have been, there would have been a kitchen, there would have been kit -- slaves living in the kitchen.
there would be slaves living in the wash. house there are three known slave houses with a space down here, and a weeping house, where slaves would have been living. so quite a few slaves we're living and working up here. then there would be slaves living and working in the main house, probably. so quite a few just up here, and like i said, lower town, i think it literally was like a tan. it was a whole community of enslaved people living and working. it was a mill down. there with the list of slaves, i do know, i have theo and a narrative from one of the
slaves actually. when i was doing research. unfortunately, it doesn't describe any of the living conditions or anything. he's talking about something else. but it's talking about one of his slaves. we were living upstairs. if you go upstairs. there's a header, tells you there's a stare, there's a opening, and that's where the stairs would have been. if you want to look at the fireplace, it's pretty cool up there. so the back of the wash house and how we kind of know it is a wash house, and makes it interesting because you don't
find often than trains in the wall. so that's with the stonemason's are that are coming out of the wall. so as they are washing you know, they have a lot of water, dirty water, the water goes outside of the building and you have to take time and carry that big pot of hot laundry water all the way outside. he just dump it. i have seen this act one other building, these are very cool because i don't think a lot of them have survived. it also depends on what the washed house is made out of. >> so that would have been the laundry the whole plantation. >> so that's the question. so there are questions that always come up that people are always interested in, it has to do with the laundry and the
cooking. so the kitchen. who did the kitchen feed? did it only feed the main house or the main house and the enslaved people? same with the laundry. was the laundry for the main house? was it for everybody? or was it just for the inslee but? so those are questions that kind of usually can only be answered through documentation that is describing that function. for this, i don't know, i haven't seen any documentation about what it's serviced. cooking, lies when we go and look at the kitchen, i am guessing just sheer size of the kitchen fireplace, it was feeding everybody that was upped a pertain. watch house, i don't know, i would kind of think that it would be servicing everybody,
navy in upper town as well but i just don't know. as for cooking, slaves we're always going to do some kind of cooking inside their houses because it's well documented and well known that slaves were not provided enough russian so they were always supplementing their diets. they were rationing because they needed to supplement their diet. so those far places although they are not considered kitchen fireplaces, they are using it for cooking and heat resources. so now onto the sleeve house. yay. it's the surviving slave house.
so this was one of three for sure, that pile of stone right there was the chimney of another one, it used to be right next to. it when you walk around you can see the other side of it. this one has a loft space upstairs. it's typical. so we can go inside and look. hi. >> so we thought there were three early periods. you can see, originally, that was there, there's the dovetail. this is where the fireplace would get started. this is a little smaller. the steer over there.
i think what we saw, it would be replaced ones. and now it's been replaced again. so it started with access to a unfinished attic. and accommodations, and then the rear shed. >> you built a lot since the last time we were here. >> two or three anyway. the kitchen had three fireplaces side by side. with equipment above it. the stone wall. set up for clothes inside. so you can go in the attic. then there's a petition. as you see here, there were smaller boards and there were
space apart. there was air circulating through. so you saw how it was really specialized cultivation of his farming and his manufacturing. so it seems so completed, and yet, i don't think that it represents a every day plantation in virginia. even among elite virginians. it seems like he was particularly interested in how to do these esoteric things. >> there is nothing really special about the stairs. it's a latter stare that we see and lots of places. it is steep like ladder stairs. ñ(up here ie conditions the most asleep people lived in. so one of the reasons why it is
hot, it is unfinished, it is pretty well built. out of timber, it's join together, it is built by a professional builder. but it's left unfinished so there is no sheathing on the counters, or the gate lands, an interesting point is that it looks like it never had a railing until the railing is put in after 1900, with wire and nails. so you have to be careful here as well, it can fall through the stairwell pretty easily. this, first floor, special, esoteric, the house that the enslaved virginians occupied,
it gives you a much better sense of relatively unfinished, and frankly, uncomfortable accommodation. >> the hooks above the door over there. so you see those a lot in smoke houses, and things, but those are hawks, hooks that they used, you see them in smoke, houses those are the kind of pucks that they would make a branches and stuff. >> see that break. or stone. that was the tobacco barn. that is still part of a proton. but what makes this one special is that in the four quarters of
it there are four small rooms in each quarter. these four corners were used to breed slaves. they were big into the sleeve trade so part of trading slaves is to breed them so you could have more property to trade. in the report about the property, they said that the rooms were used to slave -- breed slaves. so they are just windowless. here, a massive kitchen chimney. look at that. how cool is that? look at how big that is. >> what are your impressions of this place? >> this is not my first time
here. i grew up in virginia. i visited plantations. for me it was pretty striking that there was a auction block right here in the set of the property. earlier, it was a very, i felt like i was tensing up as i was sitting on the auction block, and just imagining what previous generations might have been feeling standing on the spot, not knowing what would happen, you can definitely feel the power of the, place the auction block is a huge part of why this site is so powerful. it's the last place where many men, children, and women would have been with their families and after this place they would've been scattered all across the united states of this is grand zero for that experience here. that definitely was the most i
guess impactful aspect of this plantation. i think that is so important for americans to know this history. look at what is going on in society. we are still working through the legacy of enslavement and disenfranchisement so before we self-today's problems we need to look at today's problems. we can't eradicate what we have today -- obviously slavery is the root of so many of the social else we are experiencing. so if we are interested in improving our schools, eradicating poverty, if we want to make sure that more african americans can achieve quote unquote the american dream we have to take a step back and look at the things that caused some any of the inequities.
before we fix anything, we have to have a more accurate and truthful understanding of the history. >> this one was what they call, it's been called brick dependency for obvious reasons. or the blue, house the weaving house with the factory. but i think primarily it was a leave and house. i think there's actually weave equipment inside which is another reason we support that but this too has a loft and seller space. so we are also living in the space. you can go inside and look if you want to, not just have to be careful for some of the floor boards. so instead of saying a slave house, it's like when they called places a servant house, they warrant slave houses,
servants chose -- 's slaves, it wasn't a choice. that's what they were trying to cover-up. but sometimes they don't know with the function was, we actually did some research about when people started using the word dependency. and it was, i want to say that it was mid 18 hundreds, but it depends on what time period you study but it was kind of a later term that was picked up. it's like a kitchen, wash, they wouldn't have needed to use the generic term, they needed to know with the function once, and they would have talked about, it and not have reached for a term as a generic something but i think it is a more modern generic terms that we have started to use.
that little a-frame building is the ice house. the other one next to it is a theory workshop above it. so the ice house, dairy, there you find commonly next to the kitchen. the reason i study the buildings is because i am interested in the people that were in the buildings. it was always in the back of my mind. i can always talk about the architecture itself, that's what i'm trying to do. that's my background is in, it's the people i'm interested in and it's the research i've done with the sleeve narratives that are in the back of my mind, those are the things that i am looking for. how are the using the space. how many people were in the space. how have the use the space. how would they have divided the space, especially for the
multiple families in the space. had a big clean the space, can we see any of evidence on the walls or floor, or anything like that, and you know where were they sleeping? moreover they working, things like that. when i am with others they -- those are the kinds of questions that they have. and they are noticing things about the space, but it would be like to live there, i have experienced enough, i kind of know what questions they're going to ask. when we're out there in the summer, doug like oh it's hot out there. yes, it gets very hot in love spaces. especially if there are no windows or just like one small window. so it's interesting to listen or watch people when they are visiting the spaces for the first time, because they are realizing the conditions of these spaces, that again you
don't get from a photograph or something. i'm actually being there. like, yes the loft space is hot. the ceilings are low. the doors are small. does things like that. >> what are some of the things are the biggest misconceptions you think that the general public has about slavery based on your work? >> that enslaved spaces were not like single function spaces. so i say slave houses. there were definitely buildings dedicated to housing in that was their primary function. but work spaces were oftentimes living spaces as well. kitchens and watch spaces, sleeves did not have a separate living and work space.
so many inslee buildings are multi use buildings where they changed to use over time, but also during historical times. it was what was needed at the time that could easily be swapped out for what was needed at the time. so it was kind of this idea that sleeves worked here during the day, and went to another building at night. it's not true. they lived and worked in the same space. and part of, that one of the spaces was the many. house so when you find fireplaces in the basement or sellers of houses, it's for inslee people. that's why there's a fireplace down here, because every space was a usable space and working space. like we say, slavery was
everywhere, it wasn't limited to certain places. it was everywhere. >> your next summer season, what do you plan to do? next where are you going next? >> i hope to do that next site, but i know of already, it's alabama, so i will do survey work down there, and i would like to see how alabama compares with virginia, except virginia is rich in history, a lot of historians and architectural stories have done a lot of work in virginia because it is tight a lot of history, presidents, things like, that so it's always researched by virginia, and researched in many ways so i would like to see how other sites like virginia have a lot of research going on there. like virginia, or if they are