I apologize for the lack of posts. Between work and recent travel, I just haven’t had the time.
Nevertheless, there is some good and interesting news from the front.
First, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources added nine more sites to the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register. Among the most interesting is the Robert Russa Moton boyhood home. Moton was a black educator and author born in 1867. In his adult life he served as an administrator at Hampton Institute and following the death of Booker T. Washington in 1915, he became principal of Tuskegee Institute until his retirement in 1935. The boyhood home was slave quarter which was slightly altered in the aftermath of slavery for the recently freed people. The building is regrettably in a perilous shape and immediate attention will be required for its preservation. Photos of not only the Moton boyhood home but also the big house on the Pleasant Shade plantation can be found here: http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/PrinceEdward/073-0030.MotonHouse.photos.html
Another interesting new site added is Walnut Valley Plantation, which is inside Chippokes State Park in Surry County. It includes a circa 1770 big house and a circa 1816 slave quarter. Photos can be found here: http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Counties/Surry/090-0023_WalnutValley.photos.html
Another interesting bit of news comes from Montpelier, the home of James and Dolley Madison and more than 100 enslaved men, women, and children. You can learn more about the archaeological work being done to investigate the quarters of the Madisons’ field hands here: http://www.montpelier.org/blog/update-quarter-field-slaves