Although the central story of Historic St. Mary’s City is about its time as the first capital of Maryland in the 17th century, its space contains many more stories from later eras. One is the 19th-century story of slavery and freedom at a large slave plantation. This story is being told in a digital exhibit and blog, All of Us Will Walk Together, published by Michigan State University doctoral candidate Terry Peterkin Brock.
Brock is studying the lives of the slaves and tenant farmers who lived at the St. Mary’s Manor Plantation, which stood in what once was the heart of St. Mary’s City. His objective is to open a window into lives that have often been neglected in the history of St. Mary’s City, yet were vital to the sustainability of its land and people. Brock traces these African American laborers from the erection of the slave quarters in 1840 through the Civil War and into the post-slavery era, when they lived and worked as tenant farmers. One building, a duplex quarter, continued to serve as a tenant home until 1950. St. Mary’s City is currently in the process of turning this structure into a physical exhibit through funding from the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Maryland Historical Trust. The digital exhibit and blog will include a discussion of the process. The website and blog are designed for audience participation.
~ Regina Faden, Executive Director, History St. Mary’s