As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history. Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete. In this two part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history. Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
Enslaved.org Brings Vivid Detail to the Lives of the Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade: A Conversation with Daryle Williams
As nearly anyone who has seriously studied American history can attest – there is no American story without the story of slavery. It is central to our origin and must be included in order to get a full and complete picture of our history.
Unfortunately, the records of slavery are spread far and wide and are often siloed and incomplete.
In this two-part series, we’re talking to two of the minds behind Enslaved: Peoples of the Historic Slave Trade – a digital preservation effort aimed at connected the dots and knocking down the silos of slave history.
Learn more at www.enslaved.org.
Daryle Williams (PhD, History, Stanford University, 1995), Associate Professor of History and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, is Co-Principal Investigator on AADHum and Enslaved, two collaborative projects in black studies and digital humanities sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Williams was lead editor on The Rio de Janeiro Reader: Politics, History, Culture (Duke University Press, 2015) and serves as Area Editor (Brazil pre-1888) on the Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography(Oxford University Press). Single-author publications include Culture Wars in Brazil: The First Vargas Regime, 1930-1945 (Duke, 2001), winner of the American Historical Association's John Edwin Fagg prize, and several articles and book chapters on nineteenth- and twentieth-century Brazilian cultural and social history. His current book project is "The Broken Paths of Freedom: Liberated Africans in Nineteenth-Century Brazilian Slave Society."
Williams has held grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship Program, and the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities.
Prior to serving as an associate dean, Williams was graduate studies director in the UMD history department and associate director of the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the African Diaspora.
Food is powerful. It has the ability to transcend artificial divisions and to unite – and it can speak to our history and heritage if we’re willing to listen, or think with our tastebuds.
For today’s guest, using food to tell a story is all a part of his daily work. Brent Rosen is the President and CEO of NatFAB, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans, Louisiana.
So, pack your back, but don’t bring any food – we’ve got that covered on this week’s PreserveCast.
Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.
Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.
The UK’s Kiplin Hall: Exploring the Ancestral Home of Maryland’s Most Prominent Colonists with Director James Etherington
When most Marylanders – or most Americans for that matter – think about the first European settlers they generally begin that story on the shores of North America.
However, in reality, these early colonists had long lives in their native countries before they ever set foot in America. Today’s guest, James Etherington, is the Director of Kiplin Hall – a historic site in England that interprets the ancestral home of the Calverts, one of Maryland’s earliest and most prominent colonial families.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading across the pond to tell the rest of the story of American colonization.
Olivia Williams of McLeod Plantation: Fighting Racism & Building Empathy through Honest Educational Interpretation
Today’s guest is a part of a powerful movement to share the authentic, painful and real history of slavery at some of America’s most visited plantation sites.
Olivia Williams is a cultural history interpreter at McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been featured in the BBC, CBS News and the New York Times for her work and for shining a light on the awkward and uncomfortable questions posed by many visitors which underscore the lack of understanding of America’s slaveholding past.
This week on PreserveCast, we’ll discuss this critical work with a master of the trade.
Our nation is confronting challenges on almost every front – so why invest money in historic sites when the challenges are so great?
Places like Historic Sotterley, located in Southern Maryland, can make the case for why we should invest. Sotterley has worked to become an exceptional cultural and educational resource for its region and state, and through ongoing work strives to help build a better community with local and regional partners.
On today’s episode of PreserveCast, we’re talking with Nancy Easterling, the Executive Director of Historic Sotterley about tackling the complex history of a plantation and how that conversation can improve communities.
There are some topics that are easy to introduce to our PreserveCast listeners. Today’s episode is not one of those – but it is a topic we feel compelled to cover and explore.
Among his many responsibilities and positions, today’s guest, Dr. David Fakunle, is also currently serving as the as Chair of the Maryland Lynching Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the first state body in the United States dedicated to chronicling and bringing justice to racial terror lynchings.
It is a dark and painful chapter in our history – but a history which we’ll confront and discuss on this week’s PreserveCast with a leader dealing with the legacy of lynchings and the effort to bring justice to those who were denied it.
Do you ever wonder how authors and historians can keep writing new books about the same 'ole history?
Shouldn’t it never change because it’s all in the past?
The truth is anything but.
No one can explain that better than our guest, Dennis Frye – having been involved in everything from giving tours to leading nationally important preservation and battlefield protection organizations, few people know the complexities of Civil War history like Dennis.
In his recent book, Antietam Shadows: Mystery, Myth & Machination, Dennis makes the case that history should never lie dormant, it always needs to be re-examined, stating, “Historians should always be challenging themselves. They should always be a detective. They should always be mining for new information, and if it completely reverses something that’s conventional, good, good. Throw it out there and let people see it in a different way, in a different manner, in a different light.”
Listen in to this episode of PreserveCast to hear from Dennis about his investigative and inclusive approach to historical research on this special re-broadcast in commemoration of the Anniversary of the Battle of Antietam.
Gettysburg is a special place and has been since the ground was made hallowed by soldiers nearly 160 years ago. Today, as America grapples with its history – especially its Civil War history – places like Gettysburg are critical to the understanding of who we are and where we are headed.
Today’s guest is responsible for leading the effort to interpret that history. Christopher Gwinn is the Supervisory Park Ranger for the division of Interpretation and Education and is working hard to reach all Americans with the story of Gettysburg.
Grab your knapsack and toss on your forage cap, we’re headed to the crossroads town of Gettysburg on this week’s PreserveCast.
Few names have become as synonymous with grit, determination, and liberty as Harriet Tubman. A Moses for her people, Tubman has become an almost mythical character who represents the best of the American spirit in the face of incredible suffering and inhumanity. Yet, for many years, she lacked a rigorous and scholarly biography.
Today’s guest, Dr. Kate Clifford Larson, addressed that historical inequity and helped bring Harriet’s real story to a new generation. On this week’s PreserveCast, we're heading back to the brackish marshes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore to talk Tubman, slavery, and freedom.
PreserveCast is powered by Preservation Maryland, a non-profit organization.
Americans have long admired the resistance, tenacity and spirit of those brave souls who were travelers and conductors on the Underground Railroad. On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re heading back to those days to dredge up another chapter – and one far less proud – that of the reverse Underground Railroad which brought captured formerly free blacks back to slavery. It’s a difficult history – but one we must confront and we’ll explore it with Dr. Richard Bell, a distinguished scholar who recently authored a book on this overlooked story from American history.
Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a PhD from Harvard University and is author of the new book Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped into Slavery and their Astonishing Odyssey Home. He has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. He has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
PreserveCast Ep130: Marylanders Fight to Save the Union: The Old Line State in the Civil War with Dr. Timothy Orr
For Civil War readers and historians, Maryland has always been confounding. Its location along the Mason-Dixon Line meant it was the seat of war for many pitched battles – and divided the loyalties of its citizens. But, for all the impact, bloodshed and division – its contribution to the Union Army is often overlooked. Confederate memory clouds the history – but today, the clouds are lifting thanks to the work of professor and historian Timothy Orr. Dr. Orr has begun to chronicle Marylanders who served in the ranks of the Union Army of the Potomac – a story long overdue that we’ll begin to explore on this episode of PreserveCast.
MORE ABOUT OUR GUEST
Timothy J. Orr is Associate Professor of History at Old Dominion University. He earned his Ph.D. at the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State University and he worked for eight years as a seasonal Park Ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park. His publications include Last to Leave the Field: The Life and Letters of First Sergeant Ambrose Henry Hayward (University of Tennessee Press, 2011), Never Call Me a Hero: A Legendary American Dive-Bomber Pilot Remembers the Battle of Midway, a volume co-authored with N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss and Laura Lawfer Orr (William Morrow, 2017), as well as several scholarly essays about the Army of the Potomac.
Few names are as synonymous with the Civil War as Gettysburg. For many Americans, Gettysburg is the Civil War – a touchstone of American history that has captured the imagination and interest of the nation since the battle was fought over 150 years ago. Today’s guest, Barbara Sanders, has worked for the National Park Service at the iconic battlefield for nearly twenty years where she’s helped thousands of young visitors learn about the meaning, value, and importance of this now peaceful field. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re taking a trip back to 1863 to talk about youth education and Civil War history.
Barbara Sanders has been Gettysburg National Military Park's Education Specialist since 1999, where she oversees thousands of students visiting the park each year – whether in-person or on virtual field trips. In addition, the park annually offers professional development opportunities for teachers, classroom loan materials and more. Barbara was the educator on the project team for the planning and construction of the visitor center and museum, which included the concept and design for exhibits, films, and computer interactive elements. Barbara began her career within the museums of Philadelphia, and she then moved to Washington, D.C. to earn a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from The George Washington University’s Museum Education program. She was recently awarded the National Park Service Northeast Region’s Freeman Tilden award which recognizes creativity, advancement, and ingenuity in the field.
In Maryland the land across the Chesapeake Bay, the Eastern Shore, is a place rich in history. The landscape itself oozes history and speaks in many voices for those willing to listen. Dorchester County, founded in 1669, is one of the Shores’ most historic places most famous for its connection to Harriet Tubman.
This week’s guest Amanda Fenstermaker works tirelessly to market, advocate and protect her native county’s history – and the results are showing as the county is quickly becoming a major tourist destination for those interested in learning about our nation’s African-American history.
Join us this week for a journey to the Eastern Shore, a teaser for a real road trip you’ll certainly want to make on your own very soon.
You’ve probably heard of Andrew Carnegie or the Rockefeller family, but have you heard of Julius Rosenwald? Today’s guest may be able to help with that. Aviva Kempner is a Peabody award winning documentary filmmaker, whose work focuses on unsung heroes from Jewish history. I spoke with Aviva about her most recent work which details the life of Julius Rosenwald, who during the turn of the century both revolutionized the business of Sears and Roebuck, and vastly influenced black education in the Jim Crow South with his philanthropy.
How are battlefields preserved? Why are battlefields preserved? What should we do with a battlefield site once it is protected? These are all important questions, and we are fortunate to be joined by someone who can possibly provide the answers. Jim Lighthizer is the President of the Civil War Trust and an expert in battlefield preservation. Join Nick as Jim shares insight into how he maintains momentum at the head of the nations leading Civil War Battlefield Preservation Organization on this week's PreserveCast.
This episode is part of focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
It doesn't matter if it's your molar, your canine, or what, everybody has some kind of sweet tooth. Something that you may not be thinking about is how that sweet tooth has played a role in history. Susan Benjamin is the founder of True Treats Candy in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and author of the book Sweet as Sin: The Unwrapped Story of How Candy Became America’s Favorite Pleasure. Susan has appeared on platforms from NPR to NBC, and she joined us on PreserveCast to share the rich history of candy in American culture, from pre-Colombian Native Americans to the working poor of the Industrial Revolution. Go ahead and spoil your dinner with this week’s PreserveCast.
Editor's note: Many thanks to the Storm Boyz Lenne Lenape Drum, whose music was used in the today's segment of "Preservation Explanation."
As preservationists, we here at PreserveCast are usually concerned with the physical history; what we can know from the cold hard facts. But seeing as how it’s October and Halloween is around the corner, we thought we’d talk a little about haunted history. Author Colin Dickey joined me to talk about the history of ghost stories and share what we can learn from the places that scare us. The conversation ranges all the way from Silicon Valley to Richmond Virginia on this, the first ever PreserveCast Spooktacular!
Few historic moments continue to reverberate through our nation quite like the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. But despite the way the history lives on, there are some parts that will always be challenging for us to face as a nation. Joe McGill, the founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, joined me to discuss the work he does to shed light on some of the most painful, yet powerful, places in America. Join us for a discussion on the value of remember all aspects of our past, from slave dwellings to Confederate monuments, on this week’s PreserveCast.
Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
It's hard to talk about the history of the Civil War without touching on the Maryland Campaign, which came to an end with the Battle of Antietam. This battle was not only the single bloodiest day of the War, but also preicpated Abraham Lincoln's issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation. And as important as the battle was, it would be extremely challenging to pass the history of that day on to future generations without the preserved Antietam Battlefield in its proper context, which is the way it is today thanks to Dr. Tom Clemens and the other members of the Save Historic Antietam Foundation. Learn more on this week's PreserveCast.
Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
These days even folks who consider themselves luddites may very well have an e-mail address. That's why it's important to consider where online all the data and information we use on a daily basis is stored, who owns, and perhaps most important, who can access. Fortunately we are joined this week by Eli Pousson of Baltimore Heritage who is eager to share with us more about the open source movement and why he believes it may be invaluable for historic preservation. This is PreserveCast.
The battle at Antietam Creek has gone down in history as the bloodiest day of the American Civil War. But as too often happens in significant military moments, people tend to overlook what this battle meant for the local civilian population. That's why this week's guest, the award-winning author Kathleen Ernst, decided to do exactly that. Join us as Kathleen discusses her non-fiction history of the Civil War and the Antietam campaign, as well as her fictional mystery series and books for American Girl, which have sold over 1.7 million copies combined. This is PreserveCast.
Producer's note: This episode is part of our focus series on the history of the Antietam Battlefield.
Thinking of taking a trip and the beach just isn't cutting it? You might stop to think about heritage tourism. Liz Shatto is here with us this week to share her knowledge of heritage tourism, and more specifically, about her own little slice of it at the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area. From educational school trips, to family vacations, and even gps treasure-hunting, there's a lot going on at this heritage area. Both geographically and spiritually at the heart of Civil War history, Liz's Heritage Area includes the Antietam Battlefield, and many other historic places. This is PreserveCast.
Phew! Everybody loves the summertime, but not so much the beating hot sun! Nick spoke this week with Will Hamilton and Mariah Schwartz about the historic Aiken Rhett House in Charleston, South Carolina, and what preservationists can do to keep the temperature of a historic propoerty under control, especially in the heat of a Southern Summer. Get a fan going and try to cool off as we learn about the Historic Charleston Foundation, the preserve-as-found approach, and hottest new takes on heating and cooling. This is PreserveCast.