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'African-American Experience in Slavery, Freedom' exhibit opens

Slavery Exhibit1
2010-01-29

Three public lectures accompany exhibit in Sandor Teszler Library Gallery

(MEDIA: For high-resolution photos (300 dpi), contact Laura Corbin at 597-4180.)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Sandor Teszler Library Gallery at Wofford College will feature an exhibition focusing on the “The African-American Experience in Slavery and Freedom” as told through documents from the library’s special collections and archives. Three public lectures will take place in the gallery during the course of the exhibition from Feb. 8 through March 25.

Slavery Exhibit2Using large reproductions from the collections, this exhibition traces the African-American experience from the American Revolution to the early modern era, particularly in the South and the Upstate.

Some highlights of the exhibition include a list of slaves who lived and worked on Spring Garden plantation in Florida in 1829. In 1823, a Maj. Joseph Woodruff purchased the plantation’s more than 2,000 acres of land, and with slave labor, planted and harvested cotton and sugar. This list of slaves was likely made in the settling of the estate in 1829.

Other documents include a slave trader’s ledger from Spartanburg County from the 1850s; a letter from George Washington Carver to Wofford’s President Henry Nelson Snyder; a deed signed by Frederick Douglass; a letter from Booker T. Washington; and a biographical sketch of Father Rosemond, a Methodist minister born into slavery, who was instrumental in the founding of Silver Hill Methodist Church in Spartanburg.

The exhibition of documents was curated by Luke Meagher, special collections librarian, and Dr. Phillip Stone, archivist at Wofford.

Three lectures will accompany the exhibition:

Friday, Feb. 12, 4 p.m. – Dr. Philip N. Racine, professor emeritus at of history, will speak on “Slavery in Spartanburg County.”

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 4 p.m. – Dr. Denise Frazier, professor in the foreign languages department, will speak on “Why Afro-Brazilians dance samba and why African-Americans sing the blues: A comparative look into systems of slavery in the Americas.”

Monday, March 1, 4 p.m. – Dr. Tracy Revels, professor of history, will present a lecture titled “Bitterly Against Us: Slave Women in Florida during the Civil War.”

All lectures will take place in the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery. The lectures and the exhibition are free and open to the public. Groups wishing to visit are requested to call in advance so a docent can be provided. Call 864-597-4300.