Uncovering African American Stories at Historic New England
Illustrated talk by Historic New England's museum historian Jennifer Pustz.
Though too often hidden, the contributions of African Americans, enslaved and free, are important to understanding the history of New England. The story of Prince Sayward of York, Maine, who fought in the American Revolution, and that of Cuff Gardner, a free African American who worked at Rhode Island’s Casey Farm at the turn of the nineteenth century, reveal new aspects of daily life at these sites. These stories are about labor, but also about these individuals’ participation in the fight for freedom and in such uniquely New England traditions as “Negro Elections.”
Join museum historian Jennifer Pustz as she explores the African American experience in the North through the lens of several of Historic New England’s properties. Jennifer Pustz is museum historian at Historic New England, author of Voices from the Back Stairs: Interpreting Servants’ Lives at Historic House Museums, and a member of the Royall House and Slave Quarters board of directors. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa.
Historic New England is a museum that collects and preserves buildings, landscapes, and objects to help preserve and build appreciation for New England's cultural history.
Photo: Three African American farm hands working on the estate of James Monroe, Oak Hill, Virginia, c. 1905-1915. Baldwin Coolidge, photographer.