Posts Tagged Wye House Plantation

Video: Frederick Douglass & Wye House at the University of Maryland Hornbake Library (2016)


A nine-year archaeological dig at the site of a plantation where abolitionist Frederick Douglass once lived culminated in an exhibit at the University of Maryland’s Hornbake Library.

The exhibit showcases artifacts that shed light on the life and culture of Wye House, a former plantation near Easton, Maryland where Douglass spent two years as an enslaved child. Professor Mark Leone of the university’s Department of Anthropology co-curated the exhibit with his current and former graduate students

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Mid-Shore History: Frederick Douglass and Wye House with Richard Tilghman (Talbot Spy)

Punching above its weight class, the Talbot Spy is an online news publication covering history, culture and politics of the Shore. Publisher Dave Wheelan recently posted an interview with Richard Tilghman, descendant of Governor Edward Lloyd IV and owner of the Wye House.

Mr. Tilghman shares his family history which is inextricably and eternally linked with the family history of Dr. Frederick (Bailey) Douglass.

In recent years Mr. Tilghman and his family have opened the grounds of Wye House to a team of archaeology students from the University of Maryland, led by Prof. Mark Leone.

For more info on the archaeology project visit HERE.

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Editor’s Note:

We’ve recently made contact with Mr. Dave Wheelan of the Talbot Spy and hope to connect sometime in the near future for a tour of Cedar Hill.

 

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Brother-in-law of Edward Lloyd IV, who built Wye House Plantation, one of largest contributors to founding of Washington College in 1782

Charles Willson Peale, American - Portrait of John and Elizabeth Lloyd Cadwalader and their Daughter Anne - Google Art Project.jpg

Elizabeth Lloyd, sister to the man who built Wye House Plantation.

John Cadwalader, a general in the Colonial Army, gave one of the largest contributions to start Washington College in 1782.

His first wife was Elizabeth Lloyd. Her brother was Edward Lloyd IV, who built the Wye House plantation. Frederick Douglass came up at Wye House.

Edward Lloyd V is who Frederick Douglass talks about in his 1845 autobiography.

Washington College is planning to exploit the intellectual legacy of Douglass by posthumously conferring an honorary degree on Feb 23, 2018.

In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass the author writes about Lloyd:

To describe the wealth of Colonel Lloyd would be almost equal to describing the riches of Job. He kept from ten to fifteen house-servants. He was said to own a thousand slaves, and I think this estimate quite within the truth. Colonel Lloyd owned so many that he did not know them when he saw them; nor did all the slaves of the out-farms know him. It is reported of him, that, while riding along the road one day, he met a colored man, and addressed him in the usual manner of speaking to colored people on the public highways of the south: “Well, boy, whom do you belong to?” “To Colonel Lloyd,” replied the slave. “Well, does the colonel treat you well?” “No, sir,” was the ready reply. “What, does he work you too hard?” “Yes, sir.” “Well, don’t he give you enough to eat?” “Yes, sir, he gives me enough, such as it is.”

The colonel, after ascertaining where the slave belonged, rode on; the man also went on about his business, not dreaming that he had been conversing with his master. He thought, said, and heard nothing more of the matter, until two or three weeks afterwards. The poor man was then informed by his overseer that, for having found fault with his master, he was now to be sold to a Georgia trader. He was immediately chained and handcuffed; and thus, without a moment’s warning, he was snatched away, and forever sundered, from his family and friends, by a hand more unrelenting than death. This is the penalty of telling the truth, of telling the simple truth, in answer to a series of plain questions.

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WYE HOUSE ARCHEOLOGY EXHIBITION OPENS AT ACADEMY ART MUSEUM ON AUGUST 24

Read about the exhibit in the Star-Democrat HERE

WYE HOUSE ARCHEOLOGY EXHIBITION OPENS AT ACADEMY ART MUSEUM ON AUGUST 24

 

Wye House Exhibit in Easton, MD. Photo by Chris Polk

Wye House Exhibit in Easton, MD. Photo by Chris Polk

Curator-Led Tours: 
Friday, September 6, 12 noon
Wednesday, September 25, 12 noon

Wye House is one of the most important and well documented plantations in Maryland. Joint Heritage at Wye House is a major interpretive exhibition shown at the Academy Art Museum, drawing on archaeological evidence from the slave quarters and from the Green House (later called the Orangery) at Wye House. The archaeological exhibition, on display at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, from August 24 to October 13, 2013, contains archival sources, household objects, books, recipe collections, maps, and artwork related to the people who lived and worked at Wye House. Organized by Anke Van Wagenberg, Museum Curator, and visiting curators Mark P. Leone, Elizabeth F. Pruitt, Benjamin A. Skolnik, and Amanda Tang from the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland College Park, Joint Heritage at Wye House explores the co-existing cultures and their creations at the plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The archaeology of Wye House involves eight years of excavations on slave quarters, slave industries, and buildings associated with the shipping of agricultural goods that made the plantation wealthy. The Lloyd family, founders and owners of Wye House, owned a large numbers of slaves. The young slave Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895) was among the people who lived and worked at Wye House. The exhibition concentrates, not on the evils of slavery, but rather on the culture made by Africans and African Americans on the property, including the combined work of the Lloyds and their enslaved Africans.

One section of the exhibition includes the history of Wye House, its structures, and people, including books on architecture. A second section focuses on excavation methods, materials excavated, and interpretations of the objects. A third section interprets the Green House (later called the Orangery) and its archaeological data and meaning, derived from pollen grains, food remains, and thousands of broken dishes. The Green House interpretation explores farming, domesticating new plants, and a native pharmacopeia. The population of Wye House section introduces the lives of the Lloyd family, enslaved Africans, and the free people who worked with them after the Emancipation Proclamation, and includes a searchable database drawn from previously unavailable lists of slaves, including hundreds of full names. The ability to fully identify the historical individuals who lived and worked the plantation is a rare and remarkable feature of the exhibition. In a related vein, historical family cookbooks will trace the introduction of local ingredients and the influence of African-American cooks in the emergence of southern cuisine.

On September 26, 2013 at 6 p.m., the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD, will present a lecture in its Kittredge-Wilson Speaker Series entitled, “The Archaeology of Time Telling at Wye House for Black and White Production: Floral Clocks, Time and the Greenhouse” by Professor Mark P. Leone and Elizabeth F. Pruitt, Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park. Pollen grains found in the rooms of the greenhouse at Wye show an array of over 100 plants used for food, medicine, and household chores. This lecture sees the greenhouse not as a decoration, not as an isolated building, but as the pivot around which the woods, bogs, fields, and gardens at Wye were made to predict time, like a clock. In addition to food and medicine, the array of flowers and leafy plants in the greenhouse and in the surrounding formal garden could have been used to tell the time of day similar to the manner of a floral clock. The whole purpose of a floral clock at Wye House would be to have an independent measure of time beyond the factory bell that sent slaves to the field and the overseers’ commands that kept people there on the owner’s clock.

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Richard and Beverly Tilghman, the University of Maryland, College Park and the Frederick Douglass Honor Society. Additional support was provided by The Historical Society of Talbot County and The Maryland Historical Society, who generously loaned materials, as well as Patrick Rogan for exhibition design. The exhibition is made possible by funding from the Maryland State Arts Council and Talbot County Arts Council. This project was also made possible by a grant from the Maryland Humanities Council, through support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, or conclusions expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the Maryland Humanities Council.

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