Shenandoah Valley Enslavement Programs

Joseph McGill Slave Dwelling Project Presentation
Joseph McGill, founder Slave Dwelling Project

NPS

Inalienable Rights:
Free & Enslaved Blacks Crafting A Life In The Shenandoah Valley



Saturday, November 9, 2019, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Belle Grove Plantation will offer complimentary admission and feature special programming on the African American history of the site and of the Shenandoah Valley with speakers and special guests from The Slave Dwelling Project, Josephine School Community Museum, Shenandoah County Library and Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

SCHEDULE

All events held in the Belle Grove Manor House, 336 Belle Grove Road

10:00 a.m. Belle Grove Opens

10:15 – 11:15 Presentation: The Slave Dwelling Project, Joseph McGill, Founder of The Slave Dwelling Project (Lower Level Room)

11:30 – 12:00 Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Dontavius Williams and Terry James of The Slave Dwelling Project (Lower Level Kitchen)

12:15 – 12:45 Program: Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah, Shannon Moeck, Ranger, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (Lower Level Kitchen)

12:45-1:15 Break

1:15-1:45 Presentation: Enslaved Shenandoahans and Locally-Made Ceramics, Matthew Greer, PhD Candidate, Syracuse University and Lead Archaeologist of the Belle Grove Enslaved
Quarter Site (Lower Level Room)

2:00–2:30 Presentation: Popular Literature and the Reality of Slavery, Adeela Al-Kahlili, Board Member, Josephine School Community Museum, Berryville, Virginia (Lower Level Room)

2:45 – 3:15 Presentation: Bondage Biographies: Shenandoah County Enslaved Person Database, Zach Hottel, Archivist, Shenandoah County Library (Lower Level Room)

3:30 – 4:00 Hearth Cooking Demonstration, Dontavius Williams and Terry James, The Slave Dwelling Project (Lower Level Kitchen)

4:15 – 4:45 Program: Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah. Shannon Moeck, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (Lower Level Kitchen)

5:00 Upper Level of Belle Grove Manor House Closes

5:00 – 6:00 Presentation: Life in the Borderland: The Limits and Possibilities of Freedom for Enslaved and Free Blacks, Shannon Moeck,
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park (Lower Level Room)

 

African American History Programs from 2019

 
Judah
Maj. Isaac Hite, Jr. Commonplace Book

Belle Grove Plantation

Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah

This 30 minute presentation discussing the life of Judah, the enslaved cook of Belle Grove. Purchased by the Hite's with her two young boys, Judah remained their cook until her death in 1836. This program will take place in the winter kitchen of the Belle Grove Manor House.
  • Sunday, May 26 at 2:30
  • Sunday, June 23 at 2:30
  • Sunday, July 28 at 2:30
  • Sunday, August 25 at 2:30
  • Sunday, September 22 at 2:30
  • Sunday, October 20 at 2:30


 
Archaeologist Matt Greer and intern doing field work, summer 2018.
Matt Greer and assistant doing field work in summer 2018.

Belle Grove

Archaeology at Belle Grove
Enslaved Quarter Site



Belle Grove is delighted to welcome back Archaeologist and Syracuse PhD Candidate, Matthew Greer for another archaeology field season. His research in the area where there were quarters and workspaces for the enslaved has already yielded 43,849 artifacts.
  • This June and July, visitors are encouraged to visit the site (which is across Belle Grove Road from the parking lot). They usually work during good weather on weekdays from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. with a lunch break 12-1 p.m.
  • Matt and the team will also be working on Saturday, June 29, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Matt will also do a special talk on Sunday, July 28 at 3:15 p.m. (after the Ranger Program “Kneading in Silence: A Glimpse into the Life of the Enslaved Cook Judah” at 2:30 that day)
 

Honoring Soul Food’s Shenandoah Valley
History and Chefs


Join this free, all day event, to learn about the regional history of African-American cooking, and honor those who have worked in the Valley culinary industry.

Saturday, August 3
10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Belle Grove Plantation
336 Belle Grove Road
Middletown, VA 22645

Click here for the full schedule.
 
Ann T Hite et al Bill of Sale to Manuel Jackson
Ann T Hite et al Bill of Sale to Manuel Jackson

Allegheny County (Pa.) Recorder of Deeds Manumission and Indenture Records, 1792-1857, MSS# 494.
Courtesy of the Detre Library & Archives, Senator John Heinz History Center

Free at Last: The Complicated Road to Freedom for Emmanuel Jackson

This history at sunset program explores the story of the Jackson family. Emanual Jackson Sr. purchases his son, 21-year-old Emanual Jackson Jr., from the heirs of the late Isaac Hite of Virginia for the sum of $800. In Allegheny County, Jackson Sr. frees his son.

Friday, August 16
6:00 p.m.
Belle Grove Plantation
336 Belle Grove Road
Middletown, VA 22645


 

Belle Grove Annual
Membership Meeting

Sunday, September 22
3:00 p.m.
Belle Grove Plantation
336 Belle Grove Road
Middletown, VA 22645

The annual meeting of Belle Grove’s membership will be Sunday, September 22, 3:00-4:30 p.m. on the upper level of the Beverley B. Shoemaker Welcome Center. It will include a review of current activities, finances, and the election of new board members.

The focus of the meeting will be featured speaker Dr. James Broomall, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, Shepherd University who will present findings from the African-American Historic Resource Study that he has conducted for the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. This event is free and open to the public.
 
Jerome Bias and Cheyney McKinght portraying enslaved cooks at Belle Grove
Jermone Bias and Cheyney McKnight portraying enslaved cooks at Belle Grove Plantation.

NPS

To learn about all ranger led programs and activities, please check out our calendar page.

Last updated: October 24, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 700
Middletown, VA 22645

Phone:

540-869-3051

Contact Us