Historic Hudson Valley Welcomes the Slave Dwelling Project

Founder and Director Joseph McGill will spend the night at Van Cortlandt and Philipsburg Manors 

Historic Hudson Valley (HHV) today announced that Joseph McGill, founder of the acclaimed Slave Dwelling Project, will be coming to Van Cortlandt Manor July 16-18 and to Philipsburg Manor July 30-August 1, as part of the historian’s ongoing work to bring awareness to former dwellings and to highlight the stories of the enslaved people who lived a

Inside Van Cortlandt Manor

nd worked there.

“We are happy to welcome Joseph McGill to our sites,” Dr. Elizabeth Bradley, Vice President of Programs and Engagement noted. “Historic Hudson Valley has shared the history of Northern slavery with the public for more than twenty years, and we are longtime admirers of the important work of the Slave Dwelling Project. Mr. McGill’s visits will inform and deepen our own interpretation of the enslaved communities that lived and worked in the Hudson River region.”

A descendant of enslaved individuals, Mr. McGill founded the Slave Dwelling Project in 2010. He has since visited over 25 states and the District of Columbia, spending the night in over 150 dwellings, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, House Beautiful, and Smithsonian Magazine.

“The state of New York has been quite receptive to me and the Slave Dwelling Project. I’ve spent nights in slave dwellings in Rye, New Paltz, Long Island and Shelter Island,” McGill said. “I am looking forward to building on this foundation with sleepovers at Van Cortlandt and Philipsburg Manor.”

Philipsburg Manor (Photo by Tom Nycz)

Mr. McGill’s visit will correspond with HHV’s National Endowment for the Humanities Teacher’s Virtual Landmark Workshop: Slavery in the Colonial North, which is aimed at giving educators the tools to teach the difficult subject of slavery in today’s classroom and will run in two sessions, July 11-17 and July 25-31. This will be the third time HHV will be presenting the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Teachers Workshop on Slavery in the Colonial North, which has educated more than 140 K-12 teachers from across the country.

During Mr. McGill’s stay at the historic sites, during which he will sleep in the quarters where the enslaved Africans living at Philipsburg Manor and Van Cortlandt Manor would have worked or spent their time, he will also provide a digital presentation and hold a virtual conversation with the participants of the (NEH) Teachers Workshop on Slavery in the Colonial North.

3 Comments

  1. I lived in Yonkers, NY, and have visited those places several time. I know about slaves being in those areas thanks to Dr. Ben, Dr. Clark and others. I and also, know that NY was one of the larges slaves holding states. I now lives in SC, and my family were slaves in Williamsburg county.
    Thanks Mr. McGill, my mother grandmother is a McGill from that area.

  2. JOE,
    i AM FROM THE HUDSON VALLEY AND AM FAMILIAR WITH VAN CORTLANDT AND PHILLIPSBURG MANOR; NEVER REALIZING SLAVES WORKED THE LAND . I LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING WITH YOU AGAIN ON JAMES ISLAND.

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