tv American Artifacts Green Hill Plantation CSPAN November 23, 2017 6:00pm-6:50pm EST
the c-span bus is on the 50 capitals tour, visiting every state capital and hearing about each state's priorities. we kicked off the tour on september 15th in dover, delaware and now visited 12 state capitals. our next stop for the 50 capitals tour is tallahassee, florida. we'll be there on december 6th with live interviews during "washington journal." each week, american history tv's "american artifacts" visits museums and historicalal locations. green hill was once a vast plantation operated by a slave dealer. we visited green hill with jobie hill, founder of the saving slave houses project and a team of preservationists and 3-d scanning technicians who documented several buildings associated with slavery. she was introducing the team to green hill when we arrived. this program is about 50 minutes.
>> okay. so -- >> oh, goodness. >> here's the -- >> oh, okay. >> so here's the auction. auction block and auctioneer's stand. so that's -- that's the brick dependency. >> okay. >> that's the duck house. >> duck house? >> a duck house. this is the wash house. >> pretty tiny. >> yeah. this one has a neat feature on back side of it. it has a drain in the wall where they would just dump -- [ inaudible ] >> yeah, yep. dump the water out. so this is the slave house. my name is jobie hill and we're at green hill plantation which
is in campbell county, virginia, and i'm here with the company trimble and they are here with me for my independent project which is called "saving slave houses." which is doing documentation of all of the known slave houses in the united states. when i was in school for my master's thesis, i started doing research with the historic american building survey collection, which is a wpa program that started in 1936 to get architects back to work. and so 1,000 architects were hired to go out and document significant historic structures all across the united states. and part of that documentation was slave houses. not necessarily intentionally, but they did document slave houses and sometimes, a lot of times it was just -- you got like one photograph or you would see that a slave house in the background of a picture behind
the main house. for my master's thesis, i looked at that collection and identified all of the sites that had a slave house in them. so, like, the historical american billing survey has 485 sites that have a documented slave house and my field work of going back and doing my own documentation these buildings started, i was a summer intern. interning for the summer with them, we went out and saw some of them. so they helped me kind of get started. once i started going out and visiting some of these, i just didn't stop. i just kept going. trimble is a company that makes the equipment that i use. one of the pieces of equipment they make is 3-d laser scanners and that is a piece of equipment that i currently don't use for my surveys. it takes a little bit more setup and technical skill and sometimes people that i -- so
one reason i don't use it. i would like to start using it, but it is also right now kind of the highest level of documentation that is out there that you can do for buildings or objects is to do 3-d scanning. so they're here to document some buildings with me so i can have kind of the highest level of documentation for a few of my favorite sites. so this site, green hill plantation, has the original slave owner here was very active in the slave trade and so one of the things he decided to put in his yard is a slave auction block and auctioneer stand. in addition to that, there are also were originally like 30 outbuildings on the property. so it's just a very rich site both historically and, like, the history of it and material culture wise. the site was -- when he first
acquired the property in the -- it was like 1796, so about 1800, the site was 600 acres. and then when he died in 1864, he had expanded it to 5,000 acres. so he was very, you know, active in growing his plantation. so in addition to farming, you know, he's active in the slave trade. and the plantation was large enough that it was divided in two separate what they called towns. so upper town was the buildings up by the main house, which is where we're standing right now, and then down by the river was called lower town and that was more where the enslaved people lived and worked. >> and earlier today, you walked through this -- the area with the trimble team. what are the challenges they're facing today? >> yeah, so, they're facing -- one of the challenges is, one, the exercise of the sit the exercise of the site. i was hoping to maybe scan kind
of the walk from the river because slaves would have been brought to the site on the river and then, you know, had to walk up from the river to the auction block. i was hoping to maybe capture that, but it is a -- it's quite a distance to capture. and because it is august and everything is in full bloom, a lot of the landscape is overgrown with trees and bushes and stuff and it's not a straight path. so that was one of the challenges. and we decided that that's -- laser scanning is not the best way to kind of show that. there is now other technology that can capture that walk. so distance, the exercise of the sites, one. another one, like i said, is the time of year that we're here is that the overgrown bushes around the buildings have made it a challenge. but it's not only a challenge for us, it's also a challenge for the property owners. you know, they recognize the historical significance of these buildings and, you know, when they brought the property they had good intentions, and they
still do, of maintaining these buildings, but, you know, having 30 outbuildings to maintain and working full-time, it's -- you just can't do it, you know? it's very -- it takes a lot of upkeep to take care of these buildings, and, again, you know, buildings -- when buildings aren't being used, that's when they start to disappear from the landscape. and so -- and also just natural, you know, disasters happen. like when we were walking the site, we saw a giant tree that had fallen. well, you know, a tree can fall and take out any building. so once that happens, you've lost a building. so back -- just fyi, back there, this is where the other slave houses were. you can see the pile of stone. i think there were two -- so, yeah, that's actually the chimney of another slave house is right next to this one. i think there might have just been three, but down here you
can kind of see behind the trees is the chimney of the kitchen. and that's all that survived from the kitchen. if you look on the other side, it has i think three foyireplac in it. and like bread ovens. it's pretty cool. this is the last -- so this is the brick dependency. this is the one that -- yeah, that we can look inside to see that might be full of stuff. yeah. it is. [ inaudible ] >> i don't know what the standard is now for full of stuff. >> i mean, it has stuff in it -- >> so this also has a cellar space under it. >> cellar and attic? >> yeah. it's just kind of an interesting
space. it does have a whole kind of cellar space. like i said, she has the little -- the little hand thing to cut stuff back with. >> a couple of these buildings would be perfect for that. >> okay. >> you'd be able to take out a lot of brush in the front. >> i'm richard hassler, i work add trimble as a market manager and i've been involved in the atlantic slave trade project which is a philanthropic project that trimble has been working on for three or four years now, and as part of that project jobie has asked us to come and help her document some of the slave houses in the virginia areas. and when we laser scan, we run our scanner on a tripod and then replace it with panoramic -- a camera that can take panoramic slr images and we can map the color from those images on to the laser scan and that provides a point cloud of three dimensional point cloud from which we can pull models using
our sketchup software or use our other software packages to pull measurements and other types of useful information out of it. >> the scanning that is happening here today, when they're done, what's the product that you're going to use or what are you going to see? >> so the final product can be a variety of things, actually. they're able to process the material -- or the data in many different ways. really what it is is a 3-d model. so the 3-d model can then be used in different applications. one of the applications is it can be put into drafting programs. so i can use it to create measured drawings of the buildings. floor plans and elevations. it can be used -- the 3-d model can be used to do -- just view into the building, you know? you have a 3-d model and you can rotate it around and play inside it and get a sense of the view of the space.
they can take those models and do virtual reality applications with them. take the 3-d models and put it into a program to do 3-d printing of buildings and objects. so kind of the deliverables are kind of open-ended. it just kind of depends what software or products you have. but i'm going to use to preliminarily just to show a 3-d model so people have an idea of what these buildings looked like in kind of, you know, realtime and able to, you know, spin around and not just rely on two dimensional views of the building, you know, just photographs and drawings of the building, but to be able to give them a 3-d model that helps people kind of relate better to the building. and the space. >> i don't know, it depends on however you want to do it. >> before and after photo.
>> so i have invited some people from kind of local organizations that i've been working with and have supported my project. so we have people from, like, virginia foundation for the humanities. preservation virginia. duncan pernell, which is like a local retailer of trimble equipment that has worked with me. i'll have people from williamsburg coming out. some architectural historians and that will be really exciting because he was -- cornell williamsburg documented the site in the '80s. so it will be interesting to get his perfective to what it looks like now. the last time he was here was in 1980 and the site was originally
documented by the american building survey in the '60s. >> my name is ed chappel. i'm an architectural historian and sometimes archaeologist. i work for the company responsible for architectual research, architectual history and for awhile, archaeology. i worked there 36 years and some change. and retired in 2016. one of the principal things that our generation did was to broaden the fish net, if you will, to look at regional buildings. and so we know that buildings we had in williamsburg tell powerful stories but they don't tell the whole story because not everything survived. so it was our responsibility to try to put back pieces that tell a fuller story, particularly a
story that african-americans about race, about slavery. and so we mounted a campaign of 30-something years to go into the countryside and other towns and study early buildings, particularly slave-related buildings. so slave houses -- houses for enslaved people like this one, but also planter houses as also green hill in which enslaved people worked as domestic workers. so the whole plantation ensemble and the whole urban ensemble, if you will. since i've retired, i'm continuing to do this kind of work. i love doing field work in the countryside. there is amazing material in the countryside that is largely overlooked and it tells a powerful story. so we're at green hill this morning in campbell county. it's a remarkable plantation.
green hill's probably the most or has been the most or certainly one of the most in tact plantation ensembles from the early 19th century after the american revolution. in virginia or i'd say in maryland or north carolina as well. so we were here about 20 years ago when much more survived. so i'm back with this team to look further and try to, you know, record more. it's one of the many places i guess that has this rich variety of buildings that people worked and lived in in the virginia countryside. so it's worth coming back. it was actually photographed before we came by the historic american building survey. so there are very good photographic recordings from then. then we came back and did another layer of measure drawings of eight or ten buildings, plan, sections,
elevations. a number of those extraordinary buildings are now gone. only some are standing. by today we're using new technology that mine is in some ways the medieval system of measuring and drawing everything by hand. and there is a role for that still, i think, but we're also here doing extraordinary scanning and digital recording that takes the kind of texture -- recording the textures of the building to a degree that we could -- we weren't able to do 20 years ago using old-fashioned pencil, paper and a measuring stick. but we did an amazing amount of recording 20-something years ago. so we did drawings of all of the buildings that i described, except for the main house. >> there is a professor, my thesis adviser from the university of oregon has
travelled here from oregon to be here. he's been with me all week. he's really enjoyed it. >> i'm rick minor, and i'm the senior archaeologist with -- in oregon. i met jobie when she came to the university of oregon to take a degree in historic preservation and i teach a course called historical archaeology and historical preservation and she was a student in the course. and she stood out because she came in with this great idea of beginning with an inventory of standing slave houses and then she subsequently asked me to be on her master's committee, and we've just maintained contact and a relationship ever since. i went out to visit her when she had a fellowship at williamsburg one time, and so i teach historical archaeology and i do historical archaeology in the
west, but the beginnings of historical archaeology were in the east. so it just really helps to get out to see some of these places, you know? you can read about them and talk about them, but to actually be here is special. so she invited me here to -- just to participate in what she's doing and african-american archaeology was a real stimulus for us studying the slavery period in the united states. and it really didn't get going until i think 1969 was the first slave house excavation in florida. and so it was a real stimulus for looking at the whole slave experience. so it's a -- it was a really important thing in the history of the united states and the history of archaeology to
document this -- what was going on here. >> so what are your impressions of the place we are now, green hill? >> well, this is the most impressive and extensive site that we've been at. this is the third. and it just goes on and on and it must have had a really sizeable population. it's the most overgrown, but also there was a natural sources of stone here so a lot of the buildings in -- were constructed of stone so they're really well-preserved, more so than the log or frame structures. so there is just a lot going on here and much of it is still under the brush. it's going to take a lot to reveal it. and won't be done on this trip, that's for sure. >> well, as a scholar in the field, how could you characterize the importance of jobie's project, saving slave
houses? >> well, think it's a really outstanding project in the sense that it's bringing together a lot of the data, and i think -- and she's taking a multistate approach. so a lot of times we tend to work on a state by state basis, but she's really trying to extend throughout the south and of course right now she's focussing on virginia, but the other thing that is really cool that is sort of behind the scenes is bringing all of the people that are interested in this subject together and not only the scholarly people but also preservation people and also the families. so it gets everybody talking and it sort of generates this energy. she's sort of at the center of this right now so it's really -- for me to have been one of our professors to come and see this happening, it's really a cool thing.
>> i'm pretty sure this is the front. one was the first house and the "l" shape is a later addition. i could have that backwards. it's the main house. that's not my area of specialty. we were talking earlier the slave auction block and the auctioneer stand. the auction block is the taller one and the auctioneer stand is the lower one. just the proximity to the house, you know what i mean? it's closer to the main house than it is to any of the enslaved buildings but it definitely is within direct sight of the enslaved buildings. and if you could see where the kitchen would have been which is really, you know, you can see the chimney back in the trees. it's almost in line with the kitchen. but what i'm guessing is that it's not in line with the kitchen and like the slave house
and it's slightly off so you can actually see the auction block, like, if you -- >> every day. >> you know what i mean? so if you come out of any one of those buildings, you can see the auction block. >> a reminder of what could happen to you. >> exactly. >> i'm justin reed. so we've actually worked quite a bit with jobie and her work documenting slave dwellings across the state of virginia. we received a grant from the national endorsement of humanities to expand one of our projects called encyclopedia virginia. we're also traveling across the state and documenting the slave dwellings with google 360 imaging software. so we're allowing virginians, really americans, anybody from all around the world to be able to see these sites from their living room or office space. jobie's been a big part of that project. they can find it on google maps. if they go to encyclopedia
virginia's page they can see several of the historic sites that virginia foundation for the humanities has already captured. if you search it online, you can find it anywhere. >> so what's your background? how did you get involved in doing this type of work? >> my background is really in public history and museums. i've spent most of my career working with museums. i was working with colonial williamsburg. a museum in farmville, and about a year ago i joined the virginia foundation for the humanities to help other historic sites build their capacities. so one of the things we do, we provide granlts to historical and cultural institutions, libraries, universities, for programming, for research, for capacity-building projects. we do our own program and produce our own radio shows, a backstory with good reason. my particular responsibility now is actually working with the general assembly. they recently commissioned the virginia foundation for the humanities to document as many existing african-american historic sites as possible. so all of this work feeds
together from what jobie's doing on slave dwellings to what the encyclopedia of virginia is doing documenting historic slave sites dealing with slavery. this new general assembly project, we're trying to mary all of this content together that is something that is really accessible and user-friendly for teachers, families and visitors to the state of virginia that can explore these underknown and under developed historical sites that have such huge historical significance to them. >> i think it's a status symbol. so, you know, he was a slave trader and it just shows, one, how good he was at his job. that, you know, he's so good at moving slaves, his -- the property, the product, that he needed to have something right at his home, you know what i mean? and so, you know, people were coming to him to buy slaves. and they didn't need to -- he didn't need to travel to do this. he was getting so many that, you
know, he also had enough that he could just do it out of his home. because the river is about a mile away. and that's where they would be delivered, is at the river, and then bring them right up here and sell them. >> so they had to walk about a mile from the river just to get up here to be sold? i mean, that must have been a horrific experience. >> the area up by the house, the group of buildings which is called upper town and the area and group of buildings down by the river was called lower town. and lower town was primarily enslaved buildings. that's where a lot of slaves lived and work and i'm guessing an overseer to control and manage that area. but up here, this was upper town. >> do you know what exists today at lower town? >> yes, not a lot. we'll kind of walk this way and i'll point out the buildings that exist up here. more buildings exist in upper town than lower town. so what's -- one of the things that is interesting about this
site or that you'll notice is that there is a ton of stone. i mean a ton of stone. again, a lot of it's hidden, but i'll point it out, like, from where you can see it. but -- so there's a -- so, like, there's a stone wall around, oh, it's called kind of a garden but it's not like a formal garden like we kind of think of with flowers and swruhrubs and stuff. that's all made of stone. originally this site had over 30 outbuildings. that's a lot of outbuildings, but, you know, that also showed off his wealth. the first building over here is a duck house. he built a house for ducks, you know what i mean? like, you know, how necessary? i would not call that a necessary building, you know what i mean? but, he, you know, he could do it. he had the material to do it so he did it. i know. animals. the animals have a --
>> the housing for the animals is nicer than the housing for the enslaved workers here. >> jobie, at any given time approximately how many slaves did he have here on the property living and working? >> so that i don't know. so i think that's also kind of tricky because he was a slave trader. so, you know, he'd be moving slaves probably at least hundreds, maybe even thousands coming through here. and i don't know enough about how many kind of, like, what is -- what his shipments were, you know what i mean? >> right. >> and how many he kept on hand permanently. but so i do know for here, so there would have been -- so there is a -- so up here the group of buildings there was a kitchen. so there would have been slaves living in the kitchen. there is a wash house. there would have been slaves living in the wash house. there are at least three known
slave houses and there is a -- [ inaudible question ] >> yep. with a space down stairs and a lost space. and then a weaving house with a loft space where slaves would have been living. so quite a few slaves were living -- yeah, up here. living and working up here. then there would have been slaves living and working in the main house probably. so quite a few just up here. like i said, lower town, i think it literally looked like a town, you know what i mean? it was a whole community of enslaved people down there living and working. there is a mill down there. i haven't found any documentation of like a list of like his slaves yet, but i to know -- i have found a narrative from one of his slaves, actually. >> oh, really? >> yeah.
when i was doing research. unfortunately, it doesn't describe, like, any of the living conditions or anything, but he's talking about something else. it's one of his slaves. >> wow. well, first, so this wash house, we know people were living upstairs because if you go inside, there is a stair that used to be right here. here. where there is the header, that horizontal board tells you that there was a stair. that this is an opening and that's where a stair would have been. so, yeah, if you want to look at the fireplace is pretty cool in there. if you want to look in that one. so the back of the wash house and how we kind of know it's a wash house and what makes it interesting because you don't find it very often are the
drains in the wall. so that's what those stone basins are that are coming out of the wall. so when they are washing, you know, you have a lot of water, dirty water. so this way you can just dump it into the basin and it goes right out the -- right to the outside of the building and you don't have to take the time to carry the big pot of hot boiling laundry water all the way outside. you can just dump it in the wall drain. i've seen this at one other building. these are pretty cool -- just because i don't think a lot of them maybe survive. it also depends on what the wash house was made out of. >> so that would have been for the laundry of the whole plantation? >> well -- so that's the question. so there are questions that always come up that people are always interested in, and it has to do with the laundry and the cooking. so the kitchen. who did the kitchen feed?
did it feed just the main house or did it feed the main house and the enslaved people? and same with the laundry, like, you know, was the laundry for, you know, the main house or was it for everybody? or was it just for the enslaved? so those are questions that usually can only be answered through documentation that's describing that function. for this -- for this i don't know. i mean, yeah, i haven't seen any documentation about, you know, what it serviced but cooking wise when we go look at the kitchen, i'm guessing just the sheer exercise of the kitchen fireplace, it was feeding everybody that was at upper town. wash house, i don't know. i would kind of think it would be, you know, kind of servicing
everybody in upper town, too, but i just don't know. but as for cooking, slaves were always going to do some type of cooking in their houses. because it's just -- it's well-documented and well-known that slaves were never -- were not provided enough rations. so they were always supplementing their diets. so they were doing cooking in their fireplaces because they were needing to supplement their diet. so their -- those fireplaces, although they're not considered like kitchens, you know, fireplaces, they're used for cooking and heat sources. so now on to the slave house. yay! the slave house -- this is the surviving slave house. so this was one of three for
sure. the pile of stone back there was the chimney of another one that was -- used to be right next to it. when we walk around we can see the one on the other side. but this one has a loft space upstairs. which is typical. so we can go inside and look. also see ned working on his notes. hi. >> so we thought that there were three earlier periods that -- because you can see originally the stand was there and it's a dovetail. >> oh, yeah. >> and some evidence that the fireplace started. the chimney is a little smaller. it seems that they enlarged the chimney and moved the stair over there. >> okay. >> but then they did three --
what we saw in one was -- [ inaudible ] so there's, you know, it started with a pretty big one-room house with access to an unfinished attic and then they adjust accommodations and they add the rear shed. >> how many buildings have been lost since the first time you were here? >> i don't know. i just got here. two or three. two or three, anyway. the kitchen was a huge loss. the kitchen had three fireplaces side by side with iron brackets for equipment above it. the stone wall wash house was set up for drying clothes inside. so you could go up in the attic. and there was a partition, rather than the partition being covered with sleeheathing as yo see here, they were smaller
boards and they were spaced apart so that the air would circulate through. so this was really kind of specialized, you know, cultivation of his money, of his farming and his manufacturing. so in other words, this doesn't seem so completed and yet i don't think this represents the -- an everyday plantation by any means in virginia. even among elite virginians in the early 19th century. it seemed he was particularly interested in how to do these types of things. >> but like the stair, like there is nothing really special about like the stair, you know? it's a ladder stair. >> right. >> that we see lots of places. it's steep. steep like ladder stairs. not the steepest i've seen. >> you get a much better sense up here in the attic for the conditions that most lived in. one of the things you notice is
it's hot because it's an attic. it's unfinished. it's pretty well-built. out of timber that is joined together. so it's built by a professional builder. but it's left unfinished. so there is no sheathing on the rafters on anywhere. it's kind of an interesting point, perhaps, is that it looks like it never had a railing until this railing was put in after 1900 with wire nails. so it had to be a little, you know, careful up here as well because kids could fall through the stairwell pretty easily. but this, if the first floor is kind of specialized, better finished than most of the houses that enslaved virginians occupied, this gives you a much
better sense of relatively unfinished and, frankly, uncomfortable accommodation. >> so the hooks above the door over there, so those are -- you see those a lot in smoke houses and things. where they really are hooks. those are hooks that they made and used. you see them a lot in smoke houses. those are the types of hooks that they would make out of branches and stuff. see that brick? or stone. that was the -- oh, that was the tobacco barn. that's still part of upper town, but what makes this one special is that in the four corners of it there are four small rooms in
each corner. for the history of it that those four corners were used to breed slaves. like i said, the original owner of this property was big into the slave trade and so part of, you know, trading slaves is to also breed them so you can, you know, have more property or product to trade. so in the report about this property they said that those rooms were used to breed slaves. so there are four just windowless rooms. and here is the massive kitchen chimney. look at that. how cool is that? with the little bread ovens above. look how big that is! >> what are your impressions of this place? >> yes, this isn't my first time
to green -- i grew up in this part of virginia. i visited other plantations, but to me it was really striking, of course, is the fact that there is an auction block right here in the center of the property. and earlier standing on that, it was a very, i don't know, i felt like i was tensing up as i was standing on the auction block and just imagining what, you know, previous generations may have felt standing in that spot and not knowing what was to happen. you can definitely feel the power of this place and i think that auction block standing where it is right now is such a huge part of why this site is so powerful. this would have been really the last place men, women, children would have been with their families, and, you know, after this place, they would have been scattered all across the united states. so this is really kind of ground zero for that experience here in the united states for so many people. that for me was probably the most -- the most i guess
impactful aspect of this plantation. >> i think it's so important for americans to know this history. you know, look at what's going on right now in today's society. we're still working through the legacy of enslavement and disenfranchisement. so before we can correct any of today's problems, we do need to understand the root causes. we can't really eradicate what we're experiencing now until we actually understand all of the factors that contribute to society today. and obviously slavery is the root of so many of the social ills we're experiencing. so i think if we're interested in improving our schools, if we're interested in, you know, eradicating poverty, you know, if we want to ensure that more young americans can actually achieve the, quote, unquote, american dream, we need to take a step back and actually look at the things that cause so many of the inequities that we see now. before we fix anything, we have
to have a full and more accurate truthful understanding of the history. >> this one was what they called the -- it's been called a -- well, brick dependency for obvious reasons. or the loom house. weaving house. or the factory. but i think it was primarily like a weaving house. and i think there is actually weaving equipment inside, which is another reason that kind of supports that. this, too, has a loft space and it also has a cellar space so people were also living in this space. you can go inside and look if you want to, but i think be careful for some of the floorboards. instead of saying like a slave house, it's just when they call spaces a servant's house. they want servants. servants implied choice, like a profession, a job you chose to do. slaves didn't choose to be
slaves, like, so -- so if it's like a slave house, that's about the only function i can really thing you're trying to cover up. sometimes they don't know the function was -- we actually did some research about when people started using the word dependency. and it was i want to say it was mid-1800s but it kind of depends, like, what time period you study. but it was kind of a later term that was picked up. to know what the function of the building was. a kitchen, a wash house and they wouldn't have had to use a generic term. i need something from the kitchen, you know what i mean? they needed to know what that function was and they would have talked about it and not tried to just refer to it as a generic something. but think it's more of a modern generic term that we have started to use. that little a-frame building is
the ice house. the other one next to it is a dairy with a workshop above it. and, again, so the ice house, dairy, you know, very common you find them next to a kitchen. the reason i study these buildings is because i'm interested in the people that were in these buildings. it's always in the, you know, back of my mind. i can also, you know, talk about the structure itself and the architecture of it because that's what i'm trained to do, that's what my background is, but like i said, it's the people that i'm interested in and it's the research i've done of the slave narratives that, you know, are in the back of my mind and those are the -- those are the things i'm looking for. like, you know, how were they using this space and, you know, how many people were in this space, how would they have used this space, how would they have divided the space, especially for multiple families in one
space, how did they claim their own space? can we see any of that evidence on the walls or on the floor or anything like that? and, you know, where were they -- where were they sleeping, where were they working and things like that? and when i'm with others, they, too, are also -- those are the kinds of questions they have and they're noticing thing about the space, about, like, what it would be like to live there that i've experienced enough -- like i know -- i kind of know what questions you're going to ask when there are loft spaces and we're out there in the summer and they're like, oh, it's hot up here. yes, it is. it gets very hot in loft spaces, especially if there aren't windows or there is just one small window. so it's interesting to kind of listen or watch the people when they're visiting these spaces for the first time because they're realizing the conditions of these spaces that, again, you don't get just from a photograph
or something. but the actual -- from actually being there, yes, the loft space is hot. the ceilings are low. the doors are small. just things like that. >> what other things are some of the biggest misconceptions you think the general public has about slavery based on your work? >> that enslaved spaces were not just, like, single function spaces. so, like, i say, like, slave houses. there are -- there are definitely buildings that were dedicated to housing and that was their primary function, but, like, work spaces were, like, often times living spaces also. so, like, kitchens and wash houses, absolutely, those were living spaces and work spaces. slaves didn't have a separate living space and a space wo
workspace. so many enslaved buildings are multiuse buildings and they changed use over time but also during historical times, you know what i mean? so it's just kind of what was needed at the time. they could easily be, you know, swapped out for whatever was needed at the time. so just kind of the idea that, you know, slaves worked during the day in this space and then went home to another building at night is not -- it's not the way it went. that's not true. they live and work in the same space. and part of that -- or one of those spaces was the main house. so when, you know, when you find fireplaces in the basement or cellars of like main houses, those were living spaces for enslaved people. that's why there is a fireplace down there because every space was useable space and working space. so that's, like we say, slavery was everywhere.
it wasn't limited to, you know, certain places. it was everywhere. >> your next survey season, what do you hope to do next? where are you going next? >> so i hope to do the next site that -- sorry, state that has a lot of sites in it that i know of already is alabama. so i'd like to do survey work down there. and i'd like to see how alabama compares with virginia. like i said, virginia is very rich in history and people -- a lot of historians and architectural historians have done a lot of work in virginia because, you know, there are a lot of -- it's tied to a lot of history and presidents and things like that so there is always research going on in virginia. it's well-documented in many ways. so i'd like to see how other sites compare to virginia if they, you know, have a lot of research going on there. like virginia or if they are in
more need of this type of documentation and research there. >> you can learn more about jobie hill's saving slave houses project by visiting c-span.org/history and viewing american artifacts, saving slave houses, which documented a visit to brandon plantation in virginia. sunday on c-span's q&a, journalist and author robert merry on his book "president mckinley: architect of the american century." >> he was a very consequential and very effective president and you can't figure out how or why he was able to accomplish what he accomplished. because he was indirect. he was an incrementalist. he was a manager. he was not a man of force. it turns out that without that force he had an amazing capacity
to manipulate people and manipulate them into doing the things that he wanted them to do while they thought it was their idea. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on q&a on c-span. this year, c-span is touring cities across the country exploring american history. next, a look at our recent visit to burlington, vermont. you're watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. the ticonderoga is without a doubt the most visited sites here at the shelburne museum. it stands out as what the heck is this? what's the big boat doing in the middle of the field? but it begs you to come on board. here at the shelburne museum, it is a campus of mostly historic structures