Slave Dwelling Project

Slave Dwelling Project

Joseph McGill, Jr. is on a personal crusade. During the last two years the South Carolina man has visited and slept in or near 25 slave dwellings in eight states. He is determined to save what is left of that dark corner of American history.


McGill’s latest stay at a slave dwelling was Saturday night and Sunday morning at the slave cabin on the Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood. He praised the most recent restoration and the job being done to tell the story of slavery there.
Many other plantations open to the public have told the story of the main house and its owners but often ignore the story of the people who lived in the outbuildings. “I was motivated by what was not being told,” he said.
McGill’s regular job is program officer in the Southern Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Charleston, SC.

Young Black Boy in His Bare Slave Cabin, Us South




Young Black Boy in His Bare Slave Cabin, Us South


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In the job he came in contact with some people who were restoring a slave cabin at Boone Hall Plantation near Charleston and he assisted them in that effort. But it was only recently that McGill decided to launch a personal project to bring attention to the dwellings that need restoring. He uses the publicity of sleeping in the cabins to gain attention to his effort.

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