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Historian Urges Preservation Of Former Slave Houses In Philadelphia

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(Joseph McGill, inside an historic "slave cabin" at Cliveden in Philadelphia.  Photo by Karin Phillips)

(Joseph McGill, inside an historic “slave cabin” at Cliveden in Philadelphia. Photo by Karin Phillips)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - An historian from South Carolina spent last night, without a bed, in the slave cabins of the Cliveden Estate, in the city’s Germantown section.

Tonight, Joseph McGill will talk about his experience during a public discussion at Cliveden (see related story).

McGill is not a “ghostbuster.”   A program officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, McGill says he has slept in more than 20 slave dwellings, in conditions similar to how slaves might have, to inspire preservation of the structures.

McGill says there is an effort throughout the country to deny slavery exists by eradicating, neglecting, or ignoring slave dwellings.

He gave an example from Portland, Maine.

“The first response that I got from the person is that ‘we don’t have such places,’ ” he  recalled.  “Which is not true, because slavery existed there also.  It’s attitudes like that that I have to counter because those people lived, and they lived somewhere, and their stories are worthy to be told.”
Hear Karin Phillips’ extended interview with Joseph McGill in this CBS Philly “Specials Place” podcast…

 

McGill will be making his presentation tonight at 7:00PM at Cliveden.  For more information go to cliveden.org.

Reported by Karin Phillips, KYW Newsradio 1060

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