Out of Hiding: Three-Year Project by Cheryl Janifer LaRoche Uncovers the Stories of Hampton’s Enslaved People


The winter issue of National Parks Magazine features the extensive work of Associate Research Professor Cheryl Janifer LaRoche and her colleagues as they work to uncover the untold histories of the hundreds of men, women and children enslaved at Maryland’s historic Hampton estate, a dark history of often brutal oppression that had been whitewashed for centuries. “Let’s begin with the fact that your discomfort dictates that these things are not discussed,” LaRoche told National Parks. “How do we get an honest reckoning of what went on at Hampton?”


The three-years and counting ethnographic study is painstakingly piecing together enslaved peoples’ individual stories through estate artifacts, historical records, probate inventories, cemetery and census records and genealogical sites, making their once-invisible narrative a central part of Hampton’s story. The researchers’ work is also connecting living descendants to their origin stories, in some cases for the first time. Read more about LaRoche’s work and the stories she and her colleagues have uncovered in the full article, here


 - By Maggie Haslam 
Photo 1 credit: By Johnston, Frances Benjamin, 1864-1952, photographer; Hewitt, Mattie Edwards, 1869-1956, photographer - Library of CongressCatalog: https://lccn.loc.gov/2008675878Image download: https://cdn.loc.gov/master/pnp/ppmsca/16500/16578u.tifOriginal url: https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008675878/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67901887

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Posted on February 10, 2020 by Jelena Dakovic