Monday, January 25, 2016

"Where They Slept" Visits Slave Quarters in Rhode Island

Dr. Jon Marcoux (far left in photo) and three of his students in the Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation program at Salve Regina University joined historian and preservationist Joseph McGill for an overnight stay at Smith's Castle in North Kingstown, RI. It was no usual sightseeing tour; they did it for a close-up examination of where slaves lived on the site in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Robert Geake, historian and docent at Smith's Castle, led the small group through a fascinating but little-told recounting of life on the farm, including how items like cheese and cider were produced by enslaved laborers, all of whom slept in the locked attic of the house. 

Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project, travels around the country to bring attention to preservation of extant slave dwellings and the pubic interpretation of the history of the enslaved. 

Rhode Island PBS presents Where They Slept on Sunday, February 28 at 6 p.m. as part of our ongoing series Rhode Island Stories, a collection of local independent films. 


Christy K Robinson February 11, 2016 at 12:36 PM  

I'm a researcher of 17th-century Rhode Island events pertaining to Mary and William Dyer, and have written three books on their culture and their colleagues, as well as write a history blog with more than 200,000 page views. ( ) Some of the people I've written about are Richard and Katherine Scott of Providence, Roger Williams, Dr. John Clarke, Edward Hutchinson, Gov. Coddington, Nicholas Easton, Herodias Gardner Porter, and others. I discovered that not only was William Dyer (Dyre) the first attorney general of Rhode Island--but of any colony in North America; he also provided the first colonial seal with the anchor logo.

I'd love to see this "Where They Slept" and other videos and documentaries about Rhode Island history. But I live in Phoenix, AZ, and my readers live all over North America. Do you offer your programs online? Is there a page where I can direct people who'd be interested in RI history?

WSBE Rhode Island PBS February 11, 2016 at 12:53 PM  

Thank you for writing, Christy. Yours is an interesting blog. We have a link to a 4-minute trailer and links to relevant sites (Smith's Castle and the Slave Dwellings Project), particularly Salve Regina University, where the film originates. At this time, we will not be posting it online, but perhaps the University can give you more information.