Black History: Somerset Plantation Presents “Slave Voices in North Carolina”

by January 30, 2017

Saturday, February 18

Photo: Engraving from Harpers Magazine, 1860, of slaves escaping to New Bern. Click here to download a high resolution version of this image.

CRESWELL, N.C. – History has captured many distorted images of the enslaved in America. Somerset Place State Historic Site will share a Black History Month lecture “Slave Voices in North Carolina,” Feb. 18, 1 p.m., off site at Creswell High School. The free program will present words from the enslaved themselves.

Personal narratives, letters, poetry and interviews of slaves in North Carolina will be shared. Retired N.C. State University Professor Linda MacKethan focuses on Southern and African American literature in her research. MacKethan will discuss how these works challenge the often distorted picture of slavery before the Civil War. The narratives of Moses Roper, Lunsford Lane and Harriet Jacobs; the poetry of George Moses Horton, and narratives gathered through the Works Progress Administration will give a realistic picture of the lives of slaves in North Carolina.

This authentic look will explore how slaves lived, created families, worked, worshipped and sometimes escaped from bondage. The lecture will focus on Somerset Place in Creswell, and Historic Stagville State Historic Site in Durham. A reception will follow the program. This project is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For additional information, please call (252) 797-4560. Somerset Place is a representative state historic site offering a comprehensive and realistic view of 19th-century life on a large North Carolina plantation. Originally, the plantation included more than 100,000 densely wooded acres. Over the life of the plantation more than 50 white employees and more than 850 enslaved workers lived at Somerset.

Somerset Place is located at 2572 Lake Shore Road, Creswell. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit

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