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Virtual Lecture – Slavery and Servitude in Early Annapolis

September 10 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

In early Annapolis, Maryland, bound artisans labored in craft workshops, construction sites, public buildings, and domestic interiors. These bound artisans—including enslaved, indentured, and convict servants—comprised the majority of the labor force in Annapolis and elsewhere in the British Atlantic World. Annapolis’s great Georgian mansions, extant furnishings and artworks, and even the Maryland State Capitol building remain as products of bound laborers’ skill and expertise. Despite working for and with the city’s most famous free white artisans, most notably Charles Willson Peale, William Buckland, John Shaw, and William Faris, enslaved and indentured artisans are often left out of studies of craft in early Annapolis. In this lecture, presenter Bethany McGlyn will retrace the lives and work of several enslaved and servant artisans using primary sources like newspaper advertisements, tax records, account books, and extant objects and buildings. Bethany will explain the legal differences between slavery and servitude in early America and the direct impact on daily life and work for bound artisans in Annapolis.

Bethany believes in using the past to better understand the present. In a political and social moment defined in part by our engagement with history, she hopes to provide some of the many existing resources that allow historians and museum professionals to learn about slavery and servitude in the American founding era. She would like to extend a special welcome to family historians, historical reenactors, local tour guides, and educators who hope to tell inclusive histories in their own work but may not know where to start.

Registration required.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members and Volunteers


September 10
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


Historic Annapolis