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Slave Quarters

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 26, 2007 | By Toby Zinman FOR THE INQUIRER
Thomas Gibbons, a local playwright specializing in local controversies, takes on the recent debate about the Liberty Bell Pavilion built on the site of Washington's slaves' quarters. InterAct's premiere of A House With No Walls at the Adrienne addresses a slew of interesting and combustible social issues, although whether these debates yield satisfying theater is itself debatable. The scene opens with a young woman, a historical person who was one of George Washington's slaves, named Ona Judge (Lavita Shaurice)
NEWS
October 31, 2002 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Some scholars and African Americans are dismayed over what they perceive as inaccurate or misleading statements about slavery contained in a preliminary National Park Service text commemorating the house in Philadelphia used by George Washington during his presidency. The text asserts that Washington, who kept as many as eight slaves at the Market Street residence, housed his "servants" throughout the house. The building had no "slave quarters," according to the Park Service, because no part of it was used exclusively by slaves.
NEWS
June 11, 2002 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Hot town. Summer in the city. But for a small band of demonstrators at the Liberty Bell yesterday, neither heat, nor glare, nor Market Street fumes meant much. "They are deliberately burying the truth about the slavery of African people here in the heart of the so-called birthplace of American democracy and freedom," Alison Hoehne, chair of the African People's Solidarity Committee, told curious tourists, fellow demonstrators and reporters gathered in front of the Liberty Bell pavilion as the sun beat down.
NEWS
April 2, 2007
The 200th anniversary last week of the end of the British slave trade, the ongoing controversy over George Washington's slave quarters at the President's House site at Sixth and Market Streets, and the proposed demolition of a house outside Princeton containing slave quarters ("N.J. slave quarters threatened," March 26), bring to mind how little we know (or have been taught) about slavery. I attended last spring's "Slavery in New York" exhibit at the New York Historical Society, and one statistic bowled me over more than anything else in the show.
NEWS
June 13, 2002
Turn the Liberty Bell into a symbol that divides Americans? Now, that would take some doing. Let groups like this week's small band of protesters at Independence Mall continue the public debate over the Liberty Bell and slavery. But don't halt the work that's properly under way at Independence National Historical Park. That work is about moving ahead, even as the story of American independence is reshaped and tempered by a renewed look at slave-owning founders. The National Park Service's challenges are two-fold: Build a spectacular new home for the old statehouse bell at Sixth and Chestnut Streets.
NEWS
August 30, 2005
AUGUST WILSON has been told he has three to five months to live. Liver cancer. But the great black playwright, whose works have become polished mirrors of black American life in the 20th century, has made his peace. "I've lived a blessed life," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I'm ready. " If only we were. Wilson's vital role in the theater pantheon cannot be questioned. Yes, there was the never-before 10-play cycle that yielded Pulitzers, Tonys and critical acclaim.
NEWS
June 12, 2002
'Getting it right' at the Liberty Bell Center The archaeologists who excavated the first block of Independence Mall have received some undeserved criticism due to the controversy over the slave quarters of the President's House (Inquirer, June 11). Let me set some things straight. In March, when The Inquirer broke the story that the site of the quarters for the stable slaves will be almost at the front door of the new Liberty Bell Center, I spent several days reviewing the deeds, insurance surveys, maps, demolition photos, and other documents about the block.
NEWS
April 2, 2002 | By Acel Moore
The U.S. Park Service should not be allowed to cover over the glaring contradictions - call them acts of hypocrisy - by this nation's first president. Philadelphia was this nation's first capital, and historians document that George Washington, while serving as president, held slaves in stables and utility buildings adjoining the executive mansion. Those grounds lie underneath or are within a few feet of the new Liberty Bell pavilion under construction. The exact site and dimensions of Washington's slave quarters have only recently been documented by historian Edward Lawler and others.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
May 8, 2010 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
At a raucous and sometimes profane public meeting Friday night, critics denounced plans for the President's House memorial under construction on Independence Mall. City and project officials, who had not conducted a session to update the public on the oft-delayed project for almost three years, sought to present a newly revised interpretive plan for the site where George Washington and John Adams conducted their presidencies and Washington held at least nine enslaved Africans. But before Emanuel Kelly, principal of Kelly/Maiello Architects & Planners, designers of the memorial at Sixth and Market Streets, could discuss the status of construction, he was interrupted by a chorus of loud complaints over the use of a white-owned general contractor at the site, and a torrent of criticism over the site's overall presentation of the black experience.
NEWS
October 10, 2009 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
A committee overseeing the President's House memorial on Independence Mall has agreed to proceed as planned after discussing recent criticism of the project's historical accuracy. In late summer, Edward Lawler, who represents the Independence Hall Association on the committee, had complained that the design improperly located important memorial elements. The President's House, at Sixth and Market Streets, is on the site where George Washington and John Adams conducted their presidencies during the 1790s, and where Washington held at least nine enslaved Africans.
NEWS
August 31, 2009 | By Michael Coard
Philadelphia is about to make history by reconstructing the building that has been referred to as America's first White House, where George Washington and John Adams presided from 1790 to 1800, and where Washington kept black people as slaves. But the design of the project next to the Liberty Bell Center has recently come under harsh criticism for purported historical inaccuracies. While this criticism is sincere and well-intended, it is fundamentally flawed. The critics say the project's dimensions are wrong.
NEWS
August 20, 2009 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
As construction of the President's House memorial is poised to begin, sharp criticisms have been leveled at the architectural design, catching officials by surprise and focusing attention on purportedly historically inaccurate elements of the project. The house's dimensions are incorrect, the arc of a bow window is distorted, and the building's now-infamous slave quarters are incorrectly located, the critics assert. Some historians and members of a committee charged with reviewing the memorial's design and content say they are stunned by the vehemence of the complaints.
NEWS
August 3, 2009 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
For most Philadelphians, the name Chew is not particularly evocative. Perhaps it conjures a hazy sense of Founding Fathers living in gentility and getting a street named after them for their efforts. Some may be aware that Cliveden, the formidable stone mansion on Germantown Avenue where the Battle of Germantown was fought in 1777, was built by Benjamin Chew in the 1760s and served as a country retreat. That's probably about it. But such haziness soon may be dramatically dispersed.
NEWS
July 1, 2008 | By Stephan Salisbury INQUIRER CULTURE WRITER
To George and Martha Washington, her owners, she was "the girl. " To the framers of the Constitution, who she was didn't matter - she was three-fifths of a person, a chattel slave. Oney Judge was only about 16 when she came to Philadelphia, the nation's temporary capital, in 1790. A few years later, she learned she was about to be given away by the Washingtons as a wedding gift. She gathered herself up and refused, defying the president, the Constitution, and all the powerful forces arrayed against her. She escaped.
NEWS
June 13, 2007
I THANK Michael Smerconish for spreading the word (May 31) about the archaeological dig at the President's House site at 6th and Market, where George Washington presided from 1790- 1797 with nine of his 316 enslaved Africans from Mount Vernon. Smerconish correctly noted that the dig recently uncovered partial foundations of the bow window, the prototype for today's Oval Office. But in regard to the partial foundations of the walls of the kitchen, he is incorrect in noting that the kitchen had a basement so those blacks could move between it and the main house "without going outside.
NEWS
April 2, 2007
The 200th anniversary last week of the end of the British slave trade, the ongoing controversy over George Washington's slave quarters at the President's House site at Sixth and Market Streets, and the proposed demolition of a house outside Princeton containing slave quarters ("N.J. slave quarters threatened," March 26), bring to mind how little we know (or have been taught) about slavery. I attended last spring's "Slavery in New York" exhibit at the New York Historical Society, and one statistic bowled me over more than anything else in the show.
NEWS
March 7, 2007 | CAROL TOWARNICKY
HUMAN harnesses. Small ankle irons used to shackle children to their mothers. A collar and leash for the slave of a well-to-do white mistress. A horrible Jim Crow-era placard showing black children as "alligator bait. " The exhibit at the National Constitution Center three years ago featured slavery artifacts collected by a New Jersey couple who had found these vestiges in barns and attics, and hanging on the walls of stores across the South - not-so-rare antiques of a not-so-distant past.
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