Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved
Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved is a memorial on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. It was dedicated in 2022 to those enslaved by the university over a period of 172 years.
The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693, and benefited from slave labor in various capacities. Historians discovered the names of over 100 people owned by college employees, students, and the college itself; the actual number of slaves was likely much higher.
The three primary buildings on the college's Ancient Campus (also called "Historic Campus")–the Brafferton, Wren Building, and President's House–were constructed and maintained in part using using enslaved labor. Slaves both made the bricks used in construction of the Wren Building and erected the building itself.
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In 2009, the college began the Lemon Project, an effort to research how enslaved people lived and worked at the college throughout its history. In 2014, the Lemon Project's director, Jody Allen, along with instructor Ed Pease, asked students to submit proposals for a possible memorial to the enslaved.
On August 28, 2018, the college launched an international competition to solicit ideas for the memorial. Over 80 entries were received.
On April 26, 2019, school president Katherine Rowe announced the winning design. Titled "Hearth" and designed by William Sendor, William & Mary alumnus who graduated in 2011, the memorial would be made of brick and serve as a gathering spot. Some bricks would be inscribed with names of enslaved people.
Construction and dedication
To build the concept into a physical memorial, the college tapped Richmond-based architects Baskervill and construction firm Kjellstrom & Lee. Groundbreaking took place in May 2021.
The completed memorial is 20 feet (6.1 m) high and 16 feet (4.9 m) wide. It cost $2.9 million to build; the money came from private donations along with contributions from the university's board of visitors.
The dedication took place on May 7, 2022. More than 800 people attended.
There will eventually be a vessel installed that will hold a fire, which will be lit on special occasions.
Source: "Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2022, October 18th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hearth:_Memorial_to_the_Enslaved.
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College of William & Mary
The Rotunda (University of Virginia)
Bruton Parish Church
Richmond National Cemetery
Mount Airy Plantation
Sunken Garden (Virginia)
Alumni House (College of William & Mary)
History of the College of William & Mary
The Gentlemen of the College
Slavery at American colleges and universities
Saint Bede Catholic Church (Williamsburg, Virginia)
President's House (College of William & Mary)
- ^ a b "William & Mary dedicates memorial to enslaved 'acknowledging our history'". WTVR. Associated Press. 7 May 2022. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
- ^ "Historic Campus: A Landscape of Slavery". Hearth: Memorial to the Enslaved. Williamsburg, VA: College of William & Mary. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
- ^ Brannock, Phoebe M. (31 October 2017). "Truth stretched and legend upheld". Williamsburg, VA: College of William & Mary. Retrieved 18 October 2022.
- ^ Bibeau, Paul (March 2021). "The Lemon Project Will Memorialize Enslaved People From William And Mary's Past". WHRO. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
- ^ a b Zagursky, Erin (28 August 2018). "Ideas wanted for memorial to the enslaved". William & Mary. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
- ^ a b Svrluga, Susan (26 April 2018). "William & Mary unveils design for memorial to enslaved people who worked on campus". Washington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
- ^ a b "About the Memorial". William & Mary. Retrieved 31 August 2022.
- ^ a b c Free Press Staff (12 May 2022). "W&M dedicates memorial to those who were enslaved by the university". richmondfreepress.com. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
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