At the Sign of the Pine Tree: Gunsmithing, Urban Slavery, and Archaeological Legacies at 87 Church Street Lecture with Dr. Sarah Platt

The Charleston Museum

For almost 40 years prior to the construction of the Heyward-Washington House in 1771, the property was home to the Milners, a white gunsmithing family, and at least eleven men, women, and children they enslaved. In fact, this community occupied 87 Church Street longer than the family for which the standing Georgian townhome is now named. The site at that time operated as a critical waypoint in the wider colonial as the Milners and skilled enslaved craftsmen such as the gunsmith Prince cleaned and repaired arms for the colonial government and for visiting Native American delegations. Their lived world is no longer visible in the landscape of urban Charleston, but the material remains are still accessible via the archaeological record. Recent research has uncovered new details about the story of the earliest known residents of 87 Church Street, however it is hardly new research.

In an “archaeology of archaeology” talk, join The Charleston Museum as Dr. Sarah Platt of the College of Charleston kicks off a very special 250th anniversary lecture series.  Platt will explore the joint efforts of researchers over the last fifty years, spending as much time in the storeroom, galleries, and offices of The Charleston Museum as well as the Heyward-Washington House. It will explore how revisiting these well-trod research paths, and collaborating across decades, has uncovered incredible new stories about this familiar site. Registration is encouraged. 

This lecture is FREE for Members and FREE for the public.


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