CRESWELL, NC – Somerset Place State Historic Site will host a free lecture, “Waves of Freedom – The Emancipation Proclamation,” on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 1 p.m., at the Creswell High School Auditorium in downtown Creswell. This lecture will focus on President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, its complexities and its promise for slaves at Somerset. Michelle Lanier, Director of the N.C. African American Heritage Commission, will be the presenter. Light refreshments will be served.
By October 1862, only about 60 of the enslaved community, too old or ill to travel, remained at Somerset Plantation. At one time home to more than 800 enslaved, 50 white and two free black employees, owner Josiah Collins III moved 171 of the enslaved behind Confederate lines early in the war. When the family returned at the war’s end, Somerset Plantation was completely altered and was unsustainable without slave labor.
Today the site includes 31 of the original 100,000 mostly wooded, swampy acres where rice, corn, oats, and other crops were grown. Seven of the original 19th century buildings remain and accurately represent the antebellum lifestyle. The reconstructed overseer’s house, one room and four room slave houses, and a hospital, further reflect the plantation community.
For additional information call (252) 797-4560. The event commemorates Black History Month and is part of the Civil War Sesquicentennial observance organized by the Office of Archives and History. Somerset Place is part of the Division of State Historic Sites within the Office of Archives and History of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives.
Cultural Resources champions North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy.
To learn more, visit us online.