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“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Finding African-American Families in Kent County—1830–1860’ ” to be presented at Dover, Del.’s Old State House on Feb. 14, 2015

Date Posted: Monday, February 9th, 2015
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs Kent County News

(DOVER, Del.—Feb. 9, 2015)—On Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, from 1 to 3 p.m., The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del., will present “Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Finding African-American Families in Kent County—1830–1860.’ ” Conducted by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historians Madeline Dunn and Beverly Laing, the program will explore Dunn and Laing’s research that identified the names of, and cultural resources associated with, African Americans who resided in Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Del., between 1837 and 1860. Admission is free and open to the public. If the program is cancelled due to inclement weather, it will be rescheduled to March 14, 2015. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Willow Grove area Byles Map of Kent County, Del. 1859.

Utilizing archival materials including tax and court records, Dunn and Laing pieced together a great deal of information about the real-life experiences of several African-American families, particularly the Summers family which owned land northwest of Willow Grove and the Burris family who were tenants living on the property of Alexander Frasher near Merediths Corners southwest of Willow Grove.

Completed in 1791, The Old State House is one of the earliest state-house buildings in the United States, serving as the home of Delaware’s legislature until 1933 when the General Assembly moved to larger quarters in Legislative Hall. The venerable structure now appears as it would have in the late 1700s during the United States’ critical early years as a nation. It features a courtroom, governor’s and county offices and chambers for the state’s Senate and House of Representatives. The building is situated on Dover’s historic Green, a public area designated by William Penn in 1683.

Old State House at night.

Old State House at night.

Other downtown Dover events sponsored by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs in February 2015
Note: Admission is free for all events listed. Recent program changes are highlighted in brown. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

 Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Interactive program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 2 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Finding African-American Families in Kent County—1830–1860.’ ” Presentation by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historians Madeline Dunn and Beverly Laing on their recent research that identified the  names of, and cultural resources associated with, African Americans who resided in Murderkill Hundred, Kent County, Del., between 1837 and 1860. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Inclement weather date: March 14, 2015. Due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-744-5055. Note: Reservations are no longer required.

Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
McLane and Washington.” Living-history theatrical performance by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Tom Welch exploring the relationship between General George Washington and Col. Allen McLane, the Revolutionary War hero from Duck Creek (Smyrna, Del.). Partnership between the division and the Dover Public Library. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 7 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd.’ ” African American History Month program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The Story of Fats Waller.’ ” African American History Month tours focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by Waller’s Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Lecture on Waller at 1 p.m. in which several of the musician’s descendants will be in attendance. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Note additional program and starting time.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015
“Kidnapped: The Experience of Slavery and Freedom of Aaron Cooper in Delaware.” Lecture by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic. Presented by the Archaeological Society of Delaware, Kent County Chapter. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘Follow the Drinking Gourd.’ ” African American History Month program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade focuses on Delaware’s involvement in the Underground Railroad and its many heroes who helped enslaved people escape to freedom. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 11 a.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 2015
“Celebrating Love and Family: ‘The African-American Family in Slavery and Freedom—A Celebration of Love.’ ” Lecture by Dr. Gregory Scott on Herbert Gutman’s book The Black Family In Slavery and Freedom: 1750–1925.” The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

-End-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-736-7413
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web: http://history.delaware.gov

 

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