Seminar on S lavery
For teachers of history and social studies grades 4-12 and museum educators

Sponsored by the
duPont Fund
Wachovia Fund for Education
Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, Inc.
Virginia Commonwealth University

July 20, 2003 - August 1, 2003


The seminar is designed to help teachers of history and social studies grades 4-12 and museum educators employed in a public history setting to incorporate the history of African-American slavery into their programs. Although the main focus will be the history of slavery in Virginia, the seminar will provide participants with a general study of slavery in America.

Topics will include:

The origins of slavery in North America, slavery and religion, the slave family, slave narratives, urban slavery (including a tour of Colonial Williamsburg), slave revolts, Jefferson and slavery, the relationship between slaves and slave holders, the archaeology of slavery and the relationship of free African Americans to those in bondage.

Through lectures, discussions, field trips, readings and projects, the participants will have the unique opportunity to interact with historians in the field enabling them to gain new insights into the experience of slavery. The emotional and, at times, interpretative nature of the subject matter will challenge the participants to confront both themselves and one another so that the history of slavery can be presented with honesty, fairness and sensitivity in their classrooms and museum programs.

What sets this seminar apart from mere book studies is the singular experience of learning within the historical setting of Stratford Hall Plantation. Reconstructed slave quarters, as well as outbuildings and work areas, will provide the participants with an intimate understanding of the conditions under which the slaves lived and worked, allowing each participant to study the practice that divided a nation and remains a controversy to this day.

The importance of an accurate interpretation of the events that have brought us to this point in our history cannot be overstated. As America progresses, so must its understanding of the events that bind us as a nation. It is the intent of this seminar to offer a scholarly forum for individuals to discuss, debate, experience and, hopefully, one day to better understand this most difficult of issues. The success of our multicultural society relies on lessons taught today from lessons learned yesterday. The seminar encourages the participation of those who are dedicated to making a difference tomorrow. To take a close up look at the participants and activities of the 2002 seminar, visit our seminar alumni web site .

Lecturers and Staff

The director of the seminar will be Dr. Philip J. Schwarz, professor of History at Virginia Commonwealth University and author of Twice Condemned: Slaves and Criminal Law of Virginia, 1705-1865 in addition to other topical studies of slavery. Dr. Schwarz also has been involved with several other seminars and workshops of this nature.


Renowned scholars in the field of slavery; including historians, archaeologists and museum professionals will engage the participants in interactive sessions.

The Stratford Hall Plantation Seminar on Slavery offers teachers and museum professionals the opportunity to:


"A fascinating, educational and fun experience. Just what I needed to recharge for the coming school year...."

"...A great opportunity for those who want to further their understanding of slavery as a distinct American experience...."

"I have learned a tremendous amount. I was a sponge that absorbed almost anything that came at me...."

"Excellent! Best experience I've ever had and I hope to be a part of future seminars like this...."

"I have grown as a student and a person in a multicultural setting."

"One of the greatest professional and personal experiences of my life. Truly remarkable experience! Keep it going!"

"These ideas not only broaden our understanding but bring healing to our land. My students will reap the benefits of this challenging experience...."

Seminar Information

This seminar will be limited to a maximum of thirty history and social studies teachers grades 4-12 and museum professionals who are employed full-time in their respective educational fields. Applications will be screened on a competitive basis.

Upon successful completion of this seminar, three semester hours of graduate credit in history will be awarded by Virginia Commonwealth University.

Successful applicants will be furnished all course materials as well as room and board. A tuition fee of $450 will be charged. Each participant will be awarded a travel stipend upon registration at Stratford according to his geographical zone up to the maximum amounts shown below:

Participants will be housed near the historic area at Stratford and will take their meals in the Plantation dining room nearby. They will be responsible for some of their own meals during field trips. Participants may want to take advantage of free time to visit Civil War battle sites and other sites of interest.

The selection of participants will be made by a committee review of the following criteria:

Complete applications must be received by March 8, 2003, and all applicants will be notified of their status during the second week in April. Applications will not be returned.

An application must include:

To be mailed separately and directly:

Mail these materials to:

Slavery Seminar Staff
Jessie Ball duPont Memorial Library
Stratford Hall Plantation
Stratford, Virginia 22558

Questions about the seminar may be directed to Slavery Seminar Staff at (804) 493-1558 or FAX (804) 493-8006.