Enslavement, giving one person power over the life and labor of another, is as old as recorded history. Enslavement dates back to ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt, and has since involved people in every part of the world.
In the United States, enslavement of Africans began during the colonial era--even though it was at odds with the colonists' own search for freedom from oppression. As early as the mid 1700s, enslaved and free Africans and their descendants lived in the American North and South, in cities and rural areas.
In Greenfield Village, in Dearborn, Michigan, we've restored two of 52 brick houses made and lived in by enslaved workers at Henry McAlpin's coastal Georgia plantation, the Hermitage. Our visitors walk into these buildings, imagining life inside the house and asking questions about the family who lived there--questions few books seem to answer. Take a walk through this house, too, and ask these same questions.