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The Surprise That Shouldn’t Be: Archaeological Evidence of a Slave Occupation at the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace in Staunton

October 16, 2023 @ 10:00 pm - 11:30 pm

Poster for archaeological field school presentation at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum 2023

The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum is inviting the public to attend a presentation by Dr. Dennis Blanton, who will be discussing the work of students and researchers from the James Madison University (JMU) archaeology field school, which took place at the museum over the summer. An archaeological exploration of the rear yard of the Presbyterian manse at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library has revealed far more about the human history of the property, and of Staunton, than was anticipated. Powerful evidence of a slave-related occupation has been recovered in a portion of the property. The findings will provide rare archaeological perspective on the lives of enslaved persons in the Shenandoah Valley. Together with other evidence that reflects aspects of the lives of the ministers’ families who lived in The Manse, a more holistic interpretation of the property becomes possible.

Dr. Dennis Blanton
Associate Professor of Anthropology at JMU

For questions or more information, please contact Karen Dodson at kdodson@woodrowwilson.org, or call 540-885-0897 ext. 113.




October 16, 2023
10:00 pm - 11:30 pm
Event Category:


Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum
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WWPL Archive & Research Center
235 East Beverley Street
Staunton, VA 24401 United States
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