The Edisto Island Slave Cabin at the Smithsonian

The Edisto Island Slave Cabin at the Smithsonian


[♪ music ♪] This museum is important because the story is told through the African American lens, but it’s an American story. [Mary Elliott, Museum Specialist] The owners of the Point of Pines Plantation, [Courtesy: The Smithsonian Institution] they were giving the cabin to Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society. But they could not maintain the cabin, and they didn’t want it to get lost to the elements. So they called us and they said, “We’d like to give you a cabin.” And that’s how we ended up acquiring it. The cabin was built in 1853, and it was occupied through the 1980s. There was no electricity, no water, but really it was a pen. If you think of someone owning livestock, and they’re owning people. I would describe the cabin as haunted. Not in a bad way. It’s just something that stays with you after you see it. So when we took down the cabin, the whole community came together. We asked this woman who is descended from that particular community, “Why is this important?” And she said to me, “They found us. “They found us. They came down to take us back to this place in Washington, D.C., and everyone’s going to know that we were here.” You have to be able to connect on a human level with some of these events to be able to have empathy and understanding. That’s important when we talk about race in the United States. Whether you’re black or white, it’s our history. [An Original AARP Studios Production] [Executive Producer: Jeffrey Eagle; Producer: TJ Cooney; Production Assistants: Jamal Toye, Mikayla Kelley] [Special Thanks To: National Museum of African American History and Culture, Great Museums, Mary Elliott, Lindsey Koren, Abby Benson] [AARP, Real Possibilities]

3 thoughts on “The Edisto Island Slave Cabin at the Smithsonian

  1. American history is valuable, no matter the topic. If we don't see and learn from all that made this country what it is today, we are doing ourselves and future generations a disservice. Thank you AARP for sharing.

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