Annapolis Statehouse
Annapolis Statehouse
Email Page Print Page

Virtual Lecture - Slavery and Servitude in Early Annapolis

Date: Thursday, September 10, 2020

Location: Zoom Virtual Lecture

Time: 7 pm - 8 pm

In early Annapolis, Maryland, bound artisans labored in craft workshops, construction sites, public buildings, and domestic interiors. These bound artisans—including enslaved, indentured, and convict servants—comprised the majority of the labor force in Annapolis and elsewhere in the British Atlantic World. Annapolis’s great Georgian mansions, extant furnishings and artworks, and even the Maryland State Capitol building remain as products of bound laborers’ skill and expertise. Despite working for and with the city’s most famous free white artisans, most notably Charles Willson Peale, William Buckland, John Shaw, and William Faris, enslaved and indentured artisans are often left out of studies of craft in early Annapolis. In this lecture, presenter Bethany McGlyn will retrace the lives and work of several enslaved and servant artisans using primary sources like newspaper advertisements, tax records, account books, and extant objects and buildings. Bethany will explain the legal differences between slavery and servitude in early America and the direct impact on daily life and work for bound artisans in Annapolis. 

Bethany believes in using the past to better understand the present. In a political and social moment defined in part by our engagement with history, she hopes to provide some of the many existing resources that allow historians and museum professionals to learn about slavery and servitude in the American founding era. She would like to extend a special welcome to family historians, historical reenactors, local tour guides, and educators who hope to tell inclusive histories in their own work but may not know where to start.  

Registration required.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members and Volunteers


This lecture will be offered virtually by Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. Upon registration, you will be sent the link for the video conference to join on the evening of the lecture. If you do not receive your confirmation email after you register, please check your Spam folder, or email Carolyn Fifer at To learn more about Zoom and to download the app to your computer, visit the Zoom website.

About our Presenter: Bethany J. McGlyn is a historian and curator who specializes in labor, landscape, and material culture in the early American South. She recently received her M.A. from the University of Delaware and the Winterthur Program in American Material Culture. Her M.A. thesis, “Who Built the City on the Severn? Slavery, Material Culture, and Landscapes of Labor in early Annapolis,” foregrounds the lives of enslaved artisans and documents their work throughout the city. Prior to her M.A., Bethany studied history and art history at Towson University where she graduated with the Sander Senior Prize in History. She has lectured and presented research on topics from the material culture of the English abolitionist movement to Maryland backcountry furniture, and has received grants, awards, and fellowships from Winterthur, the Decorative Arts Trust, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Vernacular Architecture Forum, and the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts. Bethany began her career in curatorial departments at Historic Annapolis and Hampton National Historic Site and currently works as the Sewell C. Biggs Curatorial Fellow at Winterthur. 


Add to Calendar 10-09-2020 35 Virtual Lecture - Slavery and Servitude in Early Annapolis Zoom Virtual Lecture DD/MM/YYYY