By now you probably know about the colonial home, a colonial home that was originally built in the 1700s to house slaves who worked as overseers and laborers on plantations in the British Virgin Islands.
But the home was originally just a single room with no beds, and it wasn’t until the 1950s that the colony began to open up as a full-fledged community, as the government and its workers moved into the home to live, work, and attend to the needs of its inhabitants.
But today, thanks to a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s Institute of Colonial History and the University of Georgia, we know that at the time of the original colonial home’s construction, a lot of its residents were actually people of color, with African Americans making up a large part of the population.
The colonial home and its inhabitants, which now houses a museum dedicated to the legacy of the colonial era, have always been a reminder of the harsh reality of colonialism, and this year marks the 70th anniversary of its founding.
The museum also offers an interesting glimpse into the lives of the workers who lived there, which is a rare sight in America today, particularly as a labor camp, which was a place where people were sent to work on plantations.
In the mid-18th century, slaves were being sent from the West Indies to work in plantations on the British mainland, but this practice was often used as a way to punish slaves who were deemed to be disloyal, and were forced to labor in harsh conditions in order to survive.
As we explore the history of the home in the museum, it becomes clear that the workers were treated like slaves.
According to Smithsonian historians, when a plantation worker was sent from Jamaica to the British West Indies, they were forced into work in the fields as slaves.
The worker was also forced to drink and smoke, and often, they had to endure physical abuse from other workers in order for the plantation workers to be able to see them.
This abuse would often be used as leverage against workers to force them to work long hours for little pay, often times on dangerous, overcrowded and often filthy plantations.
For example, the first slaves that worked in the home, who were referred to as “the poor,” were usually brought in on ships to work as “sweatshop slaves” in the sugar cane fields.
When they arrived at the home from Jamaica, they would be stripped and stripped naked and beaten by the slave owners, who would then be allowed to keep the workers as their slaves for the rest of their lives.
In order to work, these slaves were given a wooden shoe, which they had no choice but to wear for the duration of their time on the plantation.
In addition to the workers and the slaves, there were also other members of the community that lived in the colonial house.
In a book called The Making of a Colonial Home: A History of a Home for Slaves in the Caribbean, the museum says that one of the first acts of the colony’s first governor, Alexander Hamilton, was to buy a slave named Abner and give him as his first son, William Henry, who was also born in the colony.
Hamilton’s son Abner became a slave for a time and then married a slave called Harriet.
This act of generosity is one of many aspects of the historical context of the house that is featured in the exhibit.
Other residents of the plantation home included men and women of color who worked in fields as well as women who worked on plantations as well.
During the early 1900s, slavery was still a reality in the American colonies, and the British government was working hard to control it.
However, many of the people who worked at the colony home were willing to work for their freedom, and some were even willing to sell their lives for it.
This type of generosity and kindness is often overlooked in history, but the story of the humble and kind people who made the home and made it possible for people of all races to live in it is a testament to how hard it was to work.
For more history, click over to Smithsonian.