Slavery in Tidewater Virginia: Reality, Debate, and Dissolution: Upper School History Teacher Tonya Montgomery Attends Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute

“How has slavery in the United States left an indelible imprint on our national identity?” 

Upper School Humanities teacher Tonya Montgomery often asks questions like this of her AP U.S. History students. This spring, she shared her perspective on this issue in an essay which earned her a spot at the 2018 Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute. This institute, entitled "Slavery in Tidewater Virginia: Reality, Debate, and Dissolution," was held at Stratford Hall, Virginia from July 25-28. The experience gave educators an opportunity to examine the realities and impact of institutionalized slavery in Virginia.

The institute provided educators the opportunity to learn from field experts about the intricacies of this broad issue. Sessions included the Keynote: Abolitionists and Enslavers, by Dr. Allen Guelzo, "Pro-slavery and Anti-Slavery thought in Virginia, 1760-1860," by Dr. Kevin Hardwick, "Interest and Principle: Slavery and the U.S. Constitution, 1787-1790," by Dr. Terri Halperin, " The History of Pocahontas Island," by Mr. Richard Stewart, "Finding Stratford’s Enslaved Stories," by Dr. Kelley Deetz, "The Material Culture of Slavery in Virginia," by Dr. Andrew Witmer, "Debating Slavery in Virginia’s Churches," by Dr. Charles Irons, "The Abolition of Slavery in Virginia," by Dr. Lauranett Lee, and "Slavery as Social Death," by Dr. John L. Johnson, as well as tours of Stratford Hall, the Payne cabin, and the reconstructed Slave Quarters

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to spend several days in Virginia on the former Lee family plantation learning about the most recent methodology for teaching the history of slavery. It’s a very hard topic, so I was so grateful for the instruction and conversation that will help me teach a more inclusive U.S. History survey course."