Continuing the visual exploration using historic photos and MFA paintings. What I am asking is: who gets to occupy the center? Who is relegated to the edges?
Added three sections since my Instagram posts yesterday. One features a Copley painting of Isaac Royall’s daughters (from an MFA photo that I took). Another features a portrait I photographed at the Aiken Rhett historic home in Charleston. It’s a formal portrait of Harriet Aiken. The final section features Harriet Tubman (below — screen shot taken from internet on the 200th anniversary of her birth in March. Image from an Ebony article and no copyright infringement is intended).
The Royalls moved in the same circle as Eliza’s family. Elite, wealthy, colonialists. Both families owned sugar plantations and slaves on Antigua and both families settled elsewhere after a purported plot to overthrow the island was discovered in 1736.
Eliza’s family moved to Charleston and the Royalls moved to Medford, Massachusetts. The Royall House and Slave Quarters is a historic site and also the place where I attended an overnight under the auspices of The Slave Dwelling Project in 2014. I wrote about that night here.
There’s more to say about all of this (and through various characters, much gets said in my manuscript) but I have a birthday party to go to.