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The Manor

Three Centuries at A Slave Plantation on Long Island

Griswold, Mac K.

(Book - 2013)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Manor
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Baker & Taylor
A compelling history of a Long Island plantation, spanning three centuries and eleven generations, reveals the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery.

McMillan Palgrave

Mac Griswold’s The Manor is the biography of a uniquely American place that has endured through wars great and small, through fortunes won and lost, through histories bright and sinister—and of the family that has lived there since its founding as a Colonial New England slave plantation three and a half centuries ago.
In 1984, the landscape historian Mac Griswold was rowing along a Long Island creek when she came upon a stately yellow house and a garden guarded by looming boxwoods. She instantly knew that boxwoods that large—twelve feet tall, fifteen feet wide—had to be hundreds of years old. So, as it happened, was the house: Sylvester Manor had been held in the same family for eleven generations.
Formerly encompassing all of Shelter Island, New York, a pearl of 8,000 acres caught between the North and South Forks of Long Island, the manor had dwindled to 243 acres. Still, its hidden vault proved to be full of revelations and treasures, including the 1666 charter for the land, and correspondence from Thomas Jefferson. Most notable was the short and steep flight of steps the family had called the “slave staircase,” which would provide clues to the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery. Alongside a team of archaeologists, Griswold began a dig that would uncover a landscape bursting with stories.
Based on years of archival and field research, as well as voyages to Africa, the West Indies, and Europe,The Manor is at once an investigation into forgotten lives and a sweeping drama that captures our history in all its richness and suffering. It is a monumental achievement.



Baker
& Taylor

Based on years of research and voyages that took the author as far as West Africa, this compelling history of a Long Island plantation, spanning three centuries and 11 generations, reveals the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery. 10,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780374266295
0374266298
Branch Call Number: 974.721 G
Characteristics: xiv, 461 pages : ill. (some color), maps ; 24 cm.

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Jan 18, 2014
  • Emma1917 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is the history you weren't taught in school. A well written, fascinating account of life on Long Island that focuses on the earliest settlements but spans over three centuries on the East End. Long Islander or not, you will love it.

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