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Brown Bag Lunch: Accounted For - Tracing the Lives and Labor of an Enslaved Fami

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If this is a recurring event that will be happening again this year, please let us know.
Dates:Thursday, February 16, 2023 - Thursday, February 16, 2023
Hours:12:00pm to 1:30pm
In/Outdoor:Indoor, Outdoor
Cost:$ see below
Category:Special Events

Our February Brown Bag Lunch program is the second in a two-part series regarding the history of enslaved people on the North Shore.

This month, we welcome Hamilton native James Tanzer, a museum professional and independent researcher, who has been exploring the history of enslaved people in Wenham, for his presentation, Accounted For: Tracing the Lives and Labor of an Enslaved Family in 18th-Century Wenham.

In an unassuming brown leather-bound book, held today in the collection of the Wenham Museum, Lieutenant Richard Dodge of Wenham Neck carefully recorded his business transactions from the 1750s through the 1770s.

He also recorded the labor of the human beings he enslaved–labor that he exchanged with neighbors and family for goods and services.

Lt. Dodge’s son, Captain Richard Dodge, Jr., and his brother, Captain Jacob Dodge, kept similar account books in Wenham in the 1700s, each recording the labor of the people they enslaved.

For more than a year, independent researcher James Tanzer has been working to fully transcribe these important–if unexpected–sources of early Black history in Massachusetts.

In this talk, he will show how Lt. Richard Dodge’s account book offers a remarkable window into the daily laboring life of one enslaved family in 18th-century Wenham: that of Hazard and Flora and their son, Hampshire.

The fastidious entries in Lt. Dodge’s account book, when combined with other historical sources, help reconstruct a vivid picture of this enslaved family that labored, worshiped, married, raised children, sought freedom, and died in Wenham.

The image for this event is a photo of one of the Dodge account books documenting the labor of these enslaved people and is held in the permanent collection of the Wenham Museum.

To participate via Zoom, please register online using this form.

If you plan to attend in person, you may register in advance or drop-in on the day of the program.


This program series is sponsored by the Institution for Savings.

ABOUT THE BROWN BAG LUNCH SERIES Join us on the third Thursday of the month with your favorite lunch and explores local history and culture in a comfortable and welcoming environment.

Beverages and dessert will be provided by the museum.

This is a free community program and we are asking those who are able to consider a $10 donation to the Wenham Museum to attend.

You may still attend this program without a donation.

Thank you!

COST↑ top




Wenham Museum, 132 Main St, Wenham, MA, 01984 map
Phone: 9784682377


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