Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history.

– Joseph McGill, Founder of the Slave Dwelling Project
2016 Conference

2017 Conference

Information about the upcoming 4th Annual Slave Dwelling Project Conference in Charlottesville, VA

Goodwill Plantation Living History

Become a Supporter

You can become a supporter of The Slave Dwelling Project Conference and our efforts to preserve history.

Slave Dwelling Project Overnight Stays

2017 Schedule

We have a lot in store for 2017! Send us a message if it looks like we will be near you – we’d love to meet up! Additionally, we hope you will join us for the 2017 Conference in Charlottesville, VA on Wednesday, October 18th – Saturday 21st – Thank you!

This overnight stay highlighted for me in a personal and physical way what the lives of enslaved people might have been like. It made me much more thoughtful about the harsh contrast between the lives of free, privileged, European American slave owners, like my own ancestors, and the lives of the enslaved and intentionally deprived African American people.

– Prinny Anderson, Coming to the Table

Latest Stays

Recent Overnight Stays and Public Programs

James K. Polk

I prefer that every slave dwelling ever built was still on the American landscape to remind of the enslaved Ancestors, but that is not the case because we have been a nation that would rather forget about those parts of history that make us uncomfortable. Some slave...


In 2010, when I first started sleeping in extant slave dwellings, I had some strict rules. I vowed that I would not sleep in recreated slave dwellings or relocated slave dwellings or in places where slave dwellings were once located but no longer exist. Seven years...

Beyond the Big House

“Who thinks it would be cool to go on a tour of Charleston kitchen houses? I do!!! Who wants to arrange it? :).” When English Purcell posted these words on Facebook, it was on. It was like she threw down the gauntlet. Up until her posting about Charleston kitchen...

Sleeping in Slave Dwellings: At First They Thought I’d Lost My Mind

Sleeping in Slave Dwellings: At First They Thought I’d Lost My Mind Interview with Terry James by Prinny Anderson, May 2017 Terry James is a member of the Slave Dwelling Project’s Board of Directors, a fellow USCT Massachusetts 54th re-enactor with Joe McGill, and a...

When Sleeping is not Enough

Sometimes things begin to become routine. That can be good or bad. While sleeping in slave cabins is an effortless act for me, for others, it can mean many things because many people participate in this odd activity for various reasons. Several moving parts must be...

Plantations and Courthouse Grounds

As the Slave Dwelling Project continues to evolve, patterns and themes are beginning to develop. I have spent the night at four institutions of higher learning; Clemson University in Clemson, SC; the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC; Furman University in...

Poplar Forest

Inalienable Rights: Living History Through the Eyes of the Enslaved is a program the gives the Slave Dwelling Project the opportunity to conduct living history programs at antebellum historic sites. The Slave Dwelling Project has assembled African American living...

Lexington County II

Remaining relevant factors into staying power. To remain relevant, one must evolve. While some are just catching on, the act of sleeping in extant slave dwellings is an old concept for me. Giving others the opportunity to share that experience with me is one element...

Walkertown High School

There are times when you get into something so deeply that you lose all sanity. Sometimes when trying to get to the result, you neglect to plan the necessary steps to get there. This way of living can often put you in situations where you have to make mind blowing...

“Who Speak Fuh’ We? WE Speak Fuh’ WE!” The work of The Slave Dwelling Project, Inc. is profound. The dwellings that we have to save remind me of a South African word, “Azuka”, meaning “help is imperative”. I am honored to be a member of the Project. We will raise the bar on cultural heritage preservation throughout the United States and abroad. I encourage folks to come on board, “Jine WE.”

– Patt Gunn, Geechee Girl Productions

Join the Slave Dwelling Project

Become a card carrying member of a cutting edge historic preservation organization today

View Membership Levels

I can say that the experience has made me a better person. It’s taught me humility for those who lived daily in the conditions I experienced for only 12 hours. It’s shown me an importance in knowing and attempting to learn about your history. Most of all, it has proven that history is real.

Justin Castor, Student

I was thankful for the act of remembrance and the ability to do so in a cultural way; in ways that my ancestors would have been punished for on many plantations. It was there in the sanctuary that I gave thanks of knowing and living the words of the ancestors … “Lest we forget.” My chant to them on the altar was, “You are not forgotten. We remember you with praise and honor.”

Toni Renee Battle

All I can say about Joe’s stay and “By the Sweat of Our Brows” is: if you didn’t make it, I’m sorry you missed it. You had to have been there to experience the power.

Dontavius Williams, Historical Interpreter, Historic Brattonsville

Slave Dwellings, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, SC

The Slave Dwelling Project

Developing Resources To Preserve African American Slave Dwellings

Connect With Us

Pin It on Pinterest