July 13, 2008
By Elisabeth Grant
Last month in a What We’re Reading post we linked to an article about the Poplar Grove plantation in Maryland where documents from as far back as the 1600s had been found in attics and other buildings. Researchers, with support from the Maryland State Archives and the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience at Washington College, have descended on Poplar Grove to sort through the papers and unearth the rich history they contain. And while there’s much to go through, they’re taking the time to share some of the most interesting finds on the Poplar Grove Project blog.
On the blog researchers post crisp images of the found documents, transcribe them for readers, and share their own enthusiasm and excitement over what they discover. Here is a selection of some of these posts:
- An old trunk and a lock of hair – Letters between Alexander Hemsley and his sister Anna Maria share gossip and the concerns of youth (thank goodness Anna Maria didn’t burn these letters, as her brother requested). Also see the related post: Teenagers IM-ing, circa 1802
- War of 1812 muster roll – A military roster from the War of 1812 and a discussion of the history that surrounded it.
- 20th Century Poplar Grove Activities – Fascinating pictures from railroad projects during the first decade of the century.
- “Agricultural Improvement and the Gentleman Farmer… a Noble Failure?” – A letter inspires a look at agriculture and the “planter elite” after the American Revolution.
The continuing story of what is being found at Poplar Grove is mesmerizing. We hope the researchers continue to share their stories, pictures, and updates on this project. For more about the project see this article from Washington College, view photos on Flickr, or visit the Poplar Grove Project blog.