GRACIOUS BUT CARELESS: RACE AND STATUS IN THE HISTORY OF MOUNT CLARE
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Historic plantation sites continue to struggle with the legacy of slavery and black history, particularly concerning their significance in American culture. Although enslaved persons are erased from the contemporary landscape of Carroll Park in Baltimore, Maryland, the historical and archaeological record preserves their importance to the Carroll family and the plantation called Georgia or Mount Clare. I argue that historic preservation is a form of social justice when underrepresented historical groups are integrated into interpretations of historical house museums and landscapes. Enslaved blacks held essential roles in every aspect of Mount Clare from circa 1730 to 1817. They became culturally American at the intersection of race and status, not only through the practice of their own cultural beliefs and values, but those of elite whites, as well. Focus on white ancestors reveals only part of the history of Mount Clare: I demonstrate that blacks' own achievements cannot be ignored.