Digital Resources Portal
Welcome to the Virtual Historic Stagville! Use this page to access videos relating to the site and its history. These resources are perfect for educators, students, or anyone wishing to explore Historic Stagville from the comfort of home.
Singing on the Land: Historic Stagville's Story
Historic Stagville preserves a small fraction of the plantation holdings of the Bennehan-Cameron families. From 1771 to 1865, the Bennehan and Cameron families profited from the forced labor of enslaved Africans and African Americans on this land. By the 1860s, the Bennehan-Cameron family-controlled over 30,000 acres of land and enslaved over 900 people. Today Stagville is dedicated to interpreting the lives, culture, and labors of enslaved people on the Bennehan-Cameron plantations. The site's history draws on architecture, archaeology, oral history, and written records kept by the Bennehans, Camerons, enslaved people, and overseers.
Historic Stagville hosts Monèt Marshall, A.yoni Jeffries, and Gabrielle E. W. Carter in conversation at Horton Grove. These three Black North Carolina artists discuss how their farming, food, art, history, and music are gateways to healing. Together, they ask how sites of mass slavery, like Stagville, can become sites of healing for Black Americans. This conversation was recorded on the grounds of Horton Grove, the only surviving slave dwellings from the Bennehan and Cameron plantations. Stagville and Horton Grove are among the largest and best documented sites of slavery in North Carolina.
Delphine Sellars and Diquan Edmonds join Historic Stagville Site Manager Vera Cecelski in conversation at Horton Grove. Each speaker represents an organization that keeps and cares for land that was formerly part of the Cameron plantations: Historic Stagville State Historic Site, Catawba Trail Farm, and Triangle Land Conservancy’s Horton Grove Nature Preserve. They share the different ways each of them seek to transform plantation land into spaces for healing, through land conservation, community agriculture, and public history. Their talk was recorded on the grounds of Horton Grove, the only surviving slave dwellings from the Bennehan and Cameron plantations.
Trombonist and vocalist Bill Amey’s ancestral roots run deep in Durham, North Carolina. They begin on the outskirts of the county in the late 1800s at the Stagville plantation. Once one of the largest plantations in the American South, Stagville spanned approximately 30,000 acres and enslaved nearly 1,000 African Americans. Upon emancipation, many of the freed families left Stagville and settled in the city of Durham. Among those people were Anderson and Winney Amey, Bill Amey’s great-great grandparents. It was there the Amey family took root. The William Amey Funeral Home and Florist Shop was an important institution in the African American community from 1933 until it closed in 1981. In this video, Bill Amey, who like his father and grandfather before him is named after his enslaved ancestor Anderson Amey, returns to Historic Stagville to perform his composition “Africa.” Guitarist Kennedy Atkinson and vocalist Nicole Sibalo Chagwiza join him on this tribute to the enslaved African Americans who were torn from their homeland. Delivered over a nostalgic but melancholic melody, the lyrics are written from the perspective of an enslaved person reflecting on the land they were forced to leave behind.. “It was a natural fit to pick this one,” Mr. Amey says of the song choice,"it’s nice to be able to come do something [at Historic Stagville,] but it’s also nice to know things aren’t like they were.”