Explore sign
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Explore sign

color:#252423;background:#F0F2F4">Savannah’s Telfair Museums is showcasing the lives of urban enslaved people in a new exhibit opening Nov. 16.

Shannon Browning-Mullis is curator of history and decorative arts for the Telfair Museums, which operates the house. She takes us on an audio tour.

 

 

color:#252423;background:#F0F2F4">The urban slave quarters came to light in 1990 during a renovation of the Owens-Thomas carriage house. It revealed original fireplaces, floors and ceilings painted “haint blue” a color used by the Gullah people to keep ghosts away. 

color:#252423;background:#F0F2F4">“Half the people here at any given time were enslaved people and half were Owens or Thomas or Richardson family members," Browning-Mullis
color:#252423;background:#F0F2F4">said. "So we’re able to talk fully about this wasn’t a segregated space. These people were interacting on a daily basis in very close ways.”

color:#252423;background:#F0F2F4">This is the first and only conserved urban slave quarters in Georgia open to the public.

Exterior of urban slave quarters as seen from garden
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Exterior of urban slave quarters as seen from garden
Wall of names of some of the enslaved people who worked at the Owens-Thomas properties
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Wall of names of some of the enslaved people who worked at the Owens-Thomas properties
Original fireplace
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Original fireplace
Ceiling painted
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Ceiling painted "haint blue," a Gullah cultural expression
Bedroom vignette
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Bedroom vignette
Bed on the floor
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Bed on the floor
Garden separating slave quarters from main house
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Garden separating slave quarters from main house
Tabby wall of the cistern that supplied indoor water to the house
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Tabby wall of the cistern that supplied indoor water to the house