“Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re really excited about.
The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island – Mac Griswold
To be published: June 2013
Goodreads says:The extraordinary story of a Long Island plantation across three centuries and eleven generations
In 1984, the landscape historian Mac Griswold was rowing along a Long Island creek when she came upon a stately yellow mansion and a garden guarded by hulking boxwoods. She instantly knew that boxwoods that large—twelve feet tall, fifteen feet wide—were hundreds of years old. And so was the house, Sylvester Manor, held in the same family for eleven generations.
When Griswold went inside, she encountered a house full of revelations, like the 1666 charter for the land and a letter from Thomas Jefferson. But most remarkable—and most disturbing—was what the aged owner, Andrew Fiske, casually called the “slave staircase,” which would reveal the extensive but little-known story of Northern slavery.
Years after her tour, Griswold could not let go of the house and its many secrets, and she began to research the family that gave the property its name. In 1997, alongside a team of archaeologists, she began to dig, uncovering a landscape filled with stories.
Based on years of research—and voyages that took Griswold as far as West Africa—The Manor is the biography of a place that has endured through wars great and small, through fortunes won and lost, and the tale of the family that has occupied it for three centuries. At once a fine-grained account and a sweeping drama, it captures American history in all its richness and contradictions.
What are you waiting for?