"For the instruction of Negro Children in the Principles of the Christian religion": The Bray School Archaeological Project at the College of William and Mary.
Author(s): Mark Kostro
In 1760, backed by Benjamin Franklin and the College of William and Mary’s faculty, the London based philanthropy known as the Associates of Dr. Bray founded a unique school in Williamsburg, Virginia "for the instruction of Negro Children in the Principles of the Christian religion." Students, male and female, enslaved and free, attended the school where they were taught Anglican catechism in addition to reading, writing and possibly sewing. As the stated objective of the Bray School was primarily an ecclesiastical one, the school survived in Williamsburg for fourteen years in spite the periodic objections of some local slave owners. This paper reviews the recently completed archaeological investigations of the school site, which identified outbuilding foundations for a trio of Bray School outbuildings, as well as material evidence of the students’ lives and perhaps even the school’s curriculum.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Laboring in the Landscapes of Learning: The Archaeology of Slavery at Virginia’s Colleges and Universities •
- Society for Historical Archaeology 2016
Cite this Record
"For the instruction of Negro Children in the Principles of the Christian religion": The Bray School Archaeological Project at the College of William and Mary.. Mark Kostro. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434532)
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;