Monday, June 11, 2007

Archaeologists find slave passageway at George Washington house
Archaeologists unearthing the remains of George Washington's presidential home have discovered a hidden passageway used by his nine slaves, raising questions about whether the ruins should be incorporated into a new exhibit at the site.

The underground passageway is just steps from the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. It was designed so Washington's guests would not see slaves as they slipped in and out of the main house.

“As you enter the heaven of liberty, you literally have to cross the hell of slavery,” said Michael Coard, a Philadelphia attorney who leads a group that worked to have slavery recognized at the site. “That's the contrast, that's the contradiction, that's the hypocrisy. But that's also the truth.”