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2018 Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute (Full)

July 25, 2018 - July 28, 2018

Slavery in Tidewater Virginia: Reality, Debate, and Dissolution

July 25 – 28, 2018

Stratford Hall, Virginia

We are sorry; the Stratford Hall Summer Institute is now full. 

The Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute is an annual residential opportunity for educators located on the grounds of Stratford Hall in Westmoreland County, Virginia. This is the second Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute focusing on the realities and impact of institutionalized slavery in Virginia.

Overview of 2018 Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute


In 1750 there were approximately 100,000 slaves in Virginia. By the outbreak of the American Civil War, Virginia had the nation’s highest population of enslaved African Americans at approximately 500,000. Well before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, white and black Americans debated and often violently clashed over the meanings of liberty and the status of slavery in territories and states. These debates over liberty and slavery became enmeshed in almost every part of American social and political life.


The word “slave” does not appear in the Constitution. Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 25 owned slaves. The framers consciously avoided the word. Nevertheless, slavery received important protections in the Constitution. The ensuing debate created a constitutional crisis of conscience.


Census takers in 1860 reported that almost half a million Virginians lived in slavery; five years later they were all free. How prepared was the union, and individual citizens white and black, for this new-found freedom?

Registration & information

(We are sorry; the Stratford Hall Summer Institute is now full.)

To apply: The Institute is open to all public and private certificate-holding school teachers K-12. Past Institute attendees are allowed to apply.

Download and print the Stratford Hall Summer Teacher Institute Application. Compose a 500 word essay answering the question, “How has slavery in the United States left an indelible imprint on our national identity?” 

Candidates may apply any time after February 21, 2018. E-mail the application to Jon Bachman, Public Events Manager, jbachman@stratfordhall.org, or mail the application to 483 Great House Road, Stratford, VA 22558.

Cost: Participants are responsible for the costs of transportation to and from Stratford and three evening meals. All other Institute costs (full tuition, housing and most meals) are covered by fellowship funding sources.

Lecture Topics

Wednesday, July 25 – Keynote: Abolitionists and Enslavers, Dr. Allen Guelzo

Wednesday, July 25 – Social for Institute attendees, faculty, and Stratford Hall staff

Thursday, July 26 – Pro-slavery and Anti-Slavery thought in Virginia, 1760-1860, Dr. Kevin Hardwick

Thursday, July 26 – Interest and Principle: Slavery and the U.S. Constitution, 1787-1790, Dr. Terri Halperin

Thursday, July 26 – The History of Pocahontas Island, Mr. Richard Stewart

Thursday, July 26 – tours of Stratford Hall, the Payne cabin, and the reconstructed Slave Quarters

Friday, July 27 – Finding Stratford’s Enslaved Stories, Dr. Kelley Deetz

Friday, July 27 – The Material Culture of Slavery in Virginia, Dr. Andrew Witmer

Friday, July 27 – Debating Slavery in Virginia’s Churches, Dr. Charles Irons

Saturday, July 28 – The Abolition of Slavery in Virginia, Dr. Lauranett Lee

Saturday, July 28 – Slavery as Social Death, Dr. John L. Johnson

Institute Faculty

Dr. Allen C. Guelzo

Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director, Civil War Era Studies Program, Gettysburg College

Dr. Terri Halperin

Professor of American History, University of Richmond

Dr. Kevin Hardwick

Professor of the History of Early America, Virginia, and the History of Anglo-American Constitutionalism, James Madison University

Dr. Charles F. Irons

Professor of History and Chair, Department of History and Geography, Elon University

Dr. John L. Johnson

Dr. John L. Johnson educational psychologist, Fellow of the A.K Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems, and an elected Member-at-Large of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP.

 Dr. Lauranett Lee

Professor, University of Richmond and consultant on public history projects

Abigail Newkirk

Director of Interpretation & Education at Stratford Hall

Dr. Andrew Witmer

Associate Professor, Department of History, James Madison University


July 25, 2018
July 28, 2018

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