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Rare Slave Cabin To Become Crown Jewel Of New African American History Museum

The cabin will be dismantled and reassembled at the Smithsonian.

Where can one find Nat Turner’s Bible, Emmet Till’s coffin and Harriet Tubman’s shawl? Answer: the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture when it opens in late 2015.

Additionally, one of the nation’s oldest remaining slave cabins will be joining these artifacts in Washington, D.C., according to the New York Times.

The 320-square-foot cabin is being dismantled piece by piece, to be rebuilt inside the museum. It is one of two slave cabins in Edisto Island, S.C. They have stood on the Point of Pines plantation since the 1850s. Neither cabin has ever had electricity or heat, but continued to shelter inhabitants more than a century after slavery ended. The last known occupants moved out some 30 years ago.

Curator Nancy Bercaw said the museum was drawn to this particular plantation because slaves first emancipated themselves there after Union troops set up a stronghold in the Carolinas. The cabin will join the museum’s “Slavery and Freedom” exhibit that covers the post-Civil War era.

The museum will be the first new Smithsonian museum since the National Museum of the American Indian opened in 2004. To get a preview, you can download “View NMAAHC” and “Changing America: To Be Free,”  both free apps for the iPhone and Android.

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