Jackson House Museum Offers New Tour

Harriet “Hetty” Graham Jackson, Anna Jackson’s attendant, The Norfolk Virginian, 1904

Harriet “Hetty” Graham Jackson, Anna Jackson’s attendant, published in The Norfolk Virginian, 1904.

LEXINGTON, Va., March 30, 2022—The Jackson House Museum is now offering a tour titled “The Enslaved Experience,” which explores the Jackson House through the unique perspective and histories of the seven individuals enslaved by Thomas Jackson during his years in Lexington. The new tour is part of the museum’s ongoing Master Guide Tour series, an interpretive program made up of several guided tours on various topics offered on a short-term basis. “We hope these new themed tours will allow visitors to see the house from a variety of perspectives, some familiar and some new,” said Pamela Kouame, museum assistant.

Based on several years of staff research, the tour focuses on the lives and stories of Albert, Amy, Hetty, Cyrus, George, Ann, and Emma – how they came to the Jackson household, stories of their time enslaved, and concludes with their lives after emancipation. As visitors are guided from room to room, they are encouraged to imagine each room from the perspective of an enslaved individual. From the family’s parlor as a schoolroom to the garden as Hetty’s respite from Anna’s supervision – every corner of the house is seen in a new light through the experiences of these seven individuals.

The tour experience allows visitors to reflect on the often complex shared history of the Jackson household. For example, visitors may know about Thomas Jackson’s work with other local residents at the Sabbath School for the African-American population of Lexington. But they may be surprised to learn more about Jackson’s efforts to educate the enslaved teenagers Cyrus and George. This educational effort would prove beneficial to George after his emancipation.

The Jackson House Museum will present this tour through the end of June. The tour is offered twice daily, at 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-5pm. Residents of Lexington, Buena Vista, and Rockbridge County can receive free admission to the museum for a year with the one-time purchase of a ticket. For more information, please visit www.vmi.edu/jhm or call 540-464-7704.

Maj. Michelle Ellwood
Communications & Marketing

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