The John Dickinson Plantation, a historic site in Dover, Delaware, was recently named a member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.
A Site of Conscience is a place– usually a historic site or a museum– that is dedicated to preserving the memory of the difficult history that happened there. These sites use historical perspective to help visitors make connections to contemporary human rights issues and foster public dialogue. The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience has over 300 members in 65 countries.
The John Dickinson Plantation, the boyhood home of Founding Father John Dickinson, tells the story of the Dickinson family as well as the tenant farmers and enslaved people who lived and worked on the plantation. John Dickinson famously wrote about freedom during the American Revolution while holding people in bondage. As a member of the coalition, the plantation has dedicated itself to telling the difficult truths about the founding of the United States and the institution of slavery.
The plantation is currently implementing a new master plan that includes creating a new area for reflection. This addition will give visitors a space for quite contemplation after learning about the lives of the enslaved people who lived on the plantation. Other parts of the master plan include utilizing agricultural fields for the demonstration of 18th century farming techniques, opening more sections of the property to public access, and increasing the areas of interpretation through public archaeology programs.