Yet the enslaved people were clearly if anonymously listed by age and sex on an addendum to the national census that same year, known as “Schedule 2 — Slave Inhabitants.” McDuell was listed also, as “slave owner.” A decade later, and two years before his home became a Union Army field hospital, as highlighted in the article, the census listed McDuell again, this time with five enslaved people, including another infant, all once more anonymous except for their age and sex. Despite their anonymity, these enslaved people remain part of the manor’s past and present. Their descendants are possibly alive today.
The article’s omission, while otherwise extolling a selective history and the many physical attractions of a multimillion-dollar property, appeared to sidestep an embarrassment. In doing so, it contributes to the United States’ perpetual sin — a collective amnesia about the reality of slavery.
Brian J. Porter, North Potomac