About the Collection

A National Historic Landmark, the Nathaniel Russell House Museum was built and completed in 1808 for Charleston slave merchant Nathaniel Russell, becoming an exemplar of neoclassical architecture in the United States. Historic Charleston Foundation acquired the house in 1955 and has restored the site to its original 1808 appearance using forensic analysis and cutting-edge conservation technology.

This collection includes correspondence and bills of sale detailing Russell’s involvement in the slave trade and decorative and fine arts objects by 19th century Charleston artists and craftsmen. Most notably, this collection features recently uncovered artifacts from 2017-2020 investigations of the kitchen house that speak to the daily life of the people enslaved at the site and contribute to the larger narrative of urban enslavement in 19th century Charleston.

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