11. Mrs. Gray's Kitchen

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In 1829, the Board of Visitors approved the construction of a one-and-a-half story "office" with two rooms to the rear of Hotel E. Built between 1829 and1830 and referred to as Mrs. Gray's kitchen, this structure would have served as both residence and work space and was operated chiefly by enslaved laborers. Mrs. Gray expanded the kitchen structure when she added an 'apartment for the lodging of servants' in 1844. John and Cornelia Gray operated the hotel between 1825 and 1845, providing food and services to students in adjacent dormitories. Census records document that a total of thirteen enslaved individual resided in the Gray household in 1830. One of these individuals was the dormitory servant William, a young boy. In early 1834, several white students boarding with Mrs. Gray had complained that William was "impertinent" and that he did not "attend well" at the rooms. Under pressure from the faculty, William was "withdrawn" from serving the student dormitories. In late 1835, Mrs. Gray complained to the faculty that a student boarder, William W. Harris, "struck her servant William in her presence" and that Harris behaved in a very rude and insulting manner to her. Harris replied stating that "he would do so [strike her servant] whenever it pleased him." Faculty reviewed the complaints and testimonies and concluded that William was "highly offensive in manner, & impertinent in language to Mr. Harris & is habitually as in his conduct to others." William was subsequently removed from any attendance on the students.

Historic location only

Historic location only