Phillip Seitz booted out of Cliveden

Cliveden House’s Curator of History and Fermentation has been fired, the house’s executive director confirmed today.

 

Phillip Seitz had worked at Cliveden for about 10 years.

 

“We’re moving into a new phase of the project, and he won’t be a part of it,” Executive Director David Young said of Seitz.

 

The house is in the midst of a delicate transformation that will deal more directly with the slaveholding history of the Benjamin Chew family, which built the house and owned several plantations in Delaware and Maryland.

 

By poring over family papers, house historians are discovering new information about the hundreds of slaves owned by the family. They have uncovered instances of slave abuse and slave resistance and rebellion.

 

Seitz said he thinks this new direction will result in less community input and involvement.

 

But Young, who was Seitz’s boss, said the project would include a chance for community input.

 

“The project is moving forward with a lot of great energy and community input from a diverse group of people,” Young said.

 

On Tuesday, the organization is holding a meeting to discuss the house’s new direction, but the meeting is open only to people who participated in the interpretation project’s discussions last year.

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