In 2005, a diverse group of Hilton Head Island citizens joined forces to preserve, protect and promote the heritage of Mitchelville, America’s first pre-Civil War settlement for black slaves who escaped area plantations.
..preserve and sustain an historically significant site and to educate the public about the sacrifice, resilience and perseverence of the freedmen of Mitchelville..
The BBC’s broadcast about Mitchelville included the story of two women whose family history is interconnected through Mitchelville: Priscilla Jeffrey, direct descendant of Gen. Ormsby Mitchel who founded Mitchelville under his Union Army command and Johnnie Mitchell, a descendant of a Mitchelville freedman. Today, the Mitchelville Preservation Project, Inc., is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission is to replicate, preserve, and sustain an historically significant site and to educate the public about the sacrifice, resilience and perseverance of the freedmen of Mitchelville and to share the story of how these brave men and women planted strong and enduring familial roots for generations of future African-Americans.
The vision of the Mitchelville Preservation Project is to preserve a portion of the historic site of what was once Mitchelville and to commemorate the former slaves’ "experiment in freedom." The project will incorporate the use of state-of-the-art technological and media platforms that will present the story of Mitchelville, allowing visitors to envision the historic town as it existed in the 19th century. Set against the natural backdrop of Hilton Head Island, The Mitchelville Preservation Project will become the Lowcountry's jewel Civil War attraction.