Authors of a new book on the life and times of Thomas Day, a free black man known for his fine architectural woodwork and furniture throughout antebellum South, will visit Day's home in Milton, NC, on May 23.
Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll and Pat Marshall will join Preservation North Carolina to celebrate the publication by UNC Press of "Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color."
Copies of the book will be available for sale at Union Tavern, Day's home during his most prolific period of work, the early to mid 1800s.
Visitors will also have a chance to see examples of Day's fine craftsmanship in their original settings at Union Tavern, Milton Presbyterian Church and nearby homes.
Along with his skills as a woodworker, Day was known for breaking barriers of race and class throughout his life. Born in Virginia in 1801, Day established himself as a young cabinetmaker in Milton, where he carved out a successful business serving clients from Virginia to Georgia. His work was commissioned by governors, business magnates, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and many others.
His unique designs are found in many buildings of Federal, Gothic and other styles of the period.
In 1975, Day’s home—known as Union Tavern—was named a National Historic Landmark and is being preserved and restored by members of Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration Inc.
The May 23 event is co-sponsored by Thomas Day House/Union Tavern Restoration and the N.C. Museum of History, whose exhibit "Beneath the Veneer: Thomas Day Cabinetmaker," opens Saturday, May 22, in Raleigh,
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