The House in the Cemetery Podcast Series

Episode 6: Landscapes of Leisure and Labor


This episode covers the historical landscape of The Woodlands. It investigates the appearance and significances of both the landscape features that remain, and those that no longer exist.

You will discover what it was like for people to see and interact with the landscape of The Woodlands estate. You will find that William Hamilton and his servants had different views of the landscape, and that each viewpoint exposed different features.

In this segment of Primary Exposure, we contrast the written accounts of The Woodlands given to us by Manasseh Cutler and Charles Drayton, to see what they can tell us about The Woodlands then and now.

Further Reading:

Betts, Richard J. "The Woodlands." Winterthur Portfolio 14, no. 3 (1979): 213-34.

Jacobs, James A. "William Hamilton and the Woodlands: A Construction of Refinement in Philadelphia." The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography 130, no. 2 (2006). 181-209.

Kelly, Catherine E. Republic of Taste: Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016.

Madsen, Karen. "To Make His Country Smile: William Hamilton's Woodlands." Arnoldia 49, no. 2 (1989): 14-24.

Reinberger, Mark and Elizabeth P. McLean. The Philadelphia Country House: Architecture and Landscape in Colonial America. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015.

Upton, Dell. “White and Black Landscapes in Eighteenth-Century Virginia.” In Clifton Ellis and Rebecca Ginsburg. Cabin, Quarter, Plantation: Architecture and Landscapes of North American Slavery (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2010).

Historic Images:
James P. Malcolm, The Woodlands, 1792-1794 (The Dietrich American Foundation)
William Birch, The Woodlands, c. 1808 (Historical Society of Pennsylvania)


“Birds Singing in the Autumn Forest Front” by craftport from Edited and mixed with another sound. Used under attribution license:

“Cricket Fall Evening Nov 2011” by kvgarlic from Edited and mixed with another sound. Used under creative commons license:

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About the podcaster: Sarah Marcinik is a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. She is interested in early American and public history.


This podcast is part of "The House in the Cemetery" project, part of the Villanova Public History Program. More information about this project can be found here.