Space and Place in the African Diaspora: Assessing Household Context within a Virginia Plantation

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  • Beyond the Patriarchy: A Feminine Examination of Montpelier's Shifting Landscape (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christine H Heacock.

    The physical landscape at James Madison's Montpelier underwent drastic changes between the mansion's original construction in 1764 and the end of Madison's life in 1836. These modifications paralleled Madison's rise in social status and increase of political power. This paper seeks to examine the ways in which a male's upward trajectory in the public sphere and subsequent changes to his home led to feminine renegotiations of place in a continually modified space. This paper utilizes...

  • Cabins, Households, and Families: The Multiple Loci of Pooled Production at James Madison's Montpelier (2016)
    DOCUMENT Full-Text Eric Schweickart.

    The lives of the members of the enslaved community at James Madison’s plantation in Virginia, Montpelier, were shaped by the types of work they were expected to do in order to keep the president’s mansion and farm running smoothly. Recent work by historical demographers has highlighted the importance of pooling resources within households, with members each contributing the results of their production activities to the group.  Archaeological excavations at several different early 19th century...

  • Many Remedies to Choose From: Social Relationships and Healing in an Enslaved Community (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Matthew C Greer.

    When enslaved individuals fell ill, a plethora of cures were available from various sources.  For instance, a planter could have a local doctor treat an enslaved woman, or she could treat herself through the use of medicines she purchased or plants she gathered.  Whatever choice she made, however, did not occur in a vacuum.  Rather, the social connections and relationships that structured her daily life shaped the way in which she sought to heal herself.  So far, unfortunately, the interaction...

  • Roots in the Community: A Macrobotanical Analysis of Enslaved African-American Households at James Madison's Montpelier (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Samantha J. Henderson.

    In 2008, the archaeology department at James Madison’s Montpelier began a multi-year project that sought to understand the community dynamics between enslaved workers at the plantation in the early 19th century. This study excavated and analyzed four sites: South Yard, Stable Quarter, Field Quarter, and Tobacco Barn Quarter. Each of these sites represents a different community of enslaved workers, from those who worked in the mansion to field hands.  This paper will compare the macrobotanical...

  • Whose Midden is it Anyway? : Exploring the Origins of the Southwest Yard Midden at James Madison's Montpelier (2016)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Scott N. Oliver.

    During the 2014 field season, the Montpelier Archaeology Department sampled an area known as the Southwest Yard. A large midden containing approximately 14,300 individual faunal elements and fragments was found. The Southwest Yard is located in close proximity to the domestic enslaved living and working area known as the South Yard, suggesting the midden could belong to the enslaved community. Within the South Yard, however, is an 18th century kitchen known as the South Kitchen. I will look at...