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James Lees and the Enslaved African Occupation at Brimstone Hill, St. Kitts, West Indies

Author(s): Gerald F. Schroedl ; Todd H. Ahlman ; Walter E. Klippel ; Bobby R. Braly ; Ashley H. McKeown

Year: 2013

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James Lees became the first Royal Engineer stationed at the Brimstone Hill Fortress in the late 1770s, a post he resumed after French occupation of the fort ended in 1783 and which he continued to serve until 1790. Among Lees' responsibilities was calculating the number of enslaved African laborers needed at the fort and determining where to house them.  For this purpose Lees constructed a line of four buildings –two hospitals, a kitchen and "a hut for the colony laborers".  All were abandoned after ca 1810.  Refuse covered the buildings and the area was subsequently used as a cemetery for British soldiers.   Excavations of one hospital and the hut produced artifacts representing the enslaved Africans who occupied the buildings.  Importantly these include a range of Afro-Caribbean ceramics, scratched and notched European made ceramic sherds, abundant bone button manufacturing debris, and faunal materials attributable to the diet of enslaved African workers.

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James Lees and the Enslaved African Occupation at Brimstone Hill, St. Kitts, West Indies. Gerald F. Schroedl, Todd H. Ahlman, Walter E. Klippel, Bobby R. Braly, Ashley H. McKeown. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428342)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 266

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America