A  Piedmont Plantation

Author(s): J. Hope Smith

Year: 2013


In Virginia, the majority of excavataions at early eighteenth-century plantations have been concentrated in the Tidewater region. Recently, however, more archaeologists are turning their focus inland toward the Piedmont. Established in 1723 by President James Madison's grandparents, Ambrose and Frances, Mount Pleasant is one of these early Piedmont plantations. For much of its occupation it  was managed by a woman; Ambrose Madison died shortly after moving to Mount Pleasant, leaving his wife in charge of the estate until her son reached majority. The site has potential to speak to questions about the history of slavery in the early Piedmont and about the role of elite women in this region. Because of its association with James Madison, Mount Pleasant has been the focus of three different periods of excavations from the 1980s until the 2000s. This paper will reanalyze some of the data from this significant site.

Cite this Record

A  Piedmont Plantation. J. Hope Smith. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428622)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 514