A School for Williamsburg's Enslaved: The Bray School Archaeological Project

Author(s): Mark Kostro; Neil Norman

Year: 2013


In 1760 the London-based philanthropy, the Associates of Dr. Bray, established a charity school for the religious education of free and enslaved African American children in Williamsburg, the eighteenth-century capitol of the Virginia colony.   Known as the Bray School, the school was briefly housed in a rented dwelling adjacent to the campus of the College of William and Mary.  The archaeological investigation of the suspected site of the Bray school in 2012 was a rare opportunity to materially examine the daily lives of enslaved Africans and African Americans in a context other than a rural plantation quarter.  This paper reports on the site's recent investigation, paying special attention to the identification of intact archaeological evidence of the site's eighteenth-century development and layout, as well as evidence relating to those receiving instruction at the Bray School. 

Cite this Record

A School for Williamsburg's Enslaved: The Bray School Archaeological Project. Mark Kostro, Neil Norman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428662)

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Temporal Keywords
18th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 691