Two Meals for Two Tables: Comparing the Diets of Free and Enslaved Washingtons

Author(s): Philip Levy; David Muraca

Year: 2015


This paper compares faunal assemblages from two 1740s cellars located in the heart of the home lot of Ferry Farm—the childhood home of George Washington. Excavation of these cellars yielded rich assemblages of faunal material containing a wide array of animals and offering detailed perspectives on diet. What makes these cellars of special interest though is that they came respectively from the homes of the free Washingtons and the enslaved Washingtons. This means that these two contemporary features provide windows into the same moment in time as experienced by two very different domestic environments within the same large household complex and economy. The 1740s is usually understood as a time of hardship at Ferry Farm and this paper uses these assemblages to critique the function of the current idea of household on sites of enslavement within a larger context of economic distress. 

Cite this Record

Two Meals for Two Tables: Comparing the Diets of Free and Enslaved Washingtons. Philip Levy, David Muraca. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433761)


Temporal Keywords

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): 334