Slave Foodways at James Madison’s Montpelier A.D. 1810- 1830


Based primarily on similarities in occupation, the enslaved population at Montpelier formed distinct enclaves within the plantation, both spatially and within the hierarchy of the operation of the plantation. While food rations at Montpelier were nominally the same for each of these groups, position within the plantation hierarchy created differing opportunity to supplement those rations through access to both the Madison’s themselves and to the means to acquire wild game. Zooarchaeological analysis of faunal remains recovered by the Montpelier Foundation identifies variability in access to various sources of meat amongst the slave groups at James Madison’s Montpelier plantation. Preliminary analysis suggests that skilled laborers had a diverse diet similar to that of the Madison’s themselves, while domestic and field slaves were restricted largely to meats provided through the plantation’s provisioning system.

Cite this Record

Slave Foodways at James Madison’s Montpelier A.D. 1810- 1830. Chance H. Copperstone, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433782)


Temporal Keywords
A.D. 1810- 1830

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): 270