Claiming a House of Bondage: Examining Spatial Relationships of Domestic Slavery at Montpelier

Author(s): Terry Brock

Year: 2015

Summary

The arrangement of domestic slavery in elite 18th and 19th century homes was built on an unsteady relationship between the enslaved laborers and the owner of the households. At Montpelier, this was amplified by a plantation landscape crafted as an entertainment space, and who's creation and maintenance relied entirely on the obedience and cooperation of enslaved laborers. These laborers lived and worked in and around the Mansion, and were integral to the performance of domesticity that James and Dolley Madison curated. This relationship was delicately negotiated by the slaves and Madisons, and should be reflected in the archaeological and architectural record. This paper will examine this relationship at Montpelier, with a particular focus on ways that the areas of work and bondage within and surrounding the manor were co-opted and claimed as African American spaces.

Cite this Record

Claiming a House of Bondage: Examining Spatial Relationships of Domestic Slavery at Montpelier. Terry Brock. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433785)

Keywords

Temporal Keywords
18th and 19th century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 487