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Materializing the Past: Ghosting Slave Landscapes at James Madison’s Montpelier

Author(s): Jobie R. Hill ; Willie Graham ; Gardiner Hallock ; Matthew Reeves

Year: 2015

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Starting in 2010 the Montpelier Foundation, the organization that operates James Madison’s plantation in Orange County, Virginia, began a systematic process to reestablish elements of the ca. 1812 slave occupied landscape found adjacent to the Madisons’ house.  These ghosted structures, which include slave dwellings, smoke houses and a kitchen, are based on archaeological and documentary evidence and were recreated using traditional framing techniques.  More recently the Foundation finished a ghosted recreation of a log slave dwelling found adjacent to the earlier recreations and is planning on recreating an additional log slave dwelling that was discovered archaeologically in one of Madison’s agricultural fields.  Authors Jobie Hill, Willie Graham, and Gardiner Hallock will detail the archaeological evidence, documentary records, and surviving historic structures that were used to develop designs for the ghosted structures and place the reconstructed buildings into a regional historical context that explains their form and function.

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Cite this Record

Materializing the Past: Ghosting Slave Landscapes at James Madison’s Montpelier. Jobie R. Hill, Willie Graham, Gardiner Hallock, Matthew Reeves. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433788)


Temporal Keywords
19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 593

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America