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At the Crossroads of Consumption: 19th Century Slave Life in Western Tennessee

Author(s): Kimberly Kasper ; Katharine Reinhart ; Ellie Maclin

Year: 2015

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In eight years of excavations on the 20,000 acre Ames land base in western Tennessee, a clearer picture of the 19th century of everyday life and the associated patterns of consumption of the antebellum south has emerged. With over twenty contiguous plantations, we are able to compare specific characteristics of the material culture from large (3,000+ acres) to small plantations (300 acres). Our current focus is on Fanny Dickins, a woman of financial means who established a small plantation after the death of her husband (1841-1853). Within this paper, we explore the daily lives of the slaves owned by Dickens through the types of environments and architecture in which they resided, the ceramics they utilized, the foodstuffs they ate and the medicines they ingested. This type of analysis allows an exploration of the power dynamics involved in the shifting patterns of consumption between plantation owners and associated slaves. 

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At the Crossroads of Consumption: 19th Century Slave Life in Western Tennessee. Kimberly Kasper, Katharine Reinhart, Ellie Maclin. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434040)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 411

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