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"Finery and Small Comforts": The intersection of gender, consumerism, and slavery in nineteenth century Virginia

Author(s): Lori Lee

Year: 2015

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Summary

In the context of enslavement, supply constrained individual expression and consumer choice at varying scales. Within a plantation household, supply took the form of provisions selected by the master for enslaved laborers. At the scale of local markets and stores, supply and variable adherence to laws constrained which goods were available to slaves who were able to purchase or trade for them. In this paper, I synthesize historical and archaeological evidence to consider how supply and distribution impacted which goods were available to enslaved laborers in nineteenth century Virginia, particularly in the central region of the state. I also consider what choices among these goods reveal about the needs, desires, prospects, and risks of enslaved consumers.


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"Finery and Small Comforts": The intersection of gender, consumerism, and slavery in nineteenth century Virginia. Lori Lee. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434063)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 480

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