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Cogs and Cane: The Evolution of Technology at a 19th Century Louisiana Sugar Mill

Author(s): Matt McGraw

Year: 2015

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The mechanical din of the Industrial Revolution is not typically associated with 19th century Southern US plantation life.  However, the advances in science and technology resulting from the Industrial Revolution enabled the Louisiana sugar industry to flourish in spite of climatic restrictions.  Chatsworth Plantation (16EBR192) operated in East Baton Rouge Parish from the late 1830’s until the bankrupt plantation was sold at a Sheriff’s auction in 1928.  The Chatsworth Plantation sugar mill was excavated by archaeologists from the LSU Rural Life Museum between October 2012 and June 2013.  In this paper I will discuss the results of that excavation, the evolution of technology utilized at the Chatsworth sugar mill and the possible effects of the technology on the mill laborers, both enslaved and free.  

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Cogs and Cane: The Evolution of Technology at a 19th Century Louisiana Sugar Mill. Matt McGraw. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434073)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 502

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