Preparing for the Future or Investing in the Present? Assemblages from an Overseer’s Site and an Enslaved Laborers’ Quarter

Author(s): Crystal L. Ptacek; Donald Gaylord

Year: 2017

Summary

This paper analyzes and compares ceramic diversity and small domestic artifacts from two domestic sites located at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello plantation. During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, one site was the home of white overseer Edmund Bacon while the other was the location of at least one quarter for enslaved African Americans. Analysis of artifacts recovered from plowzone enhances our understanding of how one of Monticello’s white overseers’ personal items differed from the belongings of those he oversaw. In the early nineteenth century, both Bacon and enslaved workers sought to negotiate and communicate their places within their greater social contexts by exercising choice in the variety of ceramics and personal items they purchased. Bacon’s relatively small and unfashionable assemblage suggests that he was saving for his purchase of a farm in Kentucky, while the assemblage from enslaved African Americans suggests they invested in their present reality.

Cite this Record

Preparing for the Future or Investing in the Present? Assemblages from an Overseer’s Site and an Enslaved Laborers’ Quarter. Crystal L. Ptacek, Donald Gaylord. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435465)

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Keywords

General
data Plowzone Slavery

Geographic Keywords
North America United States of America

Temporal Keywords
Early 19th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 484