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Starting Over After Being Taken Away: Enslaved Women, Forced Relocation, and Sexual Relationships in Antebellum Virginia

Author(s): Matthew C. Greer

Year: 2017

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Summary

Despite decades of archaeological research on enslaved communities, few studies have directly addressed the impact of the forced movement of Black women and men between sites of slavery.  Such relocations could dramatically alter the lives of enslaved individuals by removing them from their existing social networks and inserting them into a new community where such connections would have to be created anew.  While ongoing excavations at Belle Grove Plantation (Fredrick County, Virginia) are aimed at exploring this issue, detailed biographical information recorded in the property’s Common Place book between 1783 and 1851 affords us a preliminary glimpse into the effects of forced relation on enslaved women.  Specifically, this paper uses these records to explore how three enslaved women may have chosen to enter into, or abstain from forming, new sexual relationships after arriving at Belle Grove in the 1780’s and 1790’s.


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Starting Over After Being Taken Away: Enslaved Women, Forced Relocation, and Sexual Relationships in Antebellum Virginia. Matthew C. Greer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435480)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 531

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