Spatiality of the Everyday: 19th Century Slave Life in Western Tennessee


Throughout ten-years of excavation in western Tennessee, a more nuanced picture of 19th century everyday life in the antebellum South has emerged. With over twenty contiguous plantations on the 18,400-acre contemporary Ames land base, we compare specific characteristics of material culture from large (3,000+ acres) and small plantations (300-1000 acres). Our research focuses on Fanny Dickins, a woman with the financial means to purchase and run a small cotton plantation in Western Tennessee. Utilizing the distribution of ceramics and architectural materials excavated from slave households near the manor house, we investigate the daily lives of the slaves (38 total) owned by Mrs. Dickens from 1841-1853. Defining the "everyday" by using GIS technology creates an avenue of exploration for residential areas associated with slave life. This analysis generates a better understanding for the role of individual and collective agency of slaves within the plantation system of the antebellum South. 

Cite this Record

Spatiality of the Everyday: 19th Century Slave Life in Western Tennessee. Claire Norton, Kimberly Kasper, Corena Hasselle. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435560)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 301