On the Outskirts of Town: Race, Liminality, and the Social Landscape at Parting Ways, 1700 to 1830

Author(s): Karen Hutchins

Year: 2014

Summary

The years following emancipation in Massachusetts were pivotal for establishing how African Americans would participate in American society. African Americans in more rural areas faced a different set of personal and community struggles as they established their new identities as free Americans than did their peers in urban centers. This paper uses the historical documentation and archaeological remains of a small community in Plymouth, Massachusetts called Parting Ways to explore how the physical and social landscape became racialized. The paper examines the use and occupation of the property beginning in the early eighteenth century. It explores the property’’s use as a settlement for transient white families ‘warned out’ of other Massachusetts towns in the mid-eighteenth century and assesses how the property’s liminal legal status in the eighteenth century and its association with social outcasts influenced the social position of the African Americans who settled there in the late eighteenth century.

Cite this Record

On the Outskirts of Town: Race, Liminality, and the Social Landscape at Parting Ways, 1700 to 1830. Karen Hutchins. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436914)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-37,06