The Other End of the Chain: Viewing the Poplar Forest Landscape from an Enslaved Perspective

Author(s): Eric Proebsting; Jack Gary

Year: 2014

Summary

Exploring the ornamental and plantation landscapes of Poplar Forest has revealed new perspectives on Thomas Jefferson’’s designs for his retreat home. These perspectives allow us to confront the impact that Jefferson’’s decisions had on the lives of the slaves who provided the labor needed to bring his agricultural and ornamental visions to reality. The works of these individuals, revealed in archaeological and written records, included episodes of extensive clearing and earthmoving along with the daily tasks needed to plant and maintain the grounds and fields of Jefferson’’s retreat. Examining these efforts provides a greater understanding of how enslaved laborers physically created the landscapes of Poplar Forest plantation and how they were affected by the changes that resulted from their labor.

Cite this Record

The Other End of the Chain: Viewing the Poplar Forest Landscape from an Enslaved Perspective. Eric Proebsting, Jack Gary. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437202)

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Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-65,07