On Finding Smoke Town, a Late-eighteenth, to Mid-nineteenth Century, Rural Free Black Community Populated, in Circa 1791, by some of the 452 Manumitted Slaves of Robert Carter III.

Author(s): Mark M Ludlow

Year: 2018

Summary

The finding and excavation of a late eighteenth-century to mid-nineteenth century rural free black community cartographically known as Smoke Town or Leeds Town, on the Shenandoah River, Warren County, Virginia, populated by some of the 452 slaves manumitted (511 ultimately), by Robert Carter III by his Deed of Gift of 1791. Robert Carter III was an affluent grandson of Robert ‘King’ Carter. That Deed of Gift was the largest single manumission of slaves in America until the American Civil War – An extraordinary event, of which few are aware. There are prehistoric components to the site from the Late Archaic period, and the Early Woodland period evidenced by Selden Island ware: An Early Woodland prehistoric hearth was found within the historic period fireplace and below the historic period chimney foundation.

Excavations illuminate manners in which newly freed slaves of African descent conducted their lives, in contrast to plantation slave lifeways.

Cite this Record

On Finding Smoke Town, a Late-eighteenth, to Mid-nineteenth Century, Rural Free Black Community Populated, in Circa 1791, by some of the 452 Manumitted Slaves of Robert Carter III.. Mark M Ludlow. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441549)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

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): 853