Insufferable Conduct: The Slave Overseer in 18th-Century Virginia

Author(s): Boyd S. Sipe

Year: 2018


Historical and archeological literature documenting plantation overseers in the American South is very limited and the extant sources focus almost entirely on overseers from the later antebellum period.  The relevance of such information to colonial-period overseers, who are rarely identified in the archeological record and who left few documentary traces, is unclear. At the Accotink Quarter site (44FX0223) in Fairfax County, Virginia, intact historic features and artifact deposits indicated the location of an overseer’s house and a dwelling for enslaved laborers. John Marvill, an overseer at the site during the 1760s. was identified in accounts records from John Glassford and Company’s Colchester store where his purchases of various goods for himself and the quarter are documented. 

Cite this Record

Insufferable Conduct: The Slave Overseer in 18th-Century Virginia. Boyd S. Sipe. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441615)

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Temporal Keywords
18th Century

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): 1081