The "Place Where No One Ever Goes": The Landscape and Archaeology of the Miller Grove Community

Author(s): Mark Wagner

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Silenced Lifeways:The Archaeology of Free African-American Communities in the Indiana and Illinois Borderlands" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The African-American inhabitants of the Miller Grove community in southeastern Illinois lived within a dynamic landscape of interlocking natural and cultural features that expressed their identity as a free people as well as their resistance to slavery. Bluffs and caves became symbols of resistance through their association with the Underground Railroad as did a school house where the community children learned to read and write, activities that had been forbidden to their parents. This paper explores these and other topics through an examination of the distribution of cultural and natural features across the Miller Grove landscape, the spatial organization of the community, and the archaeology of selected households within that community. Artifacts recovered from the Miller Grove households indicate participation within the larger Euro-American regional economy but also possible resistance to the pro-slavery sentiments of their Upland South white neighbors. 

Cite this Record

The "Place Where No One Ever Goes": The Landscape and Archaeology of the Miller Grove Community. Mark Wagner. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449228)


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): 390