On Presidential Land: Archaeology of Roosevelt’s Neighbors, Tenants, and Workers

Author(s): Emma I Wiley; April M. Beisaw

Year: 2020


This is a poster submission presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Preservation of presidential homes as national historic sites helps keep alive the legacy of our former leaders. Tours, exhibits, and other interpretive materials recall the president’s rise to political and social power, but often ignores those who shared the same landscape, some of whom worked with and for the president. Archaeological research on presidential lands, such as the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York, compels us to recall the more common people who supported and/or enabled our presidents. Excavation of four sites on FDR lands reveals a range of socioeconomic actors on the “presidential” lands; wealthy neighbors, tenant farmers, and either employees or poorer neighbors. Artifacts from two sites in particular, demonstrate how these materials complicate the historical narrative by drawing out invisible or forgotten peoples and blurring the lines between the practice of archaeology and history.

Cite this Record

On Presidential Land: Archaeology of Roosevelt’s Neighbors, Tenants, and Workers. Emma I Wiley, April M. Beisaw. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457346)

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): 135