|STATE||SITE NAME||CRITERIA LISTED||YEAR LISTED|
|Alabama||Westwood Plantation||C, D (D was added)||1984|
|Connecticut||Lighthouse Archaeological Site||D||1991|
|District of Columbia||Woodlawn Cemetery||A, D||1996|
|Florida||Roberts Farm Historic and Archeological District||A, C, D||1995|
|Florida||USS Alligator||A, B, C, D||1996|
|Florida||Kingsley Plantation||A, B, C, D||1970|
|Florida||Ft. Mose (also a NH Landmark)||A, D||1994|
|Florida||Naval Live Oaks Reservation||A, D||1998|
|Georgia||Ossabaw Island||A, C, D||1996|
|Georgia||Hamilton Plantation Slave Cabins||A, C, D||1988|
|Iowa||Buxton Historic Townsite||A, D||1983|
|Kentucky||Barren Fork Coal Camp and Mine Archeological District||D||1997|
|Kentucky||Pisgah Rural Historic District||A, C, D||1988|
|Louisana||Kenner and Kugler Cemeteries Archeological District||A, D||1987|
|Maryland||Snow Hill Site||D||1984|
|Massachusetts||Prince Hall Mystic Cemetery||A, D||1997|
|Massachusetts||Camp Atwater||A, D||1982|
|New Jersey||Gethsemane Cemetery||A, D||1994|
|New York||African Burying Ground (also a N H Landmark)||A, D||1993|
|New York||The African- American Cemetery||A, D||1996|
|New York||Sandy Ground Historic Archeological District||A, C, D||1982|
|New York||Stony Hill Cemetery||A, D||1999|
|North Carolina||Horton Grove Complex||A, B, C, D||1978|
|North Carolina||Potts Plantation||A, B, C, D||1997|
|North Carolina||Hogan, Alexander, Plantation||D||1996|
|South Carolina||Fish Haul Archaeological Site||D||1988|
|South Carolina||Stoney-- Baynard Plantation||D||1994|
|South Carolina||Trapp and Chandler Pottery Site||A, D||1986|
|Tennessee||Ashwood Rural Historic District||A, B, C, D||1988|
|Tennessee||Bledsoe's Station||A, B, D||1992|
|Texas||Annie B., and|
|Texas||Sessums--James House||A, B, C, D||1998|
|Texas||Archeological Site No. 41 HZ 227 (Indian Hot Springs MPS)||A, D||1990|
|Texas||Archeological Site No.41 HZ 228 (Indian Hot Springs MPS)||A, D||1990|
|Texas||Archeological Site No. 41 HZ 439 (Indian Hot Springs MPS)||D||1990|
|Texas||Bullis' Camp Site||A, D||1978|
|Virginia||Middlebrook Historic District||A, C, D||1983|
|Virginia||Fort Pocahontas||A, C, D||1999|
Lynn Jones, University of Maryland
During excavation of the ground floor of the Charles Carroll House, a number of quartz crystals and associated artifacts were recovered. Having received a great deal of publicity, this discovery created a lot of excitement and interest among the general public and among scholars of African and African-American history. On the verbal authority of several of these scholars, the crystals were thought to have been used by slaves and to be related to African divination and conjuring practices (Dr. Frederick Lamp, Baltimore Museum of Art; Dr. Peter Mark, Wesleyan University; Dr. Robert Farris Thompson, Yale University, 1992, personal communication).
The excavation at the Carroll House was conducted by Archaeology in Annapolis, a research project operated by the Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland, College Park, and by Historic Annapolis Foundation. Between 1986 and 1990, the Project excavated the garden surrounding the Charles Carroll House. The eighteenth-century landscape and its relationship to the house, and evidence of the eighteenth-century frame house which had been attached to the extant brick house were discovered during these excavations (Kryder-Reid 1991; Kryder-Reid, Leone, Einstein and Shackel 1989; Leone and Shackel 1990). In 1991, the Project was retained by the Charles Carroll House of Annapolis, Inc., a restoration organization, to excavate the ground floor of the brick mansion prior to interior restoration of the structure.
The property had been purchased in the early eighteenth century by Charles Carroll the Settler, who at his death in 1720 owned over 47,000 acres of land in Maryland including one-quarter of the lots in the city of Annapolis. In 1721, Charles Carroll of Annapolis (the Settler's son) built the brick mansion, which still stands on the property. The most famous occupant was Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Maryland State Senator, and a framer of the Maryland Constitution. He was born in the house in 1737 and lived there until 1821 when he moved to Baltimore to live with his daughter (Logan 1992; Van Devanter 1975).
The significance of the ground floor of the Carroll House as an archaeological site is that it was used as working space and possibly as living space for enslaved African and African Americans. The kitchen and a cold storage room were located on the ground floor. The room next to the kitchen and cold storage room, referred to as the east wing, showed evidence of having been used as a sewing room. Many buttons, straight pins, and two pairs of scissors were among the artifacts excavated from the east wing. Thus, the ground floor of the Carroll House was the first slave quarter ever excavated in Annapolis.
Documents reflect the presence of slaves at the Carroll property. An inventory taken by Carroll in 1782 indicates 10 adult slaves and eight children living in Annapolis. The 1783 tax list for Annapolis lists Carroll's household as consisting of two white males between the ages of 16 and 50 years of age, three white females, and two other white males (no ages given), and 19 slaves.
Although we know that slaves lived and worked at the Annapolis property, we cannot say with certainty where they may have slept or kept their belongings. There is no evidence for a separate slave quarters or slave cabins on the property, so some slaves may have lived in the spaces in which they worked, such as over the coach house or stable, or in or near the kitchen or the sewing room.
Of all the ground floor rooms of the mansion, the one in the east wing proved to be the richest area of the site. The east wing was originally constructed as a hyphen to connect the brick house with the frame house and was located next to the kitchen. Archaeologists discovered that the ground-floor room of this wing once had a wooden floor with space underneath it. Late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century artifacts were found densely distributed in the soil layers under the floor (Logan 1992).
Among the many artifacts recovered were several caches of quartz crystals and other objects. The largest group of crystals, 12 in all, were found grouped together in an area about 6 inches in diameter (Figure 1). Found with them was a tiny faceted glass bead and a smooth black stone. This group of items was covered with a pearlware bowl of English manufacture turned upside down over them. The bowl is hand-painted pearlware, blue on white design; the design looks like a large asterisk or sun-burst. This group of items was located in the extreme northeast corner of the room, between the brick floor-joist sup-port and the wall. Several more crystals were found in the same room of the house (Logan et al. 1992).
Two more crystals, both approximately 1/2 inch by 1 inch in size, a piece of an ivory ring, and a bubble shell, native to Florida or the West Indies, were found just to the south of the one in which the large cache of crystals was found. These two crystals and the bubble shell were also found between the brick floor-joist support and the east wall of the room. The largest crystal found was a smoky-grey chunk which measured 4 by 3 1/2 by 6 inches and weighed approximately four pounds. This was found near a doorway on the opposite side of the room from the others (Logan et al. 1992). Ceramics, coins, and other artifacts found in the same layers as the crystals help date these layers. Pearlware, white salt-glazed stoneware, and several coins found in the same layer as the cache of 12 crystals established a date range of 1790-1820 for that layer, which was toward the end of the time period when the house was occupied by Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
Figure 1 Carroll House crystals (omitted from online version)
We know that quartz crystals and associated artifacts such as the ones found at Carroll House have been found on other archaeological sites in Maryland, Virginia, and elsewhere. Such artifacts have been found on sites associated with African Americans (both slave and free), but not on sites associated exclusively with European Americans. For example, Laura Galke reported a cache of six quartz crystals, a piece of galena, and a quartz projectile point found near the footing of a chimney at the Nash Site in Manassas National Battlefield Park (Galke 1992a:137).
At the Brownsville Site, also in Manassas National Battlefield Park, another small cache of quartz crystals was found near the remains of the chimney footing of a now-demolished house. The house is believed to have been built in the late eighteenth century and to have been used as a slave quarter for the plantation during the nineteenth century (Galke 1992b).
Excavations at the Mulberry Row slave quarters of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello revealed crystals, a cowrie shell, a horn ring, pierced coins, and a game counter with a star-like design on it (Patten 1992).
Leland Ferguson has found colonoware bowls with designs on the interior bottom similar to the design on the bowl found at the Carroll House. The design on the colonoware bowls is across with a square or a circle around it and is similar to a Bakongo cosmogram. In these cosmograms, the horizontal line represents the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead, and the vertical line represents the path of power from below to above (Ferguson 1992; Thompson1983).
In all these cases mentioned above, crystals, specially marked pottery, coins, reworked glass or stone, beads, and other items of material culture have been found in contexts associated with the working and living spaces used by slaves; spaces that were also used later by free African Americans.
The main questions concerning these artifacts are how were these crystals used, by whom, and for what purpose? Were they used by slaves? Were they related to the retention of African spiritual rituals?
Sidney Mintz and Richard Price assume that diverse cultures existed in Africa during the Colonial and they address the retention of elements of African culture as being the retention of shared fundamental assumptions about belief systems and world view. Africans would have come from different areas of West Africa, different tribal groups, and would have spoken mutually unintelligible languages. People from different cultural groups in Africa may have shared basic assumptions about social relations, about what values motivate individuals, and about the way the world functions and about the relationship between living people and the dead, ancestors and kinship, the spirit world (Mintz and Price 1976:23).
When many Africans were transported to the New World and came into daily contact with people from other areas of Africa, modification of culture, language, and religion would have taken place. However, underlying the diverse cultures and specific beliefs was a world view which included belief in a High God or Supreme Being, in secondary gods, in the spirits of ancestors, and in the ability of humans to control spirit forces. Thus, African belief systems may have been adapted and reinterpreted, giving them material and ritual manifestations specific to the New World. (Mintz and Price 1976; Herskovits 1958)
The spirits of ancestors were considered to be powerful forces which could intervene in the daily affairs of living people. Ancestors were also guardians of the traditions and culture of a people, and could punish people for not maintaining the traditional customs (Raboteau 1978). Ways of communicating with ancestors and controlling spirit forces include divination, conjuring, witchcraft, sorcery, and curing. These practices have in common the human need to control and direct spirits, to predict and control fortune and misfortune, to protect from harm, and to gain knowledge about the future.
Raboteau explains that conjure is both a theory to explain the mystery of evil and also a practice for controlling or counteracting it. Conjurers could put a harmful spell on a person or could remove the spell. The equipment used by the conjurer included a cane, a charm, and a conjure bag. The charmed objects contained in the conjure bag might include graveyard dirt, glass, pins, bones, reptiles, hair, roots, and herbs. Sometimes stones are used in conjuring, such as in certain rain-making rituals. John Mbiti mentions the use of sacred objects and "'rain stones' some of which are rare and others [which] are believed to have fallen from the sky." Rain is regarded by some Africans as a sacred phenomenon, a mystical link between past, present and future. It is a manifestation of the eternal in the present "as it came, it comes, and it will come" (Raboteau 1969; Mbiti 1969:181).
Robert Farris Thompson explains the use of objects in Kongo healing arts in his book Flash of the Spirit. He examines the nkisi charm as it is used in curing and divination rituals. The nkisi is a group of objects believed to have a soul and a life of its own which contains medicines that are spirit-embodying and spirit-directing. The nkisi container can be a bag, a ceramic vessel, a wooden statue, or a cloth bundle (Thompson 1983).
The materials which embody spirit are cemetery earth, kaolin or white clay, or powdered camwood wrapped in leaves or cloth bundles. Sometimes mirrors or pieces of porcelain are attached to the outside of the nkisi. Spirit-directing elements include seeds, stones, sticks, bones, shells. These objects direct the power of the spirit toward whatever problem needs to be solved (Thompson 1983).
In Art and Healing of the Bakongo, Wyatt MacGaffey has translated KiKongo texts describing and explaining the uses of minkisi (plural for nkisi). In the early part of this century a number of African healers or diviners gave their minkisi to the Swedish missionary Karl Laman. Laman collected these objects and recorded much information about them as the healers explained in their own languages how these minkisi were made and used (MacGaffey 1991).
Each nkisi has a name, an individual composition, and is used for a particular purpose. Each one is slightly different than the others; each healer or diviner composes his own nkisi as a personalized force. Some are used for healing, some for divination, or to obtain wealth, or for success in warfare (MacGaffey 1991).
Nkisi Mbenza is "for blessing a man who has engendered a child by his own wife. This nkisi contains stones, quartz crystals, pieces of iron, and crab claws. When a man's first child is born, he is subject to certain taboos. Violators are afflicted with chest pains and coughing which the Nkisi Mbenza is used to cure (MacGaffey 1991).
Another nkisi containing quartz crystals is the Nkita Nsumbu which is also used for healing. It contains, among other things, quartz crystals, smooth stones, claws, pieces of iron, and brass or iron rings wrapped up in a cloth bundle. This nkisi has the spirit of land and the spirit of water; it is used to heal swelling of the body or boils (MacGaffey 1991).
By comparing these examples to the material found at the Carroll House, we can see definite similarities. Several of the nkisi from the Laman collection include many of the same materials as found at Carroll House, such as quartz crystals, crab claws, metal or ivory rings, smooth stones, bones and teeth. The large cache of object found at the Carroll House included crystals, a clear bead, a smooth black stone, and a bowl with a design resembling a Bakongo cosmogram. The bowl may have been used as a container for the crystals and other objects. Another group of artifacts from the Carroll House included crystals, an ivory ring, and a bubble shell. All of these items from the caches at the Carroll House are similar to the items included in the minkisi described by Bakongo healers (MacGaffey 1991).
The artifacts excavated at the Carroll House indicate that one, or possibly more, of Charles Carroll's slaves may have been a conjurer or diviner. Perhaps other slaves in town and from the surrounding nearby plantations consulted this person about their various problems. African and African-American slaves believed that it was possible to control supernatural powers. Drawing from slave narratives, Albert Raboteau describes a great deal of such activity in slave communities in the South. "Dey powder up de rattle offen de snake and tie it up in de little old rag bag and dey do devilment with it. Dey git dirt out de graveyard and dat dir, after dey speak on it, would make you go crazy." Slaves believed that the "conjure doctor had the power to "fix" and to remove "fixes," to harm and to cure, [that] it was possible to locate the source of misfortune and control it" (Raboteau 1969:276). The conjurers had power in the slave community because of this ability to control supernatural powers and they cultivated an aura of mystery that lent credibility to their reputations.
Many scholars have shown that slaves retained elements of their African cultures. These cultural traditions were expressed in social institutions and relationships, in religious life, and in material culture which slaves created and used within the constraints of slavery. One of the most persistent cultural retentions was the belief in the ability of humans to control spirits, influence fortune, and heal social or physical illnesses through the use of spiritually charged objects. Artifacts such as the crystals, the smooth black stone, ivory and brass rings, a glass bead, bones, and crab claws found in the east wing of the Carroll House may be the material expression of such beliefs in Annapolis. Some of Charles Carroll's slaves living and working at the Annapolis mansion may have composed minkisi to help them deal with the difficulties of life under the system of slave labor pervasive in this country in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
1992 Uncommon Ground: Archaeology and Early African America, 1650-1800. Washington. Smithsonian Institution Press,
1992a Cultural Resource Survey and Inventory of a War-Torn Landscape: The Stuart's Hill Tract, Manassas National Battlefield Park, Virginia. Occasional Report #7, National Capital Region Archaeology Program, National Park Service, Washington.
1992b You Are Where You Live: A Comparison of Africanisms at Two Sites at Manassas National Battlefield Park. Paper presented for the February 1992 African American History Month Recognition: "African Roots Explore New Worlds: Pre-Columbus to the Space Age." National Capital Region Archeology Program, National Park Service, Washington.
1958 The Myth of the Negro Past. Beacon Press, Boston.
1991 Landscape as Myth: The Contextual Archaeology of an Annapolis Landscape. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Anthropology Department, Brown University, Providence.
Kryder-Reid, Elizabeth, Mark P. Leone, Julie Einstein, and
1989 Power Gardens of Annapolis. Archaeology March/April pp.34-39, 74-75.
Leone, Mark P., and Paul A. Shackel
1990 Plane and Solid Geometry in Colonial Gardens in Annapolis, Maryland. In Earth Patterns: Essays in Landscape Archaeology, edited by William Kelso and Rachel Most. University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville.
Logan, George C.
1992 Archaeology at Charles Carroll's House and Garden and of his African-American Slaves. Brochure prepared for the Charles Carroll House of Annapolis, Inc.
Logan, George C., Marian C. Creveling, Thomas W. Bodor, and
Lynn D. Jones
1992 1991 Archaeological Excavations at the Charles Carroll House in Annapolis, Maryland (18AP45).
1991 Art and Healing of the Bakongo Commented By Themselves: Minkisi from the Laman Collection. Folkens Museum-Etnografiska, Stockholm.
1969 African Religions and Philosophy. Praeger Publishers, New York. Mintz, Sidney, and Richard Price 1976 An Anthropological Approach to Past. Institute for the Study Philadelphia.
Patten, M. Drake
1992 African-American Spiritual Beliefs: Testimony From the Slave Quarter. the Dublin Seminar, June 1992. the Afro-American of Human Issues, An Archaeological Paper presented at
1978 Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South. Oxford University Press, New York.
Thompson, Robert Farris
1984 Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy. Vintage Books, New York.
1990 Kongo Influences on African-American Artistic Culture. In Africanisms in American Culture. Edited by Joseph E. Holloway. Indiana University Press, Bloomington.
Van Devanter, Ann C.
1975 "Anywhere So Long as There Be Freedom": Charles Carroll of Carrollton, His Family & His Maryland. The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore.
J. W. Joseph, New South Associates, Inc. Thomas A. J. Crist, Kise Straw & Kolodner, Inc. Reg Pitts, John Milner Associates, Inc. Alex Caton, New South Associates, Inc. William R. Henry, Jr., New South Associates, Inc.
New South Associates completed the documentation and relocation of the historic African-American Sam Goode Cemetery in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. The cemetery is located on a point of land at the confluence of Butchers Creek and the Roanoke River (John H. Kerr Dam and Reservoir) which is threatened by erosion and has been inundated during flooding. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers contracted New South Associates, Inc. to remove burials from the cemetery while Dale Tankersly, Funeral Director for the Farrar Funeral Home of South Hill, Virginia, was responsible for the reinterment of these remains. The archaeological contract is administered by the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the supervision of Julie Morgan. Kerr Reservoir itself is under the administration of the Wilmington District and its cultural resources are overseen by Richard Kimmel.
The Sam Goode Cemetery is named for the single legible marked grave in the cemetery, that of Sam Goode, who died in 1917. Located on the slopes of the point, a total of 99 graves had been identified during previous surveys by John Clauser from Of Grave Concerns and Richard Kimmel. The U S Army Corps of Engineers' acquisitions records for the property indicate that 120 graves were identifiable at the time the property was purchased by the federal government in the 1940s. The cemetery is informally arranged and indistinct; burials occur as segments of rows which follow the contours of the point on general north-south lines. Graves are marked with fieldstone head and foot stones and in a number of instances appear to be unmarked. Faint engravings can be discerned on some of these gravestones, but none are legible with the exception of that of Sam Goode. A total of 155 burials were identified and removed during the archaeological study.
Bill Henry is the project archaeologist in charge of the removal. The field research team included Alex Caton, Sean Norris, Laurie Griesmar, Greg Harmon, Nancy Esposito, and Matthew Kinne. Dr. Thomas A. J. Crist of Kise Straw & Kolodner serves as the Principal Investigator for the osteological component of the project, with Sean Norris performing the in situ evaluations of the remains and determining the basic demographic profile for each individual prior to relocation. Dr. Arthur Washburn conducted the dental anthropological analyses of the individuals.
There is little formal documentation for the cemetery. Archival research by historians Reg Pitts and Wade Catts of John Milner Associates reveals that the Goodes were African-American tenant farmers on the property in the late nineteenth century. The property at that time was known as Richland Farms and was owned by Colonel J. Thomas Goode, an European American. The 1880 census identified ten African-American families working as tenant farmers for Colonel Goode: Tazewell Goode, Shadrach or "Sherrick" Goode, Lewis Goode, Wilson Goode and Daniel Goode; two Lockett families: Tom and Charles Lockett; and the families of John Lewis, Noah Murphy and William Henry Jones. The tenant community at Richland Farms appears to have dissolved prior to World War I, a period in which many Mecldenburg African Americans sought better and more varied economic opportunities in northern cities.
While the African-American Goodes and their neighbors were evidently the users of the cemetery in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the number of burials and archaeological findings point to a longer period of use. The cemetery appears to have come into existence as an antebellum African-American cemetery associated with a series of plantations which once occupied the point. This succession dates back to Richland Plantation, established in 1765 by Colonel Robert Munford III.
In 1782, Mumford was assessed for 93 enslaved African Americans (Simmons 1987:12); this number may have fluctuated through the years. A good number of these enslaved African Americans would have been housed in separate quarters some distance from the manor house. It is of note that the Munford family established a private cemetery for the use of the family, and it is possible that they would have allowed the enslaved Africans living on the plantation to establish a burial ground. The Munford plantation main house was located several hundred meters northwest of the Sam Goode Cemetery on the same landform which terminates at the point. The Munford family cemetery is located to the north of the main house along the road leading to the house.
In 1801, Munford's son William sold Richland Farm to Thomas Wilson, a farmer and storekeeper of Mecklenburg County. Wilson sold Richland Farm to Francis Watkins, Sr. of Prince Edward County in 1811. In that same year Watkins sold 588 acres including the location of the Sam Goode Cemetery to his son-in-law Samuel Lockett. Lockett soon moved himself, his wife Salina Ann Watkins Lockett, their children, and a large number of enslaved African Americans to their Richland Tract. Samuel Lockett became a prosperous tobacco planter, militia colonel and local politician. By 1840, he had 56 enslaved laborers cultivating over 1,200 acres.
Lockett's son Henry acquired the property in 1851, and in 1852 sold the property to James Whittice. According to the 1850 Census, Whittice was the owner of 15 enslaved African Americans. He would die without heirs in 1865 and Colonel John Thomas Goode would acquire the property at auction in 1869.
The occurrence of the names of former planters and landowners among those of the African-American tenant farmers suggests the formation of a stable African-American community. Lockett, Wilson, and Goode all appear as first or last names within the late nineteenth-century tenant community at Richland Farm. This suggests that the African-American tenant farmers living at the site at the time were likely the direct descendants of enslaved African Americans who were brought to this tract during the antebellum period. It appears that the cemetery came into existence in the nineteenth-century plantation era. Some of the descendants of the plantation communities appear to have continued to reside at Richland Farm after the Civil War and presumably continued to use the cemetery. Several of the Goode's would help to establish the Greenwood Baptist Church after 1886. However, Pitts and Catts note that the earliest marked graves in the church cemetery date to the 1930s. The Sam Goode cemetery is thus believed to have served the local African-American community from the early nineteenth century through circa 1917.
Archaeological evidence reveals the formation of the cemetery and its organization. The most recent graves appear to be at the southern end of the cemetery, the end of the point, directly overlooking the Roanoke River/the Kerr Reservoir. While the preservation of skeletal remains in this area is poor, coffin hardware recovered from several interments indicate that these burials were made in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century. Moving farther away from the river, burials become older as well as less clearly identified. In this area, a number of burials dating to the antebellum era have been identified, based on diagnostic materials found with the remains. These artifacts include a military button dating to ca. 1812, other buttons manufactured in the i85os, and a seated Liberty dime dated 1854. The latter had a hole punched in its top for wear as an adornment.
Other diagnostic artifacts include beads. One burial contained 93 blue seed beads, likely of Venetian manufacture, and of apparent early to mid-l9th century manufacture. These beads were found in the neck region of an infant burial. A second infant burial yielded three hexagonal blue beads from the neck region. These beads were manufactured in Czechoslovakia in the mid nineteenth century and are drawn glass beads with twelve ground hexagonal corners. None of the burials removed contained material clearly dating to the Colonial period. It is possible that the Sam Goode Cemetery is one of two African American cemeteries on the property, one created once the limits of an earlier Colonial cemetery were reached.
The bead identifications were made by Alex Caton. Caton's (1997)
MA thesis, Beads and Bodies: Embodying Change in Bead Practices
in Banda, Ghana, notes that beads had a medicinal function,
particularly in regards to preventing illnesses among children.
She observes that:
Most women who owned medicinal beads note a difference between ones that prevent illness and madness, and ones that cure sickness. A woman known as a medicine woman showed me different treated beads that have different tasks . . . . An imported blue, faceted bead (most likely an old trade bead) is used to prevent illnesses associated with the chest. A string with black tubular beads is worn by a newborn, so that the mother will be able to have other children without illness. Another woman suggested that certain beads were worn to prevent convulsions and to keep evil spirits away (Caton 1997:32).
Physical anthropology of the individuals unearthed at the Sam Goode Cemetery indicates that preservation varies considerably. Those located closest to the shore of the lake comprise only eroded long bone fragments and poorly preserved teeth, and in some cases individuals were represented only by dark stains in the soil. Interments located higher on the hill and thus farther from the water are better preserved, although they appear to be older than the burials found closer to the lake. The best preserved individuals include full dentitions and intact crania suitable for osteometrics, although none of the burials include observable pubic symphyses, the portion of the skeleton that provides the most accurate information regarding an individual's sex and age range at death. In general, erosion of the periosteal and articular surfaces of even the best preserved remains is extensive; consequently, opportunities to study the frequency and distribution of degenerative joint disease and other forms of pathology among this population sample are limited.
Forty of the individuals excavated at the Sam Goode Cemetery were sufficiently preserved to allow the project's physical anthropologists to conduct fairly complete cranial or dental analyses. Nine of these individuals were children under i6 years of age. Dental analyses indicate that the older adults buried at the site suffered from generally poor dental health, with extensive antemortem loss of both molars and premolars and advanced attrition (wear of the occlusal surfaces) of the remaining teeth. Even though many of the adults presented carious teeth, no dental restorations were present. The teeth of some individuals were so severely affected by caries that their pulp chambers were completely exposed. One adult presented an abscess of the maxillary left central incisor that was so severe that the resulting infection created a quarter-inch diameter circular perforation through the person's hard palate just below the right nasal passage. Every permanent tooth from another individual, a child aged 6-8 years at death, exhibits a linear surface enamel defect indicating an episode of severe metabolic stress from which he recovered several years prior to his death. None of the other eight children presented enamel defects.
Little evidence of disease or trauma was observed among the individuals relocated from the Sam Goode Cemetery. This was due in large part to the poor preservation of most of the burials. Some of the more interesting anomalies and lesions identified among these individuals included a congenitally unfused first cervical vertebra (atlas) from an 18-22 year old woman; a healed fracture of the right elbow in a woman over 40 years old, most likely the result of a fall upon an outstretched hand; and active, moderately severe periostitis of the tibiae and fibulae from a 25-30 year old woman. Examination of the relatively well-preserved remains of 69-year-old Sam Goode indicated that Mr. Goode was generally free of spinal degenerative joint disease, had very mild arthritis in both hips, and during life had lost all of his mandibular teeth except for his left third molar, which was extensively worn. Such antemortem tooth loss was typical of even the young adults buried at this graveyard, suggesting that this community suffered from a generally poor diet combined with chronic nutritional stress.
The Sam Goode Cemetery study will contribute to the understanding of the history of the cemetery as well as the African-American experience in the old South. Work is being performed as a relocation, and all analyses and documentation of both artifacts and skeletal remains were conducted in the field so that reburial could take place soon after removal. A project report will be prepared which presents the history of the cemetery as well as its ethnohistory and physical anthropology. When completed, the Sam Goode Cemetery project should shed greater light on the history and community of the cemetery and begin to bring identity back to its forgotten inhabitants.
Chris Espenshade of Skelly and Loy, Inc., reports that he is continuing his research on late colonoware of the South Carolina coastal zone. He is currently examining potter-level variability in the colonoware from three contemporaneous slave settlements in Beaufort County. The three sites, the Colleton River slave street, the Bonny Shore slave row, and the Pinckney Landing slave row, provided a unique research opportunity (Espenshade 1998; Pietak et al. 1998; Eubanks et al. 1994; Kennedy et al. 1994). The sites are found within three miles of each other, and two were part of the same plantation system. All date from the nineteenth century and yielded large amounts of slave-made colonoware pottery.
Chris is examining intra- and intersite variability in vessel form, construction details, approaches to vessel finishing, fir-ing, and decoration. So far, the work of three to five potters is inferred, and there is no evidence for the exchange of vessels between slave communities. The research will ultimately pro-vide insight into the Calabash estate (or hidden economy) and the nature of the colonoware tradition. Chris plans to present his preliminary results at the SHA 2001 meetings.
Espenshade, C. T.
1998 The Changing use Contexts of Slave-Made Pottery on the South Carolina Coast. In African Impact on the Material Culture of the Americas: Conference Proceedings. Winston-Salem State University, Old Salem, and The Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Winston-Salem.
Eubanks, E. I., C. T. Espenshade, M. Roberts, and L. Kennedy
1994 Data Recovery Investigations of 38BU791, Bonny Shore Slave Row, Spring Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina. Brockington and Associates, Inc., Atlanta.
Kennedy, L., M. D. Roberts, and C. T. Espenshade
1994 Archaeological Data Recovery at Colleton River Plantation (38BU647), Beaufort County, South Carolina: A Study of an Early Nineteenth-Century Slave Settlement. Brockington and Associates, Inc., Atlanta.
Pietak, L. M., C. T. Espenshade, J. Holland, and L. Kennedy
1998 Slave Lifeways on Spring Island: Data Recovery at 38BU15, Beaufort County, South Carolina. TRC Garrow Associates, Inc., Atlanta.
Chris Espenshade and John McCarthy have started to organise a symposium proposed for the January 10-13, 2001, Society for Historical Archaeology meeting in Long Beach, California. The session will focus on archaeological reflections of individuals in the African-American past, in contrast to the communities or aggregate groups to which analysis is so often limited. Papers addressing individual agency and/or social resistance are particularly welcome. The organisers will be seeking publication of the papers in an edited volume. Please contact John as soon as possible if interested in participating in both the symposium and the publication project. Symposium paperwork is due to the conference planners May 31, 2000. John can be reached at (301) 220-1876 [office], (410) 224-3402 [home], or at email@example.com.
The Book Review Editors are:
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Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery Charles Johnson, Patricia Smith, and the WGBH Series Research Team, Harcourt Brace and Company, New York, San Diego, & London, 1998. xv + 494 pp., notes, illustrations, figures, index, $30.00 (cloth).
Eric Anderson, History Department, University of Idaho
A text companion for the four-part documentary series, Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery, offers readers a history of slavery in the United States from Jamestown through the Civil War. The authors tell the story of our nation's approval of slavery as a "tragic" one. A story of "ambition and greed overcoming justice and humanity" (p. xiii). Africans in America ably presents to a non-academic audience complex themes regarding the black experience in the colonial and antebellum U. S. Resistance and outright rebellion to slavery and racism are ubiquitous throughout the narrative, as is African Americans' search for an identity and place in the U. S. social hierarchy of the period. Other topics the book discusses include the development of the Atlantic slave trade, why the American Revolution failed to abolish slavery, slavery's importance in the South's and North's economic development, the growth of the antebellum free Black community, and the interstate slave traffic.
Africans in America's greatest strength is its focus on reformers and revolutionaries heretofore little know by most Americans. While heroes such as John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and William Lloyd Garrison are discussed, it is refreshing to see the book make mention of less-known figures, including: Gabriel, Jarena Lee, Nat Turner, Denmark Vessy, David Walker, and Phillis Wheatley. African's in America explains how each of these characters shaped the political debates surrounding slavery and its abolition. Only by recognizing the important role of African Americans in the abolitionist movement can we truly understand politics and society in the colonial and antebellum eras.
This book, much like the video series, is written for a popular audience. While Charles Johnson and Patricia Smith claim authorship, thirteen experts including David Blight, Jon Eslse, Barbara Fields, Sylvia Frey, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Gerald Gill, Vincent Harding, Winthrop Jordan, Leon Litwack, Gary Nash, Edward Reynolds, Margaret Washington, and Peter Wood advised the creators. To give a human voice to slavery, Johnson includes fictional short stories in each chapter that illustrate the crux of the section's message. One vignette includes a fictional description of Martha Washington's fear following her husband's death that her slaves might murder her. Another recounts a fabricated incident during the Haitian Revolution (the largest slave revolt in the history of the Americas) where a U. S. diplomat writes to President Thomas Jefferson of his fear that he might be "murdered in [his] bed" if he continued to stay on the island (p. 261). The authors' use of fictional literature as a tool to depict the factual institution of slavery is nothing new. Historians have used historical fiction like Barry Unsworth's, Sacred Hunger (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992), Guy Endore's, Babouk (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1991, first published in 1934) and Harriet Becher Stowe's, Uncle Tom's Cabin (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1992, first published in 1852) to give voice to the largely mute captive population of the Americas. Because Johnson's stories are able to communicate the pain, fear, anger, and suffering experienced by an enslaved population, they are useful to understand the impact of slavery on both the enslaved and enslaver.
The scholarly implications for Africans in America are very limited. The book contains no bibliography, limited citations, and most importantly no new insights into the slave system. Nothing regarding African-American archaeology is mentioned. As with the televised series, moreover, Africans in America portrays Africa and the U. 5. 's slave society as relatively homogenous cultures furthering the false Eurocentric representations of Africa, its people, and their legacy in the New World. Notwithstanding the brief mention of the U.S. Mexican War and the California gold rush, Africans in America presents no serious treatment of African Americans in the western U. S., Canada, the Caribbean, or Mexico.
Nevertheless, the book does have some applications. It would be practical as a supplementary text in an advanced undergraduate course on slavery or African-American archaeology. Lecturers may also find its narrative style, photographs and illustrations, and fictional short stories effective teaching devices. Further, while the book does not directly mirror the content of the televised series, it is a legitimate companion to the PBS series of the same name.
An Archaeology of Social Space: Analyzing Coffee Plantations in Jamaica's Blue Mountains, James A. Delle, 1998. Plenum, New York. xxi + 243 pp., tables, figures, bibliography, index. $39.95 (cloth).
Paul R. Mullins, Anthropology Department, IUPUI
Any archaeologist studying New World plantations appreciates that space is a material artifact in some sense, and few archaeologists have been able to ignore the class based oppression shaped by plantation spaces. Nevertheless, few African-American or plantation archaeologists have taken the somewhat enigmatic notion of space as their material focus, and even fewer have probed how plantation spaces can be related to everyday experience as well as capitalism's broader systemic relations. James Delle's An Archaeology of Social Space: Analyzing Coffee Plantations in Jamaica's Blue Mountains ambitiously tackles all these subjects and examines them in heretofore poorly studied Caribbean coffee plantations. Delle champions a historical archaeology that conceives its focus as the archaeology of capitalism, which is certainly among the most ambitious yet ambiguously defined subjects archaeology could tackle. Delle focuses his perspective on capitalism by documenting how periodic crises in worldwide capitalism reverberated throughout British colonial sectors like Jamaica and found material form in the reorganization and restructuring of myriad Jamaican plantation spaces. Delle complexly weaves political economic theory, scholarship on space, cartographic analysis, and primary documents into an interesting study of how one modest corner of the world negotiated the complex interactions between a world political economy and various groups with quite different interests.
Delle's research data comes from Jamaica's eastern highlands, which was a significant coffee producer in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Delle proposes to interpret the peoples in the region by understanding their relationships to broader socioeconomic currents and competing interests within the British colonial system and the island itself. This would seem a straightforward premise that would be well received in African-American archaeology, but Delle advocates a political economic theory that has not been warmly embraced by historical archaeologists. Readers hoping to find a record of excavated material goods from a handful of Jamaican quarters will find that Delle instead lays the foundation for such site specific studies and focuses his analysis on simply understanding what actually defines the complex entity of coffee plantation production. Rather than dwell on discrete assemblages of everyday material discards or quarters with an ambiguous relationship to broader socioeconomic structure, this book has a much broader and more ambitious scope; i.e., Delle attempts to understand the fundamental conditions like racist ideology, world economics, and geography that held together this profoundly unequal society and made it possible at all. It seems unreasonable to launch into the archaeology of something as novel as Jamaican coffee production and simply transfer our understandings of sugar or tobacco production elsewhere in the New World, so Delle aspires to provide a theoretical and historical structure within which we might begin to understand life in Jamaica. Yet at another level, the study is a general overview of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century capitalism, even though his data is overwhelmingly focused on the Yallahs River drainage in Jamaica's eastern highlands and has its clearest relevance in plantation archaeology.
For Delle, the fundamental feature of Jamaican plantation society is class conflict, especially the elite's efforts to maintain their social privileges and economic sway in the face of worldwide socioeconomic upheavals. Inevitably this means that a significant focus of the study must be on the small but influential class of men who turned to coffee production during the sugar's industry collapse in the late eighteenth century. Nevertheless, Delle's study also contains a rich collection of primary documents that underscore that planters' ideological vision of plantation space was utterly contested. Consequently, Delle renders Jamaican plantation space as a union of elite's ideological vision of how space should function, the social meaning these spaces assumed in everyday life across class and racial barriers, and the objective material culture of plantations.
Delle attacks these complex issues by providing a detailed exposition of his vision of capitalism, and probably the most novel dimension of this intellectual framework is his highlighting of the idea of "crisis." The book builds on a generally accepted Marxian recognition that class relations and space are directly related; to archaeologically understand why a space takes certain forms at particular moments we need to understand that capitalism periodically experiences crises in the circulation of capital, moments of change that are reflected in the material reorganization of space. One such crisis, Delle argues, came in the late eighteenth century, when Jamaica's once flourishing sugar industry began to experience rapidly decreasing profits. Smaller planters turned to coffee production when sugar prices began to fall because of, among other factors, competition from other sugar producing colonies, disruption of commodity trade during a series of late eighteenth-century wars, and shifts in trade and labor organization. During this period, a series of coffee plantations were established in the Yallahs River drainage, and coffee continued to be produced in the region even after the 1830s abolition of enslaved labor, which led to the rapid disappearance of such estates by mid-century.
Delle frames his analysis of specific plantations by spending a chapter examining what he calls "cognitive space"; i.e., the space that the elite planters idealized and hoped to forge discipline among enslaved laborers. He then turns to an analysis of concrete plantations spaces based on cartography and plantation ruin surveys. This comparison of the imagined space of Jamaican plantations and the actual spaces of enslaved, overseers, planters, and labor spaces on the plantations will likely offer some of the most interesting methodological insights for archaeologists who routinely wrestle with the discrepancies between dominant plans and more complex lived realities. Delle examines how discipline was experienced in these spaces by various members of plantation society, considering some of the mechanisms of domination and surveillance (e.g., material culture such as stocks, or rules governing movement on and between plantations) as well as resistance (e.g., feigned illness). The book does not contain a detailed study of any single plantation's excavated assemblage; instead, it lays the groundwork on which archaeologists might subsequently conduct intensive excavations and refine the myriad ways in which factions of plantation society contested inequalities in material spaces. Delle closes the study by examining the post-Emancipation transformation of coffee production, when most plantations disappeared or were subdivided into much smaller plots worked by peasant wage laborers.
Delle's study is complex, theoretically sophisticated, and
provocative, and it provides a point of comparison and contrast
for plantation archaeology in other regions. Yet it is just this
sort of ambitious, sweeping, and clearly positioned framework
that will provide a foundation for further case specific studies.
DOCUMENTING THE AMERICAN SOUTH: THE CHURCH IN THE SOUTHERN BLACK COMMUNITY http://metalab.unc.edu/docsouth/church/index.html
The Church in the Southern Black Community online collection is part of the ongoing digitization of materials in the "Documenting the American South" series at the University of North Carolina. This site traces how Southern African Americans experienced and transformed Protestant Christianity into the central institution of community life. The site offers transcribed oral histories and autobiographies of former slaves, a diary of a New England woman living in the South in 1865, official church documents, and more. New documents are added on a regular basis.
CHRONOLOGY ON THE HISTORY OF SLAVERY http://innercity.org/holt/slavechron.html
This chronology is part of the Help Save the Holt House Website, a community activist organization dedicated to the recovery and preservation of possible slave remains and archaeological evidence at the historic Holt House in Washington, DC near the National Zoo. Offering detailed information about key events in the history of slavery spanning from 1619 to the Emancipation Proclamation, the timeline supplies more substantive information than most.
ESRC: RESEARCH GUIDE TO THE SOCIAL SCIENCES http://www.jisc.ac.uk/subject/socsci/
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) of the United Kingdom have funded this newly posted Research Guide to the Social Sciences. This directory provides annotated links to sites sorted by subject matter, including bibliographic, reference and research information; publications online; subject gateways; data services; datasets; data visualization; software services and support for data processing; moving and still images and sound. Annotations include a description of the site, the URL, and the terms of access. The Guide, while not exhaustive, focuses on those main Web sources students or researchers in social sciences will find most useful.
GATEWAY TO AFRICAN-AMERICAN HISTORY http://www.usia.gov/usa/blackhis/
This gateway created by the State Department's International Information Programs features well annotated links to Internet sites devoted to African-American literature and historical studies or involved with African-American issues.
FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM: THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN PAMPHLET COLLECTION,
This collection of pamphlets written by African-American authors in the i8th and early twentieth centuries offers complete page images of 397 titles as well as searchable electronic texts and bibliographic records.
Editor/Publisher:John P. McCarthy, Greenhorne & O'Mara, Inc., 9001 Edmonston Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770 (301) 220-1876
Assistant Editor: Paul Mullins, Anthropology Program, George Mason University, MSN-3G5, Fairfax, VA 22030
Progression: Carol McDavid, 1406 Sul Ross, Houston, TX 77007 firstname.lastname@example.org
Northeast: James Garmon, Public Archaeology Laboratory, Inc., 210 Lonsdale Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860 (401) 728-8780
Mid-Atlantic: Barbara Heath, The Corporation for Jefferson's Poplar Forest, P. 0. Box 419, Forest, VA 24551
Southeast: J. W. Joseph, New South Associates, Inc., 6150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Stone Mountain, GA 30083 (770) 498-4155
Caribbean: Paul Farnsworth, Dept. of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Midwest: Matthew Emerson, Anthropology Department, Southem Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL 62026 (618) 692-5689
Mid-South: Leslie "Skip" Stewart-Abernathy, Arkansas Archaeological Survey, P.O. Box 8706 AKU, Russellville, AK 72801 (501) 968-0381
West: Laurie Wilkie, Anthropology Department, University of Califomia, Berkeley, CA 94720
Web Edition: Thomas Wheaton, New South Associates, Inc., 6150 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Stone Mountain, GA 30083 (770) 498-4155
Subscriptions, by the calendar year, are: $6.00 student; $8.00 individual;$15.00 institutions/outside the USA. Payable by check to: "African-American Archaeology"
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