The Archaeology in Annapolis crew is back from another Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) conference, this year held in Leicester, England. Ben Skolnik and I co-authored a paper, combining our research interests and efforts. You can listen to Ben deliver the paper and see the visual aids from our presentation in the video below.
If you would prefer, the following is the written version:
Challenging Landscapes: Alternative Perspectives of Chesapeake Plantations
When Edward Lloyd, the first of his name, arrived in Talbot County, Maryland around 1660 as part of the original Virginian colonizers, he built the Wye House Plantation at its geographic center, with immediate access to the Wye River, the Chesapeake Bay, then the larger Atlantic world. He erected his house near the cove that cuts into the property, emphasizing his attention as a tobacco merchant to trade through waterway access. He migrated from Wales and established his family estate on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, complete with formal gardens that displayed his knowledge of plant cultivation and the trends of European-inspired designs. We know this through recorded history, and the plantation today is largely held up as an example of Georgian planning and a nostalgic remnant of Colonial times. Landscapes, however, are experienced in a multiplicity of ways. Until the mid-19th century, there were two main groups of individuals living on the plantation—free whites and enslaved blacks—who viewed and moved through the grounds in distinctly different ways. We’ll use the Wye House Plantation and another Chesapeake landscape, William Paca’s garden in Annapolis, as examples.
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