Master of Arts (M.A.)
This thesis utilizes a theoretical approach that draws on Whitney Battle-Baptiste's (2011) homespace framework combined with network theory and cultural geography to explore the enslaved community's domestic lives and social structures at Mount Vernon Plantation in the late 18th century. I argue that using homespace and network theory in conjunction with one another allows for a more complex and nuanced exploration of enslaved communities at a household level. Three datasets have been utilized that embody both quantitative and qualitative data. The first is archaeological data from the Mount Vernon excavations, obtained from the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). The second dataset is a network diagram, which I created using data from Mount Vernon's Slavery Database and census data recorded by George Washington in 1786 and 1799. The final data set examines the relocations experienced by a select number of enslaved individuals throughout their lives. Through analyzing these three datasets, I demonstrate that we can better understand domestic spaces, even with a fragmentary archaeological record, by drawing on the relationships between people and individual connections to place.
© The Author
Little, Heather L., "A Black Mount Vernon: Exploring Enslaved Homespace And Family At Mount Vernon Plantation" (2023). Dissertations, Theses, and Masters Projects. William & Mary. Paper 1686662504.