Chapter

“Two Tracts of Land at the Poplar Forest”: A Historical and Archaeological Overview of Thomas Jefferson's Plantation Retreat

Barbara J. Heath and Jack Gary

in Jefferson's Poplar Forest

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039886
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043807 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813039886.003.0001
“Two Tracts of Land at the Poplar Forest”: A Historical and Archaeological Overview of Thomas Jefferson's Plantation Retreat

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This chapter introduces the reader to the history of Poplar Forest and to the archaeological research that has been carried out there over the previous twenty-five years. William Stith patented the property in 1745, and by the 1760s it was owned by John Wayles. Upon Wayles's death, his daughter and son-in-law, Martha and Thomas Jefferson, inherited the land and developed a tobacco plantation there. Jefferson later oversaw the construction of a personal retirement retreat. Following Jefferson's death, the property passed to the Eppes, Cobbs, Hutter, and Watts families before being acquired by a non-profit preservation organization in the 1980s. Since 1989, archaeologists have investigated plantation slave quarters, the ornamental and plantation landscape, and aspects of Jefferson's life in retirement.

Keywords: Eppes; Cobbs; Hutter; historical archaeology; Thomas Jefferson; plantation; Poplar Forest; Stith; Wayles; Watts

Chapter.  6159 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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