Carved in Stone: Stone Smoking Pipes at Historic Sites in Central Virginia

Lori Lee

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:
Carved in Stone: Stone Smoking Pipes at Historic Sites in Central Virginia

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  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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This chapter introduces an important assemblage of handcrafted stone tobacco pipes found within early- to mid-nineteenth-century contexts associated with enslaved households at Poplar Forest and elsewhere in central Virginia. The author describes important formal, decorative, and manufacturing attributes of assemblages of schist and steatite pipes from sites related to enslaved and free African Americans in Amherst, Albemarle, and Bedford counties and the town of Lynchburg. These pipes suggest that while slaves “bought into” the importance of consumerism through the acquisition of mass-produced goods, they also valued qualities inherent in the production of handcrafted items made within their communities. The production of pipes led to the creation of local networks of exchange and use whose scope and meaning are explored here.

Keywords: Amherst County; Albemarle County; Bedford County; consumerism; handcrafted; Lynchburg; production; tobacco pipes; schist; steatite

Chapter.  8399 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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