Chapter

Social Dimensions of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Slaves' Uses of Plants at Poplar Forest

Jessica Bowes and Heather Trigg

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/9780813039886.003.0008
Social Dimensions of Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Slaves' Uses of Plants at Poplar Forest

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Food, like material goods, is charged with meaning. Food in plantation contexts represents the decision-making processes of two parties-the planter who provisioned it and the enslaved people who consumed it and supplemented it with their own food-acquisition strategies. Through archaeobotany-the study of macrobotanical remains recovered archaeologically-this chapter demonstrates that slaves' dependence on provisioning, gardening, and wild resource procurement for subsistence and fuel needs changed over time at Poplar Forest. These changes can be connected to plantation management strategies, environmental change, and the agency of enslaved people who grew or collected, prepared, and consumed a diverse assemblage of plants.

Keywords: agency; archaeobotany; environmental change; subsistence; procurement; plantation management; slavery

Chapter.  6206 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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