Guineatown in the Hudson Valley’s Hyde Park

Christopher R. Lindner and Trevor A. Johnson

in The Archaeology of Race in the Northeast

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print April 2015 | ISBN: 9780813060576
Published online September 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780813050706 | DOI:
Guineatown in the Hudson Valley’s Hyde Park

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  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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Findings from the Primus Martin site in the town of Hyde Park, New York inform an investigation of rural African American responses to racism in the Mid-Hudson Valley during the early 19th century. Ceramic data from the site reflect episodes of communal dining and tea drinking at the center of a settlement called Guineatown. Corresponding documentary accounts indicate that Primus Martin operated a well-situated farm and was leader of the African American population. This ceramic and textual evidence is interpreted comparatively to suggest that entertaining was one way in which the Primus Martin household established and maintained its leadership role. In this usage, mass-produced ceramics were repositioned within systems of meaning distinct to the daily encounters of Primus Martin’s community.

Keywords: African American archaeology; feasting; ceramics; landscape; rural black community; oral history; New York State

Chapter.  8541 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History and Theory of Archaeology

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