Researchers are excavating a slave village on the site of the Monocacy Battlefield in Frederick County, Maryland. The village wasn’t there at the time of the battle. It dates back to the turn end of the 18th Century and the beginning of the 19th Century.
The plantation called L’Hermitage was a 748-acre plantation owned by a French-Catholic family that fled St. Dominique during a slave revolt. The family owned 90 slaves that lived in a collection of cabins on the plantation.
The site was first discovered in 2003, but excavation couldn’t begin until this summer when a Department of Interior grant allowed six students to be hired to help with the work.
Surface-penetrating radar was used to get a look at the area to find where the remnants of the village were buried 4 to 16 feet below the surface. Other slave sites have been found before, but what makes this one unique is that it is a relatively intact village. Chimney foundations and the outlines of gardens and animal pens have also been found.
Once digging began, things like broken dishes, coins, animal bones, buttons, pipes and more have been found. Each artifact is helping researchers put together a more-complete picture of the daily life of slaves in Maryland.
The excavation is expected to continue into next year with an initial report due in the fall of 2011.
I’ve been reading about this throughout the summer. I think it’s pretty interesting because the site is only about 45 minutes from where I live.