Excavation of <em>Building r</em> site in 1983

Slave Quarter - Building r View Interactive Version ]

Building r was one of three, one-room log cabins (Buildings r, s, and t) built roughly on top of the old Negro Quarter in the mid-1790s along the eastern extension of Monticello’s Mulberry Row. On a 1796 insurance plat, Jefferson described Buildings r, s, and t together, stating: "r. which as well as s. and t. are servants houses of wood with wooden chimnies, & earth floors, 12. by 14. feet, each and 27. feet apart from one another." The design of these buildings contrasts to the barracks-style housing provided for enslaved people on Mulberry Row in the 1770s. Monticello's archaeologists surmise that this change, which coincides with the transition to the cultivation of grain in the 1790s, represents a change in the status of Monticello's slaves, many of whom were gaining valuable new skills and establishing strong family groups.

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