Negro Quarter View Interactive Version ]

The only surviving evidence for the "Negro quarter" is four subfloor pits and possibly three postholes. Many lines of evidence point towards the pits being a part of the 17'-by-34', two-celled quarter that Jefferson described in his ca. 1776-78 plan for Mulberry Row.

Like many slave quarters constructed prior to 1780, the "Negro quarter" is larger than its later counterparts (buildings l, r, s, and t) that were designed for a single family or small group of dwellers. This shift from large two-room structures to smaller one-room dwellings is part of a larger pattern that archaeologists now believed might have occurred in the Chesapeake region and beyond. Two possible explanations are the development of family groups within the enslaved population and the increased level of specialized skills by some individuals in the workforce developed in response to a switch from tobacco to grain cultivation and to the rise of light industry.


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