This study examines late-19th century farmsteads in Anne Arundel County, Maryland to measure and explain changes in agriculture and the effect of farming strategies on the local landscape. Agricultural census data from 1850–1880 in the county’s First Election District are used to measure significant changes in crop production after the Civil War. From this local level analysis, one farmstead is analyzed to understand those agricultural changes at the household level. Results from exploratory statistics, two-sided independent t tests, and one-way analysis of variances demonstrate that mean production of tobacco, wheat, and corn decreased significantly in the decades after the Civil War. Evidence from archival and preliminary archaeological data at the Sellman House Site (18NA1431) and the Brown House Site (18AN1546) demonstrate that the Sellman’s relied heavily on tobacco as their cash crop for market agriculture, while the tenant farmers practiced subsistence farming. Materials recovered from shovel tests around the Sellman House show a lack of artifacts identified for agricultural use while shovel testing around the Brown House recovered farm tools and fragments of canning jars and canning lids. These results provide a foundation with which to test new theories about correlations between domestic and agricultural spaces, land management strategies, and the environmental consequences of those strategies over generations of use.
Janesko, Sarah N.
"Cultivating Historic Farms: A Study of Late-Nineteenth Century Maryland Farms,"
Northeast Historical Archaeology:
47, Article 5.
Available at: https://orb.binghamton.edu/neha/vol47/iss1/5