The African Americans who endured institutional enslavement played a critical role in the history of Fredericksburg from its 18th-century founding to its Civil War era turmoil. Only recently have historians, archaeologists, and architectural historians brought scholarly and more public attention to bear on the people who comprised over a third of the city’s population as well as its main labor force. Surprisingly little archaeological work on slave-related sites and structures has occurred. This research relies on a combination of architectural and documentary evidence to visualize slavery’s built environment in Fredericksburg as well as the demographic and cultural parameters that framed slaves’ lives. A series of contextual predictions for slave-related sites and households are advanced that hopefully archaeologists will test with future excavations. Such efforts would allow archaeologists to better characterize Fredericksburg’s bonded African Americans as active consumers, agents of change, and members of their own vibrant community.
Sanford, Douglas W.
"The Architecture and Landscape of Slavery in Fredericksburg, Virginia,"
Northeast Historical Archaeology:
48, Article 5.
Available at: https://orb.binghamton.edu/neha/vol48/iss1/5