Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on Cultural Interactions in the Southern Colonies
Publication Year: 2002
The 18th-century South was a true melting pot, bringing together colonists from England, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and other locations, in addition to African slaves—all of whom shared in the experiences of adapting to a new environment and interacting with American Indians. The shared process of immigration, adaptation, and creolization resulted in a rich and diverse historic mosaic of cultures.
The cultural encounters of these groups of settlers would ultimately define the meaning of life in the 19th-century South. The much-studied plantation society of that era and the Confederacy that sprang from it have become the enduring identities of the South. A full understanding of southern history is not possible, however, without first understanding the intermingling and interactions of the region's 18th-century settlers. In the essays collected here, some of the South's leading historical archaeologists examine various aspects of the colonial experience, attempting to understand how cultural identity was expressed, why cultural diversity was eventually replaced by a common identity, and how the various cultures intermeshed.
Written in accessible language, this book will be valuable to archaeologists and non-archaeologists alike. Cultural, architectural, and military historians, cultural anthropologists, geographers, genealogists, and others interested in the cultural legacy of the South will find much of value in this book.
In the Southeast, where the written record goes back five hundred years, historical archaeology is a subdivision of history as well as anthropology, for the compleat historical archaeologist mines all sources. The contributors to this volume on the colonial Carolinas and Georgia ask historical questions, provide ample historical contexts, and present their findings in the common language of scholarship.—The Journal of Southern History
Published by: The University of Alabama Press
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The southern colonies occupy a special place in the modern American imagination. For much of the twentieth century, the dominant public memory of the colonial South spoke of gracious hospitality, genteel behavior, and selfless dedication to public service. The primary actors in this memory...
1. Cultural Diversity in the Southern Colonies
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One of the most frequently cited observations on the cultural identity of the southern colonies (see both Wheaton and Steen, this volume) was offered by Samuel Dyselli, a Swiss immigrant arriving in Charleston in 1737, who remarked, “Carolina looks more like a negro country than like a...
2. The Yamasee in South Carolina: Native American Adaptation and Interaction along the Carolina Frontier
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The Yamasee were a multiethnic confederation that began arriving in the Port Royal area of South Carolina in 1683. Composed mainly of groups from the former Georgia chiefdoms of Tama and Guale, the Yamasee lived for over thirty years with the Carolina colonists as their trading...
3. Colonial African American Plantation Villages
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A central problem for archaeologists is the extreme difficulty of addressing issues of power and resistance, change and continuity, emic and etic perspectives, from archaeological data. Simply trying to determine the function of an artifact within a presumably unambiguous context is often...
4. Tangible Interaction: Evidence from Stobo Plantation
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I always enjoy the beginning of each semester, specifically the beginning of my Introduction to Anthropology class because this is when we discuss the nature, goals, and value of the discipline. During discussions of the various sub�elds of anthropology, often quite a few students are surprised...
5. A Pattern of Living: A View of the African American Slave Experience in the Pine Forests of the Lower Cape Fear
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The variables surrounding the lives of slaves and how slave culture developed depended heavily upon the requirements of the staple crops as well as upon the environment and the physical nature of the land. According to Ira Berlin and Philip Morgan (1996:3) the staple crops “shaped the nature...
6. Guten Tag Bubba: Germans in the Colonial South
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King George I was German, as was George II and George III. The ethnicity of England’s eighteenth-century monarchs is often overlooked, yet it undoubtedly played a role in the selection of emigres to the American colonies. Historians estimate that at least 65,000, and perhaps as many as...
7. An Open-Country Neighborhood in the Southern Colonial Backcountry
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The past decade and a half has witnessed an increasing scholarly interest in the southern colonial backcountry, the likes of which have not been seen since Frederick Jackson Turner’s seminal essay on American exceptionalism and the frontier (Turner 1894). Geographers and social historians have...
8. Bethania: A Colonial Moravian Adaptation
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Bethania is an extant town in northwestern Forsyth County, North Carolina, and although its antiquity may not be obvious to the casual visitor, there is an aura of age about the place. Older houses are arranged in compact array against stone sidewalks on either side of a central main...
9. Frenchmen and Africans in South Carolina: Cultural Interaction on the Eighteenth-Century Frontier
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Historical archaeologists have spent at least forty years studying the relationship between ethnicity and material culture, and these years of experience have shown time and again the complexity of that relationship. When historical archaeologists first began to examine ethnicity, it...
10. John de la Howe and the Second Wave of French Refugees in the South Carolina Colony: Defining, Maintaining, and Losing Ethnicity on the Passing Frontier
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The French presence in the South Carolina colony was notable and sustained. French immigrants contributed a sizable portion of the colony’s early settlement and the French were found in the colonial towns as well as among the Lowcountry’s plantations (see Shlasko this volume). As...
11. Anglicans and Dissenters in the Colonial Village of Dorchester
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The historic manifestations of religious con�ict range from mass extermination to actions as subtle as social exclusion. A common feature of religious conflict is that it usually occurs among neighbors, as a result of proximity within the most basic form of settlement, the community...
12. Frontier Society in South Carolina: An Example from Willtown
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The thousand-acre Willtown plantation on the Edisto River is marked by an imposing antebellum home on a bluff over the river, surrounded by tidal marshes, low-lying pastures, and climax hardwood forest. About a mile from the river, in the center of the woods, is a knoll of high land...
13. “As regular and fformidable as any such woorke in America”: The Walled City of Charles Town
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Charleston, South Carolina, has long been acknowledged as a symbol of southern gentility. The city has achieved international renown both for its history and for its wealth of colonial and antebellum architecture. But the city was not always the picturesque tourist destination it has become and...
14. From Colonist to Charlestonian: The Crafting of Identity in a Colonial Southern City
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Throughout the colonial period, Charles Town was the hub for communities and plantations stretching across the Lowcountry and deep into the backcountry of the Carolina colony. Deerskins, naval stores, and agricultural produce flowed into the city for shipment to Europe, the Caribbean...
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Publication Year: 2002