CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE PAST
|This section on Mary Barnes
is written in the third person because she didn't write
it but at some point, when she takes a break from
studying, writing, digging and drawing, we hope these
words will change to HER words!
Mary is a graduate student at the University of Houston, and is active in the Levi Jordan Plantation project in several ways.
She is a graphic artist, and prepares various audio-visual materials for use in presentations, demonstrations, and publications. Some of her drawings are shown at the left of this page.
Mary also participates in excavations at this and other sites, and does quite a bit of the historical research associated with the Jordan site. In January 1998 she presented a paper at the Annual Meetings of the Society for Historical Archaeology and the abstract for that paper is below. Her paper explored historical data to understand why the archaeological deposits at this are so remarkable that is, "why do we have all this stuff"? (for an earlier examination of this issue, see Doreen Cooper's 1992 paper (5), also on this web site. Also see a 1990 paper (4) written by Ken Brown and Doreen Cooper, published in Historical Archaeology, the journal for the Society for Historical Archaeology).
"Everything they owned: History and Archaeology of a Tenant Community's Autonomy"
Excavations at the Jordan Plantation have revealed a material culture reflective of the tenants' utilization of the cabins within the quarters as well as what appears to be an abrupt departure of families from the tenant community. This so-called "abandonment event" goes unmentioned within the extant historical record. However, investigation of the "event" has been conducted through the examination of deed, civil and criminal court records, chattel mortgages and descendant interviews. These records can be employed to demonstrate the justice that the tenants received/did not receive through the legal system. This dichotomy of "justice" could have facilitated utilization of alternative forms of conflict resolution within their own community. The interpretation of such social and judicial autonomy within the tenant community could go far in enriching our knowledge of the internal and external social climate of the community as well as answer questions regarding its abandonment.
To see the full text of Mary's paper, go here.
(more of Mary's drawings will go here)
Ginny McNeill Raska
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‹ Carol McDavid 1998