New analysis has revealed particulars of the lives of enslaved those who lived at Rowan Oak, which might later turn into the house of author William Faulkner.
The findings are a results of an ongoing, multi-phase analysis venture performed by the College of Mississippi Slavery Analysis Group (UMSRG).
Following work to archive the historical past of enslaved individuals at Monticello, house of Thomas Jefferson, and the Hermitage, house of Anderew Jackson, the UMSRG performed a preliminary dig at Rowan Oak within the fall of 2016 to start the primary section of their archaeological survey to uncover proof of slave life.
An outbuilding that served as a smokehouse through the Faulkner period as soon as stood as a slave quarter for a third-generation cotton plantation proprietor, Robert Sheegog, within the 1840s.
“The one motive it’s there right now is as a result of Faulkner purchased the property, however the constructing has a for much longer historical past that actually has nothing to do with Faulkner,” Anne Twitty, a management staff member of the UMSRG and affiliate professor of antebellum America and slavery and the legislation, stated.
Jackson reported that Sheegog was a neighborhood slaveholder in Oxford, and when he didn’t have work for the enslaved individuals, he employed the slaves out to the college.
Twitty stated that slave house owners would rent enslaved individuals out to different individuals to maximise revenue.
Based on Charles Ross, co-chair of the UMSRG and affiliate professor of historical past and African American research, documentation revealed Sheegog had a number of important plantations in Tallahatchie County and actively enslaved laborers for his plantation fields. The Oxford property stood as his trip house to get away from work.
Analysis additionally revealed Sheegog didn’t solely personal slaves at his plantation fields, as Ross suspected.
Researchers dated the property as antebellum, and the inside traits of the one-room constructing additional tied it extra to a slave quarter than the modernized smokehouse. The brick home is a one-room property that’s floored by bricks and filth. The property has a single hearth and the brick partitions present proof that it was hand-built, doubtless by the enslaved individuals.
Historic paperwork revealed that as many as eight individuals had been enslaved on the property within the 1860s beneath Sheegog, although no names had been uncovered. The researchers discovered that numerous slaves weren’t documented by title by the federal government.
Based on the 2016 UMSRG report, the federal authorities was “required by legislation to enumerate each particular person within the nation each ten years,” although they didn’t preserve documentation of all slaves’ names. Solely their ages and genders had been documented.
This previous summer time, the UMSRG used the grant to additional its analysis and introduced architectural historians Carl Lounsbury and Edward Chappell to investigate the Faulkner property in depth. This exploration particularly targeted on a brick home that sits behind the property that Faulkner renovated right into a smokehouse when he took possession of the property in 1930.
“In partnership with College of Mississippi Museums and Rowan Oak, the College of Mississippi Slavery Analysis Group acquired a grant from the Mississippi Hills Nationwide Heritage Space Neighborhood Grants Program in 2018 to proceed this work,” Jeffery Jackson, co-chair of the UMSRG and affiliate professor of sociology, stated.
Based on Jackson, the group has not publicly launched all of the analysis and findings. They’re nonetheless going by the architectural historic analysis to search out additional proof on how slaves lived their every day lives on the properties round Lafayette County.
“We don’t usually consider historians as having laboratories, however (Rowan Oak) is a type of laboratory to search out out this historical past,” Twitty stated.