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The Archaeology of Liberty in an American Capital

The Archaeology of Liberty in an American Capital: Excavations in Annapolis

Mark P. Leone
Copyright Date: 2005
Edition: 1
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    The Archaeology of Liberty in an American Capital
    Book Description:

    What do archaeological excavations in Annapolis, Maryland, reveal about daily life in the city's history? Considering artifacts such as ceramics, spirit bundles, printer's type, and landscapes, this engaging, generously illustrated, and original study illuminates the lives of the city's residents-walking, seeing, reading, talking, eating, and living together in freedom and in oppression for more than three hundred years. Interpreting the results of one of the most innovative projects in American archaeology,The Archaeology of Liberty in an American Capitalspeaks powerfully to the struggle for liberty among African Americans and the poor.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93189-3
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Illustrations and Tables
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xxvi)
  5. CHAPTER 1 The Importance of Knowing Annapolis
    (pp. 1-33)

    Annapolis is and always has been a small city. It is important because of what happened in it—and what was designed to happen in it. It has tall historical stature because it is vividly connected to the American Revolution, the events of which remain so important to us. It remains famous because the United States Naval Academy, the embodiment of American naval excellence and ingenuity, occupies a significant and beautiful piece of the city. Indeed, for most Americans, Annapolis means the Naval Academy, its traditions, midshipmen and women, and football against Army (Fleming 1988).

    Annapolis also means holidays sailing...

  6. CHAPTER 2 The Research Design
    (pp. 34-62)

    This book is about the ideology that a person is an individual, and this hypothesis unifies the book and its data. I get the idea of individualism from the Scots political philosopher C. B. Macpherson (1962), whose work I learned about from Richard Handler’s useful adaptation of it in anthropology (Handler 1988; Handler and Saxton 1988). The idea of individualism is important because it was the single most motivating concept in the American quest for freedom and then independence. It guided the American Revolution long before people coupled personal freedom and individual liberty with national independence. That coupling was a...

  7. CHAPTER 3 Landscapes of Power
    (pp. 63-110)

    The William Paca Garden is the most beautiful place in Annapolis. Even though its beauty is not an illusion, it contains one. Furthermore, the arrangement of the garden exists to make the illusion possible. Once this arrangement is accepted as planned and deliberate, and even as its basic reason for being, then the garden and its beauty cannot be taken as is. The garden was not incidental to the life of Annapolis in the eighteenth century and is not today. It is not the product of leisure, money, or taste, although all three are related—even central—to it. It...

  8. CHAPTER 4 The Rise of Popular Opinion
    (pp. 111-151)

    This chapter analyzes printer’s type dating from about 1750 to about 1820 or 1830 that was used in theMaryland Gazette, published in Annapolis. But because the type was used to print words, and these words survive (theGazetteis in the Maryland State Archives), it is also about the printed material available for public consumption wherever theGazettewas read. TheGazettewas printed at the Jonas Green print shop, which we excavated. The printer’s type from the shop was used to print more than the newspaper, of course, but the paper was its most important, widely used, and...

  9. CHAPTER 5 Time and Work Discipline
    (pp. 152-178)

    James Deetz wanted to know how New Englanders thought in the eighteenth century and whether or not the way they thought changed in the course of it (1977, 133–36). He argued that thinking organized the rest of life by using a few central habitual patterns, and that if we knew them, those patterns would be the organizing thoughts that could be found reflected throughout the built world of New Englanders.

    The Georgian pattern began in Boston and spread into the countryside. It featured people seeing themselves—and memorializing themselves at the end of their lives—as unique individuals. Life,...

  10. CHAPTER 6 From Althusser and Lukács to Habermas: Archaeology in Public in Annapolis
    (pp. 179-191)

    Did the action of the technologies of the self and the ideology they fostered penetrate below the members of the class that benefited most from them? Yes, to a great degree, but with consciousness of the results visible to the middle class and those lower down the economic and political order. This was a visibility we can notice through the satire of the Tuesday Club and its members’ outright criticism of class. But the ideology of individualism worked. It was used even if it was inverted and parodied. And ideology avoided violence for the most part.

    When I designed Archaeology...

  11. CHAPTER 7 African America
    (pp. 192-244)

    My students and I at Cape Town worked hard, but I left realizing full well that they would eventually have to make the difference there, not me. The only difference I could make would be in Annapolis. When I returned there, I went to the Banneker-Douglass Museum to meet the director and the associate director, Barbara Jackson. I told them I wanted to work on archaeology with them. The director laughed at me. But Jackson said: “We want to know if we have archaeology; we want to hear about freedom—we’re tired of hearing about slavery.” And, “Tell us what...

  12. CHAPTER 8 What Do We Know?
    (pp. 245-266)

    What does African American culture in Annapolis, from between 1790 and 1920, teach us about our own conditions? How does it shed light on work, slavery, racism, equality, and the level to which African Americans were within or lived beyond the ideology of individualism? The picture so far shows that middle-class people like Jonas Green and William Faris, white men with slaves, lived within and duplicated the ideology and its technologies. They may have seen through the ideology, but they also did not find a way to avoid it. How did people of African descent, slaves, and free men and...

  13. APPENDIX Archaeological Sites Excavated in Annapolis
    (pp. 267-280)
    Amelia G. Chisholm
  14. Works Cited
    (pp. 281-306)
  15. Index
    (pp. 307-328)