Plantation Scenes, Slave Settlements & Houses

  • Nicholas Abbey Plantation House, Barbados, 1985

    Nicholas Abbey was built of locally obtained coral blocks in the 1650s and is one of the oldest standing plantation houses in Barbados. It is one of three Jacobean-style English manor houses in what was once British America (the others are Drax Hall in Barbados and Bacon's Castle, Williamsburg, Virginia). This photo shows the front entrance of the plantation house (the entrance portico was added long after initial construction); note the chimneys to the fireplaces. The site of the former slave village is very close to the house. The plantation itself, during the period of slavery, was large in terms of acreage and enslaved population by standards of the island. (For a history of the plantation, its main house, and its enslaved population, see Jerome Handler et al., Searching for a slave cemetery in Barbados [Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Center for Archaeological Investigations, Research Paper No. 59, June 1989], passim.)
  • Drax Hall Plantation House, Barbados, 1972

    Drax Hall plantation house; front entrance is on the left. Drax Hall house was built of locally obtained coral blocks in the 1650s and is one of the oldest standing plantation houses in Barbados. It is one of three Jacobean-style English manor houses in what was once British America (the others are Nicholas Abbey in Barbados and Bacon's Castle, Williamsburg, Virginia).
  • Drax Hall Plantation Yard, Barbados, 1971-72

    Aerial photo taken by Frederick Lange in 1971-72, shows the plantation house in the center, with the site of the former slave village in the sugar cane field in the upper left; also stables and other out buildings and base of the disused windmill in the lower right. Drax Hall plantation dates from the late 17th century and as of 2002 was still owned by the Drax family in England.
  • Roehamton [Roehampton] Plantation and Slave Village, Jamaica, 1832

    Caption: The Destruction of Roehamton Estate in the Parish of St. James in January 1832. Shows fire in the mill yard and the slave village. This lithograph by Adolphe Duperly is closely based on an aquatint that was done by James Hakewill. The plantation was burned during the slave rebellion of 1832. Discussed in T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (New Haven : Yale Center for British Art in association with Yale University Press, 2007), p. 355. Compare with image NW0095.
  • Plantation Yard and Slave Village, Jamaica, 1758

    Shows Parnassas Estate, Clarendon parish. Slave houses on left, sugar works on right; owner/manager's house in upper right. (slide of image, courtesy of Barry W. Higman).
  • Sugar Plantation, Antigua, West Indies, 1801

    A water color by Nicholas Pocock showing Green Castle Estate. In the foreground are slave houses, several figures (including a woman with a pottery jar on her head); background shows plantation house on top of hill, slave houses on hillside, two windmills and other buildings. (slide of painting, courtesy of Ralph Stetson)
  • Sugar Plantation and Slave Settlement, St. John, Virgin Islands, 1833

    Watercolor by F. V. Schulten shows Carolina Estate in Coral Bay, with its windmill and other buildings, including slave houses (center). White building cut off at the right is the Moravian mission station in Coral Bay; adjacent to it are the slave houses.
  • Sugar Plantation Yard, St. Vincent, West Indies, 1824

    Top, View of the Dwelling, Water Mill, Boiling House, etc.; Bottom, View of the Dwelling House and Offices.
  • Plantation and Slave Settlement, St. Lucia, West Indies, ca. 1830

    Watercolor of landscape, showing various structures, including towered church (left) and slave houses with garden plots (right). (slide of painting, courtesy of Ralph Stetson)
  • Virgin Valley Estate, Jamaica, ca. 1780

    A partial view of the estate, showing various out buildings, e.g., overseer's house, hospital or hot house, mill, stables. In the right-hand corner, there are two figures; one, a woman with a long-handled hoe, basket on her head, and baby on her back (slide of image, courtesy of Barry W. Higman).
  • Slave Houses, Hermitage Plantation, Georgia, 1928

    Three views of structures on the Hermitage, near Savannah: (top), the plantation house or mansion; (center), houses in the slave quarter, photographed in 1889; (bottom), another part of the slave quarter, photographed in 1928.
  • Roehampton Plantation and Slave Village, Jamaica, 1825

    Shows the slave village, the mansion house, plantation hospital (on left in background), and sugar works, including boiling and curing house and mill. This illustration was done by James Hakewill, but was not published in his A Picturesque Tour of the Island of Jamaica (London, 1825). Compare with image NW0087. See also, other Hakewill images on this website.
  • Slave Houses on a Rice Plantation, U.S. South, 1859

    Captioned Negro Quarters, shows line of slave cabins. The inhabitants [of a rice plantation] make a large community of themselves alone. The mansion of the planter with its numerous out-houses, the residence of the overseer, and the long streets of negro cabins, give to a single settlement the aspect of a large and busy village or town . . . . [slave cabins] are usually placed, at suitable intervals, in rows, or double rows, with a wide street between... (Richards, pp. 730, 732).
  • Slave Houses, Mulberry Plantation, South Carolina, ca. 1800

    Painting shows the manor/plantation/main house (center). Shown are the one-room slave houses and people carrying long-handled hoes over their shoulders.
  • Slave Houses, Hermitage Plantation, Georgia

    For other views of slave houses at the Hermitage, photoraphed ca. 1900, see Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-103293 and LC-USZ62-110813.
  • Slave Cabin on a Rice Plantation, U.S. South, 1859

    Caption, negroes at home; shows group of people in front of a cabin; man and woman smoking pipes. Each family of negroes has a house or cabin of its own, generally with sufficient garden ground, piggery, hennery, and so forth. These cabins are often made of logs, but sometimes are neat and cozy frame buildings. . . . Men and women all smoke habitually, whether at work or at rest... (Richards, p. 732).
  • Slave House, Rock Hall, Maryland, 1936

    Photograph of single-pen log cabin.
  • Slave Quarters, Kingsley Plantation, Duval County, Florida, ca. 1870

    Shows emancipated men, women, and children in front of their houses; chimneys and shingled roofs.
  • Slave Houses, Brazil, 1830s

    Caption, habitation de negres; shows slave quarters, wattle-and-daub houses and people engaging in various activities, e.g., mat making, pipe smoking; children playing. Manor house in background. For an analysis of Rugendas' drawings, as these were informed by his anti-slavery views, see Robert W. Slenes, African Abrahams, Lucretias and Men of Sorrows: Allegory and Allusion in the Brazilian Anti-slavery Lithographs (1827-1835) of Johann Moritz Rugendas (Slavery & Abolition, vol. 23 [2002], pp. 147-168).
  • Wattle-and-Daub Thatched Houses, Barbados, n.d.

    No date is given for this photo, but the Library of Congress dates it between ca. 1890 and 1923. Although long after slave emancipation in the British West Indies, the houses are very similar, if not identical, to the most common type of slave housing in Barbados. The area of Barbados is not identified, but it is clearly the Scotland District, perhaps the pottery-making village of Chalky Mount; what appears to be a beehive kiln is shown in the lower right hand corner
  • Houses of Plantation Slaves, South Carolinia, 1860

    This engraving in Scribner's is obviously derived from a stereograph taken in 1860 of the slave quarters on a South Carolina plantation, near Charleston; see Harvey Teal, Partners with the sun: South Carolina photographers, 1840-1940 (Univ. of South Carolina Press, 2000), pp. 276, 278. In any case, the Scribner's article notes that at the time of publication these cabins were located where mansions once stood; they were situated near the harbor, by King Street in Charleston. This illustration was also published in Edward King, The Great South (Hartford, Conn., 1875), p. 431, and later appeared in Ernst von Hesse-Wartegg, Mississippi-Fahrten [Travels on the lower Mississippi, 1879-1880](Leipzig, 1881). (Thanks to Keith Brady for his help in identifying the original source of this image.)
  • Slave Quarters, Hermitage Plantation, Savannah, Georgia, ca.1900-1910

    Hipped-roof cabins with chimneys, arranged in row.
  • Plantation Slaves, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862

    Photographic print showing men, women, and children standing in front of barrack-like cabins at Smith's plantation.
  • Slave Quarters, Louisiana, 1861-65

    Caption, negerhyddor I Louisiana (Negro huts in Louisiana); shows row of cabins, houses, people lounging, children playing and dancing, man playing fiddle. Title in English: Sketches from the North American war, 1861-65. Letters and notes during a four-year stay in the United States by a Swedish officer who participated in this war (thanks to Annulla Linders for translation from the Swedish).
  • Plantation Settlement, Surinam, ca. 1860

    A plantation village not long before the Dutch abolished slavery in 1863. Shows thatched roof houses, men and women (some carrying infants), and children playing.
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