Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery

By John Michael Vlach | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

One rarely travels the winding road of book publishing without accruing a certain amount of indebtedness for kindnesses and encouragements received along the way, and the journey that led to this volume is no exception to this rule. Recognizing that I have many "bills" to pay, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those who have helped in one way or another over the past five years as I coerced an idea into a manuscript and the manuscript into this present work.

To begin, I want to thank The George Washington University for granting me a sabbatical leave so I could work full time on my proposed study of plantation architecture and for generously providing funds to pay for the reproduction of drawings and photographs as the project neared completion. During my seemingly countless visits to the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress to study the holdings of the Historic American Buildings Survey, I could always count on the efficient courtesies of Mary Ison, George Hobart, Marilyn Ibach, Maya Keech, Sam Daniel, and Jerry Kearns. Amazed by the images I found there, before long I was eager to show off my discoveries. Although many friends humored my enthusiasm, I especially recall the encouragement I received from Simon Bronner, Steve Ohrn, Gene Metcalf, Mike Jones, Richard Longstreth, Archie Green, Larry Levine, Catherine Bishir, John Moe, Joey Brackner, Dell Upton, and Iris Hill.

It was, in fact, Iris Hill who smoothed my entry into the University of North Carolina Press "stable" as my research phase blended into the writing phase. Even though she was soon to move on, she left me in the capable hands of a terrific publication crew, including David Perry, Rich Hendel, and Pam Upton. Their commitment to this book and the editing and design services they have provided are much appreciated.

As chunks of this book started to take shape, I was given a number of opportunities to test my findings in front of various audiences. I want, therefore, to thank Camille Wells for her invitation to speak at Mary Washington College, Phillipe Oszusick for inviting me to provide a keynote speech for the Pioneer America Society, and Ted Ownby for asking me to participate in the Chancellor's Symposium at Ole Miss.

-xvii-

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Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page ii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgements xvii
  • One the Plantation Landscape 1
  • Two Big Quarters 18
  • Three the Yard 33
  • Four Kitchens 43
  • Five Smokehouses 63
  • Six Outbuildings 77
  • Seven Barns and Stables 107
  • Eight Production Machinery and Buildings 123
  • Nine Overseers' Houses 135
  • Ten Building for Slave Welfare 142
  • Eleven Quarters for Field Slaves 153
  • Twelve Plantation Landscape Ensembles 183
  • Thirteen Conclusion 228
  • Notes 237
  • Index 251
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