[1] The soils were not as well suited for a more diverse agricultural economy, however (Gibb 1994:166).

[2] Nine of the sites are discussed in this paper. The remaining 10 were not discussed because they were either short on archaeological data, or they did not fit into one of the selected geographic communities. These sites are St. Richard’s Manor, St. Joseph’s Manor (18ST550), Morgan Hill Farm, Preston on the Patuxent (18CV206, 18CV207), the Smith site (18CV92), Melon Field (18CV169), Sotterly (18ST68), Cedar Hill, Mount Calvert (18PR6), and Billingsley (18PR9).

[3] Discussions of the characteristics and development of the Virginia house can be found in Carson et. al. (1981), Lounsbury (1994), and Stone (2004), among many others.

[4] The presence of casement windows at all nine sites is significant because these windows have been cited as a luxury item that would not be expected to appear on poorer dwellings (Michaud 2001:44). Even the two sites in this study that were never occupied by anyone other than tenants or overseers, Anketill’s Neck and Ashcomb’s Quarter, had window leads. This suggests that either the tenant sites in this study were exceptional, or that glazed windows might be more widespread among the non-planter classes than previously suspected.

[5] In some cases this type of architecture was relegated to outbuildings because the main structure was brick. Nevertheless, it was still a major form of architecture employed at the plantation complexes.

[6] The St. Mary’s City biography files list an entry for “Pat 2 of 579, 27 February 1649/50” which stated that Halfhead received a warrant to lay out 250 acres between Capt. Dorel’s quarter and Mattapany house on the south side of the Patuxent River. See also Chaney, 2000

[7] Cecil was only 4 or 5 years old at the time, and Charles apparently did not want to pour too many resources into the house in case Cecil grew up to have different tastes (Chaney 2000:141). Cecil died in 1681 before reaching the age of maturity (Chaney 2000:36).

[8] The fireplace tile recovered at Mattapany has a geometric purple spatter pattern and is identical to that recovered at the St. Johns and Van Sweringen sites in St. Mary’s City (Stone 1986). Stone (1986) gives an arrival date for a shipment of this tile as c. 1675. Unless Ogilby’s account described Henry Sewall’s house, rather than Calvert’s new one at Mattapany, however, then the structure must have already been standing by 1671, indicating that the fireplace tile was added after initial construction.

[9] Other brick structures appeared in Maryland after 1666 including the St. Mary’s City chapel (c. 1667), the State House (c. 1676), and Philip Calvert’s house, St. Peters (1678-1679).

[10] A bodkin with the initials S.S. inscribed on it was recovered at Charles’ Gift, corresponding to an occupation by Nicholas Sewall’s family; his wife’s name was Susanna (Hornum et. al. 2001).

[11] Feature 12 contained only 8 pieces of chinking/daub, but an abundance of brick according to the investigators’ catalog (Hornum et. al. 2001). Even if much of that brick was waste from the construction of the nearby foundation, there is still enough mortar and brick in the feature to support evidence of a full brick chimney on the earthfast structure.

[12] Incidentally, the late 17th-century brick foundation is only one of a number of brick foundations uncovered in the same area. Underlying middens and builders trenches allowed the dating of several brick foundation features, showing not only the late 17th century wall, but also subsequent additions, chimneys, and rebuilding episodes.

[13] This investment paid off for Sewall’s heirs, who kept the plantation going until the mid-nineteenth century (Chaney 2000).

[14] Sewall’s commitment to brick for his own foundation did not represent an abandonment of earthfast architecture at the site, however. Posthole/mold patterns have been exposed for an earthfast kitchen addition to the house with the brick foundation, as well as an earthfast outbuilding in the yard dating to the early 18th century, and a later earthfast overseer’s house that was still standing when a 1798 tax assessment took place (Hornum et. al.2001:324-333).

[15] The report states that only a small sample of postholes was chosen for excavation because, “...the site plan had already been recorded and there were no chronological questions that needed to be explored” (Louis Berger & Associates 1989:25).

[16] Richard Smith Jr. most likely inherited the land from his father, Richard Smith Sr., the first Attorney General of Maryland, who had lived at his own residential complex on the plantation from the 1660s until he died around 1689 (King 1999; Pogue 1997).

[17] It remains unknown whether the dairy was an addition because none of the post holes were excavated.

[18] This structure lasted throughout the 18th, and possibly into the 19th century, leaving cedar posts that were still not fully rotted when excavations took place in 1993 and 1994.

[19] Some late 18th-early 19th century trench-set walls were also discovered near St. Mary’s City, though the function of the structure is unknown. These trenches also had an exotic clay in them that the King’s Reach trenches lack (Mitchell et. el. 1999). At the South Carolina plantations such as Yaughan, the trench-set walls could also be indicative of French influences since plantation owners were Huguenots, but there is no known French affiliation at King’s Reach.

[20] The one structural posthole excavated from this quarter contained artifacts indicative of the deposition of trash from the yard of the larger dwelling.

[21] If this is the explanation for the more flimsy shed and quarter construction, however, then one must wonder why Smith bothered to build a new plantation center at all when his father already had one not far away. Richard Smith Sr. was living on the property by 1665 and his dwelling’s location has been identified, but not explored much archaeologically. It would have to have been in very poor repair if Smith decided to build another, relatively low-quality dwelling, amidst such chaotic events in his own life and the life of the colony when his father died around 1689.


If you have any questions or comments about this article, or sites and artifact collections
discussed, please contact: sara.rivers-cofield@maryland.gov.

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