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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bowie in Prince George's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Archaeology at the Frame Quarters

 
 
Archaeology at the Frame Quarters Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, October 12, 2013
1. Archaeology at the Frame Quarters Marker
Inscription. Osborn Sprigg, Jr. lived at Northampton from 1775-1814/1815. The 1798 Federal Direct Tax of Northampton lists his property as consisting of:
...a Framd (sic) Dwelling House 60 by 40 with hip roof Kitchen 36 by 26 with hip roof, Wash house 30 by 26, Meat House 16 feet Sq. Milk House 12 feet Sq. all in very good repair.
Other structures included:
...1 Overseers House 20 by 16, one Negro House 26 by 24, Corn house 40 by 12, with 10 foot Shed on each Side, Barn & Stable 50 by 30, three Tobo. Houses 60 by 24 each...

Historic records like the 1798 Federal Direct Tax are valuable sources about the past. At Northampton archaeologists have compared this tax record with what they found in the ground. Through excavations they determined that this wooden frame slave quarters measured 27 by 25 feet and had four small rooms. The house stood on a stone foundation and was divided by a wall and fireplaces providing living space for two families. Both enslaved and free African Americans lived in this house which researchers believe is the "Negro House 26 by 24" feet referred to in the 1798 Federal Direct Tax. Descendants of slaves resided here until the 1930s.

Archaeologists found more than 40,000 artifacts in the frame slave quarters. Although you may recognize some of these objects, people sometimes used them in
Foundation of the Frame Slave Quarters image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, October 12, 2013
2. Foundation of the Frame Slave Quarters
different ways than their original purpose. For example, blue beads found on African American sites may have been used for decoration or as a charm for protection or good luck. Spiritual symbolism of certain colors and objects can be traced back to Africa. However, African Americans adapted and used these symbols for their own needs and situations facing them in the New World.
 
Location. 38° 54.202′ N, 76° 49.014′ W. Marker is in Bowie, Maryland, in Prince George's County. Marker is on Water Port Court. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 10915 Water Port Court, Bowie MD 20721, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park (a few steps from this marker); Seeking Freedom (a few steps from this marker); Archaeology at the Brick Quarters (within shouting distance of this marker); Weary Warriors (within shouting distance of this marker); “Mount Lubentia” (approx. 1.5 miles away); Ridgley (approx. 2.1 miles away); Ridgeley Rosenwald School (approx. 2.6 miles away); Philip Reed (approx. 3.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bowie.
 
Categories. African Americans
 
Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, October 12, 2013
3. Northampton Slave Quarters and Archaeological Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on October 13, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 316 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 13, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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