Saturday, April 12, 2008
The day started with some awards.
And moved right into presentations on the archaeology of several Maryland towns.
At the lunch break, participants wandered the streets of Annapolis to see some ongoing Archaeology in Annapolis excavations and view the new Seeking Liberty museum exhibit.
After lunch most participants returned for more talks.
As usual, there are no pictures of me. Why? It is simple. I take all the pictures. So, that brings me to a request. If you are handy with a camera (for still photos or videos) and visit Port Tobacco when the PTAP team is working (or come to one of our Port Tobacco events elsewhere) please take some footage and send it to us. Consider this request the pile of disposable cameras on the table at a wedding reception. We want to see how you see us. Then maybe, just maybe mind you, I will have my picture on the blog too! :)
Friday, April 11, 2008
I will take some pictures of the event and post them with tomorrow's blog. It may be a late evening post, like today, for obvious reasons, but I'll get it up before retiring for the night.
It has been awhile since I have been in Maryland so there is lots to do after tomorrow. Most importantly, during this week Jim and I need to come up with a detailed plan for the ASM field session at Port Tobacco, to take place this June. As always, if you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to contact us through the Staff links in the left hand column of the blog.
That's all for tonight.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Edward Wade, wheelwright
James Coombs, blacksmith
Washington Pye, blacksmith
Washington Pye, blacksmith
BF Robbins, harness maker
CE Wade, wheelwright
Ralph H. Way, carriage maker
Griffin Carter, wheelwright
Rufus Vincent, carriage maker
John E. Daly, carriage maker
Griffin Carter, wheelwright
Michael Martin, wheelwright
We'll find them.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Conspiracy! Port Tobacco and the Plot to Assassinate President Lincoln
Charles County, Maryland
Charles County will collect information through detailed archival and archaeological research on the setting in which conspirators planned the abduction and assassination of President Lincoln, Vice President Johnson, and Secretary Seward in March 1865. The final report will provide vital information for interpretation, nomination and possible acquisition of properties in Port Tobacco related to this nationally significant event in American history.
This is the first major grant awarded to the Port Tobacco Archaeological Project, and it is important not only for its size, but for the stature it gives the project. Preserve America is a highly competitive granting program.
The Preserve America grant program, which began in 2006, is administered by the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service in partnership with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. The competitive matching grants fund Preserve America Communities, State Historic Preservation Offices, and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to support their preservation efforts through heritage tourism, education, and historic preservation planning.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
There has been much discussion and speculation about where John Hanson and his wife are buried. We know that two of Hanson’s children are buried there and one tomb on the site was thought to be that of Jane Contee Hanson. Closer inspection of the tomb shows that it is the burial spot of Peter Contee.
Let’s take a few minutes and see just who the Contees are.
Peter Contee was Jane Contee Hanson’s brother. As Peter was never married and had no children, we must assume that at the time of his passing, he was residing with John and Jane. He was the son of Alexander and Jane Brook Contee. He was born in Prince George’s County in 1726 and died at Mulberry Grove in 1768.
Peter had a brother named Col. Thomas Contee whose son Benjamin (1755-1815) played a role in the American Revolution and was active at Port Tobacco. After the War, Benjamin became an Episcopal minister and was rector for the Port Tobacco parish. He was also once charged with tampering with the US mail, but was aquitted. Benjamin resided briefly in the mid 1790's at “Blenheim”. At the time of his death he was living at the glebe house of Trinity Parish near Allen’s Fresh. Benjamin and his wife, were more than likely interred in the Contee cemetery at “Locust Hill” just outside Port Tobacco, which has been destroyed. If not there, than they were buried in the original Christ Church cemetery in Port Tobacco, which is now covered by swamp.
That last statement has me intrigued. I also read something recently that some kayakers in the area reported seeing submerged tombstones. Finding this lost cemetery would be personally, very rewarding.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
As Director of Research, I have come up with my own plan for the 11 days of excavation that will comprise our half of the ASM field session. This plan includes the excavation of units in three areas of the town: 1) The Wade house and Centennial Hotel, 2) The Jail, and 3) The Native American artifact cluster between the two.
My rationale for focusing on these areas is that they are 1) relatively close together, a necessity to keep from spreading the team too thin, 2) cover a range of time periods for the site, including Native American and 18th and 19th century occupations, 3) are near the nucleus of the town, and therefore should speak to the development of the town.
I also have specific research questions for each area. For example, what is the timing and extent of the Native American artifact cluster. Was this a habitation site? Was it disturbed by historic development of the town. Is this evidence of the Potopaco village?
The use of three areas will also allow us to move volunteer crews from one place to another during the construction of unit profiles and other tasks that require slow work by a small number of people.
Jim, as Managing Director, needs to consider all the logistics of my selections and decide if he agrees with the research value of these locations.
We are also planning a workshop and lecture series for the Field Session volunteers and a kick-off party. If you have any questions or suggestions concerning our field session, now is th time to let us know.