2000 Florida Anthropological Society Inc.
The Florida Anthropological Society Inc. holds
source text of the Florida Anthropologist
considered the copyright holder for the text
all rights to the
and shall be
and images of
The Florida Anthropological Society has made this publication
available to the University of Florida, for purposes of
digitization and Internet distribution.
The Florida Anthropological Society reserves all rights to this
publication. All uses, excluding those made under "fair use"
provisions of U.S. Code, Title 17, Section 107 are restricted.
Contact the Florida Anthropological Society for additional
information and permissions.
In 1960 when plans were being made for the first Con-
ference on Historic Site Archaeology, John Goggin suggested
that the "conference get down to brass tacks...to the kind
of details that archaeologists deal with. In other words my
feeling is that as archaeologists we deal with artifacts;
and with few exceptions colonial artifacts have not been an-
alyzed or classified by a method suitable for the archaeolo-
gist to handle. Therefore it is up to us to do so, and I
would like to see it started." The publication of the papers
from the first two conferences as a Newsletter of the South-
eastern Archaeological Conference made available information
on ceramic types, wine bottle types, kaolin pipe stems, and
trade material from historic Indian sites. The selected pa-
pers from the third and fourth conferences published here
present information on glass, buttons, coins, underwater
historic sites and wrecks, bricks, and other topics on in-
terpretation and analysis of interest to the historic site
archaeologist. As can be seen from these papers, the Con-
ference on Historic Site Archaeology has gotten down to
brass tacks, and is dealing with details of concern to the
archaeologist, as suggested by John Goggin. It is appropri-
ate that this volume be dedicated to John.
The participating archaeologists have made these con-
ferences successful through their efforts, and the future of
the conference depends upon their continued interest. Sig-
nificant support through participation and financial help
with the publication of the papers of all four conferences
has been provided by Charles Fairbanks, to whom the confer-
ence members are particularly grateful.
Stanley South, Chairman
The Conference on Historic Site Archaeology
Photo by Schulke
JOHN MANN GOGGIN
'c"'~,~-~]f~' C~ -~I"
The Third Annual
CONFERENCE ON HISTORIC SITE ARCHAEOLOGY
Mound State Monument
Thursday, November 1, 1962
MORNING SESSION 9:00 12:30
"The Conservation of Excavated John V. N. Dunton
Metals in the Small Laboratory" Pages 37-43
"Underwater Historic Sites on Charles H. Fairbanks
St. Marks River" Pages 44-49
"Historic Archaeology in Ivor Noel Hume
Virginia, 1961-1962" Pages 50-55
"Interpreting the Brunswick Stanley A. South
Town Ruins" Pages 56-62
"The Natchez Grand Village" Robert S. Neitzel
AFTERNOON SESSION 2:00 5:00
"The Isolation and Nurture of Strains John L. Cotter
of Historical Sites Archaeologists"
"Some Notes on Bricks" Stanley A. South
"Two Historic Island Sites L. Ross Morrell
in the Coosa River" Pages 75-76
"Excavation of the Mormon Temple Dee F. Green
Remains at Nauvoo, Illinois: Larry Bowles
First Season" Pages 77-81
"Industrial Archaeology in Great Edward Larrabee
Britain" Pages 82-93
The Conservation of Excavated Metals
in the Small Laboratory
John V. N. Dunton
Whenever an archaeologist excavates an historic site,
he encounters a problem which the worker in prehistoric ar-
chaeology is often spared--the cleaning and preservation of
metal artifacts. Often, some of the most interesting or in-
formative objects from historic excavations are made of met-
al; perhaps the tools of a cabinetmaker, or the flintlock
from a soldier's musket, or perhaps merely the knives and
forks from a housewife's table. Whatever the objects, they
are, in nearly all cases, afflicted by decay or corrosion--
and therein lies the problem; because the archaeologist must
clean them in order to study them properly, and treat them
in order to ensure that they will not deteriorate further.
But what if the excavation is operating on a tight budget,
or the services of a chemist are not available? Can the
conservation of excavated metals be successfully handled in
these circumstances? The answer is "yes." Although some
conservation work can be costly and difficult, or a job for
specialists, this is not often the case on American colonial
sites. The material encountered on historic sites rarely
presents a problem so extreme that it cannot be handled by
the archaeologist or his staff.
In this paper, then, I will outline the major steps in
the conservation of metals that can be undertaken by a small
The two most common metals to be found on colonial
sites are iron and copper (the latter usually in the form of
brass), and iron is usually predominant. So let us turn
first to iron objects.
Three basic operations are necessary to treat the cor-
roded iron. One, all rust must be removed. Two, all water-
soluble impurities must be washed away. And three, a coat-
ing must be applied to give protection from the air.
To remove rust and other corrosion products, the easi-
IRON BY ELECTROLYSIS
est and most effective method is to use an electrolytic tank.
In this apparatus, the object to be cleaned is suspended in
a tank of water containing lye, along with a stainless steel
plate, and a direct current is passed between them. This
breaks the water down into hydrogen and oxygen, and the hy-
drogen attacks the rust, completely removing it. There are
many advantages to this method; it is fast, requires no par-
ticular attention during treatment, and is safe, simple, and
thorough. As a source of direct current, a battery-charger
is effective, and a model such as those used in garages may
cost sixty dollars. This may seem expensive, but a good one
will last for many years of continuous 24-hours a day use.
The water tanks used can simply be polyethylene waste bas-
kets, which are very durable, and hardly affected by the lye
There are other methods for removing heavy rust depos-
its, such as boiling in lye and zinc. The principle is sim-
ilar to electrolysis, since hydrogen is produced, but it is
a slow and messy process, not easily adapted to cleaning
large quantities of artifacts. Commercial rust solvents are
sometimes used, but they are usually not very effective on
heavy corrosion deposits, because various mineral formations
are also involved when objects corrode in the ground. And
unless you can determine what the preparation contains, it
is unwise to risk future trouble from unspecified chemicals.
Therefore, for cleaning large quantities of iron ob-
jects, I strongly recommend electrolytic treatment. Even if
only a few pieces are to be treated,the process can be used,
with an automobile storage battery as a source of direct cur-
Whatever process is used to remove rust, a certain
amount of manual cleaning is necessary. Electrolysis reduc-
es this to a minimum,but a bench-mounted electric wire wheel
is a great time-saver. Hand brushes with wire bristles are
useful, and for small objects, an electric flexible-shaft
tool with small wire wheels is indispensable. These latter
range in price from $20.00 up to $80.00 and more. Common
sense will suggest a variety of other tools, such as dis-
secting needles for cleaning crevices, and so on.
Once an object has been cleaned of all rust (and this
could take two or more days in the electrolytic tank), and
brushed up so that it looks perfectly clean, it must be
thoroughly washed in changes of boiling water. I want to
emphasize that this is a critical step in the conservation
of any metal object, and cannot be slighted or ignored if
you do not want to risk corrosion starting at some time in
the future. Although the electrolytic tank will remove most
of the corrosion products, tiny traces of chemicals, partic-
ularly chlorides from the ground, will remain in the micro-
scopic pores of the metal, and will be a constant source of
danger, since the presence of mere traces of moisture will
cause them to attack the metal again. Even the chlorides in
ordinary tap water can be dangerous; so after a few changes
of boiling in tap water, the washing must be done with dis-
tilled or demineralized water. The object must be boiled in
this pure water until chlorides can no longer be detected,
that is, when a testing solution containing silver nitrate
ceases to produce a white precipitate.
Since a water-still of any capacity is expensive, a
perfectly satisfactory substitute is a demineralizing device.
Using an ion-exchange resin, it extracts all of theminerals
from water that is run through it. Many types are available.
Colonial Williamsburg's laboratory uses a disposable car-
tridge that produces 250 to 300 gallons of pure water, at a
cost of $12.50. At one time,we bought distilled water by the
jar, which for the same quantity cost $60.00 plus freight.
When the object has finally been boiled clean, there
then remains the task of drying and sealing it. We have
found that a vacuum desiccator does a satisfactory job of
removing moisture from a clean metal artifact. By applying
a vacuum to the object, air and moisture are removed from
the surface pores, and the moisture is absorbed by silica
gel placed in the vacuum tank along with the objects. Per-
haps you are thinking that such a setup would be costly; but
the apparatus used by Colonial Williamsburg did not cost
over $9.00. A heavy steel can with a rubber gasket in the
lid is the tank and cost us nothing, since it was a second-
hand plaster-of-Paris can. To produce the vacuum, we use a
simple aspirator or filter-pump, with which you are probably
familiar; and a gauge and stop-cock bolted to the can com-
plete the equipment. The aspirator is attached to a water
faucet and to the tank, and when the water is turned on full
force, it draws the air from the tank, producing a vacuum up
to thirty inches of mercury. Not every can will withstand
this force; the steel must be rather heavy. But such a sim-
ple device has been working very well for us for the past
five years. Incidentally, this equipment is also extremely
useful in other ways, particularly for helping to impregnate
fragile material such as bone and decayed glass.
After the objects have been dried in the vacuum desica-
tor, they are removed and immediately coated. We have used
a clear scrylic plastic spray (Krylon) for five years, and
it has so far given good results.
Wire trayvj USING SILICA GEL
Thus the operation is completed. The rust has been
completely removed; boiling in pure water has made the ob-
ject chemically clean; and it has finally been dried, and
sealed from the air to prevent future contamination. None
of these steps are difficult as a rule, but each operation
must be performed thoroughly to assure success. Inadequate
drying, for example, may permit rusting to break out again
under the coating, after several months or several years,
depending on storage conditions. But, properly prepared,
objects treated in this way will withstand even severe con-
ditions of heat and humidity, such as are sometimes found in
an outdoor display case. Theoretically, the treatment should
Having discussed the treatment of iron, I can cover the
treatment of brass and other copper alloys very briefly.
Electrolysis can be used for these metals as well as for
iron, but they are as easily treated with acids. Chlorides
are usually the principal destructive minerals associated
with copper corrosion, and two forms are generally present--
in the familiar green coating, and in a purplish form found
underneath the green. Two acids are used to remove them.
Weak citric acid promptly removes the green corrosion, and
dilute sulphuric acid will slowly dissolve the purple. How-
ever, the latter is tenacious, and considerable picking with
a dissecting needle may be needed to completely remove it.
When these two treatments are finished, the same washing,
drying and sealing operations performed on iron are required
for the copper alloys. Other metals--silver, lead, pewter
and so on--can also be treated successfully at only a small
cost, and with only normal skill and common sense.
I might just mention at this point that an important
adjunct to preservation of any sort is the keeping of care-
ful records of all work performed on an object. This should
include the chemicals used and an outline of the various
techniques employed. Should the object deteriorate at some
time in the future, this record will reveal, for example,
what solvent should be used to remove the protective coating.
Naturally, this short paper is not intended as a work-
ing guide for treating excavated artifacts. I have merely
tried to outline the basic procedures, to illustrate what
can be accomplished without a major laboratory facility, and
still fulfill the strict requirements of preservation. There
are many problems associated with excavated metals which I
have not covered: decay so advanced that no metal remains;
decoration, gilding, or plating which chemicals would de-
stroy; fragility, and so on. Most of these can be met and
solved without enormous difficulty. However, a guide is ob-
viously needed in all of this work when undertaken by the
archaeologist who is not a chemist. The book that covers
this field most satisfactorily is H. J. Plenderleith's The
Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art, published by
the Oxford University Press at $9.50. No archaeologist
should be without it.
In conclusion, I wish to emphasize that in nearly all
cases, some form of treatment should be given to excavated
metal artifacts, if for no other reason but to study them
properly. But we should also halt deterioration. Some few
objects seem to achieve an equilibrium and deteriorate no
further, but the majority will only go from bad to worse if
not treated after removal from the ground. Sometimes we are
tempted to use only stopgap methods, which we know will not
stand up indefinitely. I hope that I have shown that this
is not forced upon us by any insurmountable problems of ex-
pense or skill; usually lack of time is our greatest hin-
drance. But if the objects are worth excavating, they are
also worth the effort to preserve them properly.
Underwater Historic Sites on St. Marks River
Charles H. Fairbanks
University of Florida
During 1962 continued underwater explorations and sal-
vage recovered materials from four underwater sites on the
St. Mark's River. These sites seem to cover a time span
from the first half of the 17th Century until well within
the 19th Century. Much of the material was recovered by
personnel from Florida State University or has been depos-
ited there by the individuals who recovered it.
The earliest site is probably the newly discovered lo-
cation known as Wa-49, located on the river bottom some dis-
tance up the river from Ft. St. Marks. No evidence of any
site on the adjacent river banks has yet been found. On the
bottom of the river, however, numerous large Spanish and In-
dian sherds have been recovered. One large sherd of a var-
iety of San Luis Polychrome majolica represents a relatively
early 17th Century date. At least one whole and several
nearly complete Middle Period Olive Jars date from about the
same time. Indian ceramics date from plain and incised
types such as Miller Plain and Aucilla Incised, which are
current in the mission sites, to such late types as brushed
sherds of the Seminole occupation of the post-1725 period.
The early,for Florida, majolica and Olive Jars contrast with
this late material from the Seminole occupation.
The site may well enough be some sort of river anchor-
age spot where Spanish ships tied up in fresh water. The
high proportion of large sherds suggest some sporadic dis-
card of materials such as might take place in such a situa-
tion. The presence of Leon-Jefferson (Mission) Period sherds
as well as the later Seminole ceramics suggests the sort of
casual trading activities that might be expected in such a
situation. Figure 1, A illustrates the whole Middle Period
Olive Jar from Wa-49.
The second chronologically of the sites is Ft. St. Marks
itself. Salvage in preparation for the dredging of the ship
channel has produced some more significant information. Two
series of wooden posts below waterline have been identified
and mapped by students from Florida State University under a
grant from the National Park Service. One line of posts,
just upstream from the point where the Wakulla enters, is
possibly part of the southern bastion of the first Ft. St.
Marks. The posts are very small and irregularily set and
Fig. 1 B Lead impression
seal and ink impression for
Godfrey's Cordial" from Ft.
Fig. 1 A Olive Jar from Wa-49 St. Marks.
could well form part of a rather hastily erected wooden fort.
The second series of posts is somewhat further upstream on
the St. Marks side and represents posts of several sizes,
some round, some squared. This is the approximate location
of a dock extending out in the stream. The dock first ap-
pears in the documents in Romans sketch of the fort about
1775. From that date onward some sort of dock structure
seems to have existed there until the final abandonment of
the fort. The river bed around this post alignment is lit-
tered with burned and fused fragments of transfer printed
semiporcelain of the 1840-1850 period. Either a warehouse
on the dock, or a boat tied up to the dock and loaded with
crockery, burned during that time period.
From the same area came a small square lead seal for
impressing the wax seal on bottles of Dr. Benjamin Godfrey's
Cordial. It is shown in Figure 1, B. The occurrence of
this impression seal at Ft. St. Marks clearly indicates the
prevalent practice of patent infringement that was so char-
acteristic of the reign of the so-called "Patent Medicines".
Dr. Benjamin Godfrey's Cordial was a weak tincture of opium
and was offered as a sovereign remedy for all ills. Its al-
coholic and narcotic content was probably one of the few
things that made life bearable so far from the centers of
civilization and medical care in the late 18th Century. In
an attempt to foil imitators, Godfrey first resorted to a
distinctive long-necked vial. When this, too, was copied,
he wrapped the bottle in a descriptive paper folder which
was secured by a wax seal bearing the name and price. This
in turn proved ineffective and the product was widely pi-
rated by local druggists until well within the 20th Century
when the U. S. Opium Act placed all narcotics on the pres-
Someone in the St. Marks area clearly had secured a
copy of the seal and was engaged in marketing the cordial
without paying royalty to the parent British company. The
fact that the price is marked as "6 d" for six pence, sug-
gests that British, rather than Spanish counterfeiters were
at work. We may suspect that the seal dates from the Brit-
ish occupation, 1764-1770, or perhaps to the Second Spanish
Dominion when Panton, Leslie and Company had a store only a
few miles up the Wakulla River.
During the summer of 1962 two Tallahassee youths found
a small iron cannon in the St. Marks River near the fort.
The cannon represents a common type of small gun, often cal-
led a "swivel" in the documents of the time. It was only
thirty-two inches long and would not have been a very effec-
tive weapon for defense of the fort. It seems likely that
the gun was lost from the southern bastion during one of the
numerous hurricanes that battered the fort repeatedly. At-
tempts to treat the oxidation of the cannon in the labora-
tory of the Department of Archeology and Anthropology at the
Florida State University were highly successful. The elec-
trolytic method was used and all rust rapidly reduced. We
were completely unsuccessful in removing the salts, however.
Continuous washing, evacuation, and heating proved ineffec-
tive. The cannon was finally reduced to practical dust by
repeated cracking. Most other iron specimens from the vi-
cinity of the fort do not show this salt infiltration.
Chronologically the next site to be considered is
Magnolia, an abandoned territorial river port on the upper
reaches of the St. Marks. Magnolia was established about
1829 at what was then the head of navigation. There cotton
and other plantation products from the hinterland were load-
ed in lighters for shipment to oceangoing vessels in the
anchorage near the mouth of the river. Magnolia was a busy
town providing lodging and entertainment for shippers as
well as the local customs house. That considerable activity
went on is indicated by the great variety of artifacts re-
covered from the river. Figure 2 shows two views of a French
pistol found still on half-cock, the "safe" position for
flintlocks. Much of the wooden stock is still preserved.
Electrolytic treatment was highly successful. It was pos-
sible to remove the ball and remnants of the wadding. Fig-
ure 3, A & B show a representative collection of artifacts
Fig. 2 French Flintlock pistol found Magnolia
Fig. 3 A Artifacts from Magnolia,knife blades,
padlock, clawhammer, spoons, key, and balehook
Fig. 3 B Artifacts from Magnolia at bottom is one arm
of a carpenter's compass. Above is a bayonet, various
knives, a balehook, and a stirrup
The Second Seminole War resulted in a partial abandon-
ment of Magnolia as it was completely undefended. A segment
of large cannon barrel suggests that attempts were made to
move obsolete armament to the town. The final death blow to
the town was the establishment of Newport about two miles
downstream. When Port Leon, on the lower St. Marks proved
uninhabitable due to yellow fever and a hurricane, Newport
was established in 1844. It continued through the Civil War
as a place of some importance and was the object of a Fed-
eral attack just before the Battle of Natural Bridge. Mid-
Nineteenth Century artifacts were formerly common but have
now mostly been gleaned away. Fig 4 shows a collection of to-
bacco pipes from Newport and Magnolia. The long-stemmed kao-
lin pipes date from the first quarter of the 19th Century
and may be of American manufacture. Such decorations as the
harp suggest either Irish sources or purchasers. The short
stemmed varieties seem to date from the 1840's and 1850's,
although little excavated control of the styles is possible.
The effigy forms are often glazed in green, the ribbed form
in brown. The long-stemmed type does not seem to fit into
the stem-hole dating sequences established for the colonial
period. This is felt to reflect the entrance of American
manufactures into the market.
Bottles are about as common as pipe fragments in all the
St. Mark's River sites. Figure 5 shows a representative col-
lection from about 1750 to 1850. These specimens are felt
to be of English and American origin. Spanish bottles are
--L I~ I
Fig. 4 Tobacco pipes from Magnolia
Fig. 5 British and American glass bottles from various
spots in the St. Marks River
very rare and were apparently never imported in quantities
as were those of British manufacture.
While no stratigraphic evidence of associations or
dates is possible in these underwater collections, they do
serve certain useful purposes. With the amount of material
available we are able to better judge the ranges of types
that are encountered in land excavations. The form of many
artifacts is well known because of the favorable circumstan-
ces in submerged sites. In the case of Wa-49 our only ev-
idence for the existence of the site comes from the bottom
of the river.
Historic Archaeology in Virginia,
Ivor Noel Hume
It is, perhaps, a mistake to term this small offering a
"paper." It is in reality little more than a summary of the
work conducted in the field of Virginia historic archaeology
under the aegis of the Smithsonian Institution and Colonial
Williamsburg in the period 1961 to 1962,and prefixed by some
thoughts on our aims and objects.
We are all well aware of the uphill struggle that is be-
ing waged to establish historic archaeology as a worthwhile
discipline. Not only must we fight to gain credence for it
in the minds of historians, but we are forced to carry the
war into our own backyards and to wage it just as viciously
amid the ranks of existing state archaeological societies,
schools of anthropology, and restoration committees. There-
fore, in reviewing our progress, we must weigh not only the
contributions to knowledge resulting from individual excava-
tions, but also the value of these projects as examples of
the potential usefulness of historic archaeology as such. At
the present stage of the game this second factor is probably
the most important, and it is essential that it be exploited
to the full.
I fully realize that we archaeologists are, as a breed,
nervous, introspective creatures, and we only emerge from
our burrows at night. We are also wary of hunters carrying
pencils or microphones and when cornered we are liable to
bite. However, if we are to flourish and to increase and
multiply, we must overcome these basic characteristics and
seize every opportunity to let our colleagues and the public
know that historic archaeology is receiving serious atten-
tion. Furthermore, we must demonstrate that the work is
throwing new light on the life and history of colonial Amer-
ica. To this end, I believe that it is possible to popular-
ize the results of our work without sacrificing either ac-
curacy or our principles. I do not mean that we should al-
low ourselves to be photographed with excavated pots poised
on our heads, or issue sweeping dramatized accounts of our
findings that generalize to the point of fiction; nor do I
advocate the encouragement of unsurpervised amateur digging.
We all know that that can breed a plague of pot-hunters as
ugly and possessive as maggots in a carcass. I urge only
that we strive to promote popular interest in our efforts
and encourage responsible controlled participation.
There is yet another factor that must be borne in mind
when trying to evaluate our achievements. This is the ques-
tion of to what extent our individual excavations benefit
other archaeologists in the same field. How, for example,
does the excavation of a seventeenth century town site in
Virginia help an excavator working on a plantation site of
the same date in Maryland? We, of course, assume that a re-
port has been published in one form or another. As local
conditions will have pronounced bearings on the respective
architectural styles, it is probable that a close comparison
between details of structures will be of little value. On
the other hand, descriptions and plans of specialized fea-
tures such as lime kilns, smelting furnaces, ice houses, and
industrial structures will probably have useful parallels.
But by and large the most ubiquitous items will be the
domestic artifacts: the pottery, glass, cutlery, tobacco
pipes, tools and so forth. Parallels for these things turn
up again and again on colonial sites and, indeed, on one-
time British sites around the world. But these parallels
only become helpful when they can be used as dating evidence.
Consequently, the ability of one archaeologist to date,
let's say, an English delftware design to the 1680's on
stratigraphic evidence can be immensely useful to another
excavator who finds a comparable fragment in an otherwise
less readily datable context. For this reason, I firmly be-
lieve that it is our duty to devote as much space in our re-
ports to the artifacts as to the structures and site histor-
ies. When we read in a published report that "It was not
always possible to distinguish between pottery of ancient
European manufacture and modern wares found on the site,"
and see that the pottery is consequently dismissed in little
more than a page in a publication running to more than 150
pages, we may, perhaps, have cause to feel thwarted--to say
Similarly, it is not very helpful to see National Park
Service reports in which the artifacts are reduced to mere
lists, often poorly described, of the objects found on the
site, accompanied by neither dating nor adequate provenance.
At least, let us have drawings of the items, even if they
cannot be properly identified by the excavator. In this way,
others who do recognize the objects can make use of them as
dating evidence--providing always that their archaeological
context date accompanies the illustration. Unhappily, this
is frequently omitted. Instead, miscellaneous groups of ar-
tifacts of various dates are grouped together in a single
photograph that suggests that they are all of the same per-
iod. In some instances we find the same pots showing up in
two such photographs, each time under differently dated cap-
I fully realize that lack of funds is the reason most
commonly put forward to explain the dearth of artifact cov-
erage, and I know that this is a very real and pressing
problem. But in all humility, I submit that careful consid-
eration of the uses to which the illustrations will be put
can make the same expenditure a hundred times more worth-
while. Furthermore, I would suggest that accurate drawings
take up no more space and cost no more than do photographs,
and, as a rule, they are vastly more informative--particu-
larly when the chosen printing process does not lend itself
well to photographic reproduction.
I would like to digress for a moment here to express my
enthusiasm for the quality of the illustrations that graced
the pages of the recently published text of this group's
previous annual meetings. Here was a truly excellent piece
of work. If all archaeological reproductions were as good,
we'd have little cause for concern. Unfortunately, they are
This lengthy preamble, with its emphasis on what one
might pompously describe as "the philosophy of publication"
will, I hope, serve to indicate the criteria that color my
assessment of the results of the last two season's digging
and publishing in Virginia.
As you know, no digging has been undertaken at James-
town during the last two years, and there is no indication
that any such work is planned for the immediate future. The
Archaeological Society of Virginia is not yet the most dy-
namic, and consequently, it is unable to provide the lead-
ership necessary to mount sustained projects in the field of
pre-history, let alone the colonial period. To make matters
worse, there is no state museum or even society museum that
will house colonial or federal archaeological material if
and when it is excavated. All in all, the progress of his-
toric archaeology in the state that perhaps earns more from
its history than any other, leaves much to be desired. Some
amateur work is undertaken, but little is heard of it, and
more often than not, the artifacts are carried home as tro-
phies where they slowly fall apart through lack of labora-
tory treatment and are, I suppose, ultimately thrown away.
On the credit side, it is heartening to be able to re-
port that the Smithsonian Institution is showing an increas-
ing interest in historic archaeology, and in recent years it
has collaborated with Colonial Williamsburg in a number of
projects which you may feel have some merit. In the summer
of this year, Mr. John Pearce, Assistant Curator in the Dep-
artment of Cultural History, was sent to Williamsburg for
two months to study archaeological fieldwork, laboratory
techniques, and the identification and dating of artifacts.
To my mind, the recognition by the Smithsonian of its need
for an archaeologist specializing in the historic period is
the most encouraging single product of the last two years.
In addition, the Smithsonian Institution published a report
on excavations at Rosewell in Gloucester County, Virginia,
an extramural project undertaken over a period of three years
by members of Colonial Williamsburg's archaeological staff.
The excavation was confined to the clearance of a single
vast refuse deposit dating within the period 1763-1772.
While this in no way represents the sum of Rosewell planta-
tion's archaeological potential, it does provide an extreme-
ly useful group of closely datable artifacts. At the same
time, it serves as a demonstration of the useful marriage
between archaeological and historical reasoning.
In the fall of 1960, work began on another plantation
site, in James City County, a feature that appeared on no
maps and in no then-identifiable records. It had been un-
covered and partially destroyed by a reforestation project,
and the excavation was consequently of a rescue nature, con-
ducted on behalf of Colonial Williamsburg and the Smithson-
ian. Thanks to the recovery of a number of wine bottle
seals, the site was identified as the plantation of Freder-
ick Jones, who occupied it from 1702 to about 1708, and who
subsequently became Chief Justice of North Carolina. The
excavations revealed two buildings, a house of late-seven-
teenth century style and a kitchen that could not have been
built before the 1730's. Archaeological and historical evi-
dence indicated that around this time the plantation had
been relegated to the status of a quarter and that it had
been abandoned altogether by the mid-eighteenth century. The
excavations yielded a good range of late-seventeenth and
early-eighteenth century ceramics as well as a useful col-
lection of cutlery and other hardware of similar dates. The
report on this project will be published by the Smithsonian
in the same series as the Rosewell paper, and I hope that it
will emerge some time in 1963.
In the summer of 1961, a pottery kiln site was discov-
ered on a cliff overhanging the James River some three miles
above Jamestown. Unfortunately, most of the site had al-
ready been eroded into the river. But excavations did expose
some of the waster piles which yielded huge quantities of
pottery which gave a good idea of the output of the kilns,
as well as information concerning the techniques of manufac-
ture. Debris from two different potting operations was en-
countered, one employing a potter of considerable skill, and
another whose products reveal a monumental absence of tal-
ent. The latter potter's wares were largely confined to a
single rubbish pit along the cliff, some fifty yards from
the main pottery area. Close to this pit was found a shal-
low depression containing a large quantity of iron hardware,
domestic, agricultural, and equestrian, all deposited around
1730. A few yards further to the east was a brick-lined
well shaft, but this was not discovered until more of the
cliff collapsed in the winter of 1961-62. It was hoped that
the fine collection of hardware near the top of the well was
indicative of its contents and the shaft was duly excavated
last month; but practically nothing was found.
The large collection of artifacts from the kiln site
project will eventually be housed in the Smithsonian, with
representative samplings being retained in Williamsburg, as
well as being offered to the National Park Service. The re-
port is in course of preparation, but I have no information
as to when it may be published.
One other Smithsonian-Williamsburg project is worth
mentioning. This was a small eeventeenth century plantation
site at Clay Bank in Gloucester County, where a cellar and a
massive brick chimney were exposed when a walnut tree was
removed early this year. The cellar was found to have been
filled with sand, which had preserved parts of the wooden
flooring of the cellar as well as framing supporting the
sides, features that had not hitherto been encountered in
this area. A deposition in the decade 1690-1700 was sug-
gested by the pottery and wine bottle fragments. Fortunate-
ly, 648 pipe-stem fragments were found in the fill, and the
use of the Binford formula suggested a mean date of 1698.
The quantity of artifacts was not great, though they did in-
clude a number of iron tools that had not been found before
in so closely dated a deposit. More important was the pres-
ence of a massive lead-glass stem that may have come from
either a covered goblet or a candlestick. In either case it
dates from about 1685-1690, and is one of the finest pieces
of English glass of its type surviving in America or, for
that matter, in England. The rest of the finds gave no in-
dication that so splendid an item would have been present on
this otherwise unimpressive little site. The owners of the
land have generously donated the artifacts to the Smithson-
ian, and they will be moved there from Williamsburg as soon
as the report has been completed.
Excavations in Williamsburg during the past two seasons
have been confined to a rescue project on the site of the
new U.S. Post Office on South Henry Street and to the site
of the colonial Travis House in the next block. The Post
Office site proved to be extremely well stocked with arti-
facts, and comprised a well filled in around 1730, contain-
ing finely preserved metal items and delftwares of unusual
designs; a cellar filled around 1765-1770, containing ceram-
ics and 1,100 broken wine bottles; plus another cellar be-
neath a shop, that had been filled around 1820, and which
contained vast quantities of ceramics dating from the early
Federal years, a period whose pottery has hitherto enjoyed
The Travis House project is still in progress, and al-
though it was informative in that it revealed at least six
major structural changes to the building in less than a cen-
tury, the artifacts were not particularly helpful, the maj-
ority of them widely scattered and dating from the nine-
The report on this last excavation is expected to be
finished early in 1963, while that on the Post Office site
is nearing completion. However, Colonial Williamsburg has
no immediate plans for publication. The only Williamsburg
archaeological paper published this year has been a study of
local Indian pottery from colonial sites of the eighteenth
century, and this appeared in the September issue of the
Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Virginia. If this
has some merit, it is that it serves to show that pre-his-
torians and historic archaeologists can sometimes be of ser-
vice to each other.
In summation, I can report that work is going on in
Virginia, but that it is not as widespread as one would like
to see it. On the other hand, in the absence of museum
space and publication outlets, it can be argued that any-
thing more than rescue operations should be discouraged un-
til these all-important problems are solved. In the mean-
time, the weight of the work falls somewhat heavily on the
shoulders of a small number of professionals. As far as
publications are concerned, it has been thought more useful,
in this early stage of the game, to publish datable arti-
facts that will be useful to excavators on other sites than
to devote time to digging structures whose practical useful-
ness is limited. For this reason the little time and money
available has been spent on such projects as the refuse pit
at Rosewell rather than on digging, say, that mansion's many
outbuildings in search of the plantation lay-out. We can
but hope that our decision has been the right one.
Interpreting the Brunswick Town Ruins
Stanley A. South
North Carolina Archives and History
Among the first projects at the Brunswick Town site,
other than the location of the ruins, was the correlation of
the map of 1769 drawn by D. J. Sauthier with the remaining
ruins. This correlation was successfully made when a line
around a lot having a curved entranceway was found to repre-
sent a stone wall around the lot. The archaeological base
map with the curved stone lot wall could then be correlated
perfectly with the corresponding line on the map, since the
wall represented a surveyed lot of colonial Brunswick. Once
this correlation was made the exact position of any building
shown on the map could be determined.
When this major interpretive step was accomplished, a
second was necessary in order to correlate the resulting map
with the known deed records still available for the lots in
the town dating from 1726 until its destruction in 1776. If
the correlation of the lot numbers mentioned in the deed re-
cords could be made with the lots shown on the 1769 map, it
would be possible to determine the individuals who once
owned any particular house represented by the ruins excava-
ted by the archaeologist. Using the deed records as a guide.
and utilizing such verbal clues as "a corner lot", "lot 29
joining lot 71", etc., Dr. E. Lawrence Lee was able to re-
construct a duplicate of the original lot plan for the town.
When this was correlated with the 1769 map the occupants or
owners of each house represented by the ruins could be de-
termined,and a major step in the interpretation of the ruins
As excavation of the ruins progressed it became evident
that the ballast stone foundations supporting a raised house
with sunken cellars, and footings for porch columns on one
or two sides of the house, was a characteristic of colonial
architecture not found in Williamsburg, Jamestown, or Ft.
Frederica, other sites where archaeology has been undertaken.
This type architecture, frequently said to be an influence
of the West Indies, was apparently quite popular in Bruns-
wick Town. Houses with overhanging second floor porches are
characteristic of the coastal area of the Carolinas, and
many examples of houses built after the 18th century are
found, though very few of the period survive. However, in
Wilmington, North Carolina, a house of the 1790's remains
which utilizes many of the characteristics found, through
archaeology, to have been present in the homes of Brunswick.
The floor plan of the excavated Brunswick homes was used in
combination with the vertical measurements taken from the
Wilmington house relative to door height, ceiling height,
window style, etc., to produce a conjectural drawing of the
Brunswick Town homes as revealed through archaeology. De-
tails of the actual appearance of the homes cannot be known
except through inference based on similar examples of houses
of the period.
From the archaeological evidence we know that a glass
pane four inches in width was used in one house. The length
was probably six inches. How many of these small panes were
present in the windows is not known, and as shown in the
drawings is conjectural. The presence in one ruin of lead
cames for diamond panes would indicate that at least some
windows in this structure were of this familiar seventeenth
and early eighteenth century window style. The walls inside
the homes were plastered with shell lime plaster which was
sometimes painted a wine color, and frequently left white.
This plaster was applied over split lathing strips, the im-
pressions of which have been found on the fragments of plas-
ter in several ruins.
Outside chimney bases, or inside buttresses for second
floor fireplaces present evidence for the second floor,
which was probably covered with a roof covered with cypress
shingles, and containing an attic or garret with dormers.
The number of dormers in any house is conjectural, but can
be guessed at by the size of the house, and comparison with
houses remaining from the period.
The distance above the ground level to which the stone
foundation was carried was five feet, as reported by Gover-
nor William Tryon, a resident of Brunswick from 1765 to 1770
who lived in the type of house described here. His house is
described as having two stories exclusive of the cellars,
with four rooms and three light closets on each floor, each
room measuring 20 by 15 feet. The house is larger than those
excavated thus far, being 35 by 45 feet, with porches ten
feet wide around the house,with a balustrade four feet high.
The house was larger and furnished with more porch than
those found owned by the average citizen of Brunswick, but
gives an excellent idea of what to expect when Tryon's home
is excavated. The basic style, however, is the same as
those buildings already excavated.
One structure was found to have six rooms in a row. The
lot was once owned by Cornelius Harnett, Sr., whom we know
was an innkeeper. From this, and the small nine foot wide
rooms, the interpretation of a public house was made for
this building. However, as the sifting through a window
screen of the soil beneath the original floor level of these
rooms progressed, it became clear that this building was
once used as a tailor shop, or some purpose connected with
sewing due to the type of objects recovered. Fourteen scis-
sor fragments,over five thousand straight pins, twenty-eight
sleeve-links, hundreds of buttons, scores of buckles, and
many thimbles gave indication for such an interpretation of
the use of this structure. These objects had fallen between
the boards on the floor of five of the rooms, while the
sixth room, the one on the east end, had no such concentra-
tion of sewing objects. This differential distribution of
these objects resulted in the conclusion that if five of the
rooms were used for sewing purposes, as the evidence indi-
cates, then this sixth room might have been the merchandis-
ing room where customers were received and goods delivered,
thus explaining the absence of sewing objects here. For
this reason this structure has been interpreted as the Pub-
lic House-Tailor Shop. It is true that some families occu-
pied such row houses in the 18th century, and if a number of
these were found in Brunswick the interpretation of a spe-
cial function would not be as valid, but since this type ap-
pears to be quite different from the typical Brunswick style
family dwelling, the Public House-Tailor Shop would be indi-
Since the curved line around a lot on the 1769 map in-
dicated a stone wall in one instance, it is reasonable to
assume that other lot lines indicated on the map would re-
present picket fences or hedge rows. Using this information
the position of fences can be determined, and indicated in
any interpretive drawings or restoration. The style of fence
is still seen in the area around graveyards. The garden
plots within the lots are indicated on the map, and in some
instances formal gardens are shown, which enables a rather
complete interpretation to be made by combining the informa-
tion learned from the map, the archaeology, and the histori-
Brunswick was never rebuilt after being burned by the
British in 1776; however, a family of two continued to live
there as late as 1820, after which it was totally abandoned.
In 1842 the ruins of the entire town were sold for $4.25.
Twenty years later during the Civil War the Confederates
built a huge earthen fort across the center of the ruins of
the town. Fort Anderson, as it was known, is one of the
largest remaining earthen forts of the Civil War. In locat-
ing the ruins of Brunswick Town it is sometimes discovered
that a ruin is located beneath the sand of Fort Anderson.
THE HEPBURN-REONALDS HOUSE RUIN
CONJECTURAL DRAWING OF THE HEPBURN-REONALDS HOUSE
The ruins of the home of Captain Stephen Parker Newman were
located beneath the fort, and excavated. The 1769 map indi-
cated that this house measured sixteen by twenty-four feet
at that time, but when the ruin was excavated the foundation
for a ten foot wide porch on one side of the 16 by 24 foot
foundation was found, and a ten foot wide foundation for an
additional room was found at the rear of the house. From
the absence of evidence of burning of the house, and the
fact that the china types indicate that the house was occu-
pied in the 1780's and as late as the early 1800's, we know
that this was one of the few homes that was not burned dur-
ing the Revolution. By comparing the size of the house on
the map of 1769 with the excavated foundation, we were able
to determine that a porch and additional room was built onto
the house sometime after 1769. From an examination of the
contents of a pit dug into the floor of the additional room
by the masons constructing the addition, we were able to de-
termine that the addition probably was built shortly after
the Revolution, since they left not only some of their tools
- an ax, hammer, etc. in the pit, but also the shells of
the boiled eggs they had for lunch, and a saucer. From the
evidence found in this ruin it was determined that this was
a brick house.
On lot 28, owned in 1759 by Judge Maurice Moore, the
ruin of the house, a well,the kitchen building, and a smoke-
house, have been excavated. The smokehouse is of particular
interest. The stone foundation was found to be ten feet
square, inside of which a thin layer of wood ashes and bone
fragments indicated the original floor level. No sunken
firepit was found; however, a brick lined ditch extended
from the smokehouse foundation a distance of ten feet to
where an underground brick firebox was located. The smoke
fire was made here and the smoke traveled through the under-
ground tunnel into the smokehouse. Not being familiar with
this tunnel type smokehouse, inquiries were made and one
gentleman was found who remembered that as a child in South
Carolina, some fifty years ago,he had seen two of this type,
and had had the job of sitting beside the firebox and fan-
ning the smoke through the tunnel with a palmetto fan.
One tunnel smokehouse he described as being made by
placing wet clay in a ditch, placing a smooth pole on the
wet clay and covering it with more clay, then removing the
pole from the end, producing a hollow clay tunnel. At the
end about ten feet from the smokehouse an apple box was cov-
ered with clay after being buried beneath the ground to the
level of the tunnel. When the clay had dried, salt was
placed along the length of the clay tunnel and on the clay-
covered applebox, and a hot fire was built over the entire
length of the tunnel and box. This produced a slight glaze
over the tunnel to protect it from the weather. This method
produced an effective tunnel and firebox for use in supply-
ing smoke to the smokehouse.
A second tunnel of a smokehouse was described as being
made by lining a ditch with brick bats and covering it with
a board and capping it with clay. The firebox in this in-
stance was made of mortared bricks. This description matched
that for the tunnel type smokehouse uncovered at Brunswick
Town, though the gentleman had not seen the excavated ruin.
The process of curing meat in such a smokehouse is in-
teresting as described by my informant. The smoke from the
exterior firebox was the "deep cure" hickory smoke, while
inside the house hot coals were placed on the floor in order
to produce the "heat cure". The heat thus generated was
said to make the juices from the hams and bacon drop onto
the hot coals on the floor.
Checking with Ivor Noel Hume at Colonial Williamsburg
for possible comparative information relative to such smoke-
houses, it was learned that the type had not been encoun-
tered there or anywhere in Virginia to his knowledge. After
publication of a short report on the smokehouse in the
Brunswick County Historical Society Newsletter asking for
information on such smokehouses, a report was received from
Fred Kniffen at Louisiana State University who said that the
tunnel-type smokehouse was fairly common up until about fif-
ty years ago. He reported the type from Kansas and the Mid-
Interpreting this ruin has proved to be an excellent
example of the type of research the historic site archaeolo-
gist often finds himself involved in when he makes an inter-
esting discovery. So often traditional research into writ-
ten references produces little which has bearing on the
problem at hand, and the archaeologist must resort to ar-
chaeological techniques of analysis for interpreting his
data, or to common sense interpretation, or, as with the
smokehouse, the help of various people in distant places to
complete the interpretation. Regardless of the varying
sources he may utilize, the archaeologist has the responsi-
bility, not only of properly recovering the data from the
ground, but analyzing and interpreting it to its fullest
meaning within the context of the culture he is studying.
At Brunswick Town the reconstruction of the buildings
over the excavated ruins is not planned due to lack of suf-
ficient funds. For this reason the interpretation is limit-
ed to conjectural drawings which are displayed in an exhibit
beside each ruin. With the eventual construction of a visi-
tor center museum on the site the interpretation of the town
based on historical records, maps, and archaeology can be
presented in a more complete manner.
Aiding in the interpretation of the colonial period at
Brunswick is the costumed guide who is on the site on week-
ends to talk with visitors. His costume is more than a re-
production in that the buttons, buckles, and sleeve links
are those recovered through archaeology from the ruins of
the Town. This authentic touch is of great interest to vis-
itors, providing a direct link with the past, allowing them
to feel and see the objects as they were originally worn by
a gentleman of Brunswick, thus reducing the gap that sepa-
rates the past from the present.
The Natchez Grand Village
Robert S. Neitzel
Mississippi State Historical Museum
The research was undertaken by the Mississippi Depart-
ment of Archives and History through a grant from the Na-
tional Science Foundation. Excavation was carried out in
the spring and summer of 1962. The remainder of that year
and 1963 were devoted to analyzing the data and writing a
The site is an important one in southeastern archaeology
on many scores. Rapid deterioration of the historic levels
and eventual destruction by commercial expansion lent a cer-
tain amount of urgency to the project.
This site has been determined to be the location of the
Natchez Grand Village described in many French colonial
It consists of three mounds and a plaza area located on
St. Catherine Creek in Adams County, Mississippi. It is
about three miles from the center of the present-day town of
Natchez, Mississippi. A village area was formerly located
across the creek to the southeast. Most of this area has
been destroyed by sheet erosion and archaeological findings
Mound A has been cut away almost entirely by stream ac-
tion. It is presumed to have been a house mound. It was
excavated, but scant data were recovered. European trade
items were found in the outwash material.
Mound B has been determined to be the Chief's mound.
The final mantle was badly effaced so that only a trace of a
structure attributable to the French contact period, 1682-
1729, was found. The preceding three mantles demonstrated
that one or more large, rectangular, wall trench type build-
ings had been built on each successive surface. Except for
being larger, they conform to French descriptions fairly
Midden deposits adjacent to Mound B were about five
feet thick. Strata cuts were made in these. Natchezan cul-
ture type materials were found throughout the Mound B area,
as well as at the other locations. No earlier Plaquemine
Period occupation was found.
Mound C has always been considered to be a small burial
mound. It was excavated by Chambers in 1930. He recovered
a large quantity of native and European grave goods associa-
ted with twenty-five burials. These were mostly lodged in
the top two feet of the mound.
Investigation soon showed that it was a rectangular
house mound, its flanks buried under five to ten feet of
stream deposited silt, as were the other two mounds. The
tops projected above this deposit, Mounds A and B being more
Substantial traces of the final temple of the French
period were found. It was possible to make a fairly accurate
horizontal and vertical correlation between Chambers' burial
and artifact distribution and the temple structure. The
bodies and grave goods had been buried in the floor of the
final temple which was still standing after the Indians ex-
cavated the Site in 1730; a French officer used the temple
as headquarters at this time.
The temple mound was constructed in four stages, but
only the two final mantles supported structures. These were
different from those on the Chief's mound. They were com-
pound buildings consisting of a large oblong rear compart-
ment fronted by a portico. Ground plans of identical struc-
tures were found in levels of Unit 37 at Hiwassee Island.
Fire hearths were located in the center and northwest corner
of the back room. Apparently the central hearth was the
sacred perpetual fire and the one in the corner for the use
of the attendant. Short segments of wall trench perpendic-
ular to the walls on the interior suggested furnishing of
some sort, possibly the benches or altars mentioned by ob-
A number of large, empty pits were found in the floors
of both temple levels, more in the terminal layer than the
earlier one. These are presumably the pits dug for tempor-
ary interments, after which the bodies were removed and the
bones stored in baskets or containers in the temple.
The presence of the eight bundled individuals, nine
skull burials, and eight primary interments and accompanying
native and European artifacts in the final mantle is diffi-
cult to explain in terms of recorded custom. The temple
contents may have been buried routinely, or as an effort to
conceal them from the French. The flesh burials are another
problem. It might be surmised that there was a breakdown in
conservative mortuary custom toward the end of the Natchez
occupation, and individuals were not removed for bone clean-
ing. The flesh burials may have been interred shortly be-
fore the Natchez were forced to leave, and the individuals
were not removed. French observers say the interval of pri-
mary interment was ten months to a year. It should be noted
that the friendly Great Sun died in 1728. Undoubtedly elab-
orate funeral ceremonies were held at this time. Perhaps
one of the burials (one is accompanied by an unusual assort-
ment of grave goods) was he, and the others are sacrifice
victims. Some of the skull burials may be associated with
the flesh burials too. The interference caused by the mas-
sacre and abandonment of the site may have prevented the or-
derly removal and cleaning of the bones. Since the Natchez
never again returned to the village, there was no further
opportunity to carry out the customary funeral routine.
Collections were made from three inch level cuts in the
five feet of midden accumulation near Mound B. European
goods occurred from the middle layers to the top.
Collections of pottery, bone, and stone scrap were made
for each mound stratum and pre-mound levels.
The twenty-five to thirty pottery types recognized are
typical for the historic period in the lower valley and dup-
licate those found at the Emerald Mound and the Bayou Goula
Site. The histograms of these pottery percentages indicate
a short span of homogeneous cultural occupation. A guess of
100 years is probably pretty close for the duration of the
occupation. Radio carbon dates are being processed, and it
will be interesting to see what the internal time elements
are. Mound B was probably begun before Mound C.
Seriation of the Mound B mantle sherds and the pre-mound
level under Mound C indicates that the Fatherland Site was
occupied during the final three levels of Cotter's five lev-
el Emerald sequence. Fatherland continues later than Emer-
ald. It will be recalled that no trade goods were found at
Emerald, Apparently the Natchez ceremonial center shifted
from the impressive Emerald location during the nation's de-
cline in late prehistoric times. This seems to be a specific
case of social and population decline that is in accord with
the general Mississippi Valley and Southeastern situation
after the time of DeSoto.
Stone, bone, and other artifacts were conspicuous by
their absence at the site. A few projectile points, mostly
triangular, two bone awls, three cut bone implements, and
four or five pottery and stone elbow pipes make up the arti-
fact assembly other than sherds.
Whole pottery vessels (about sixty) were found by Cham-
bers with burials. None were found in the 1962 excavations.
Bottles and bowls are the principal ones found with burials.
Fatherland Plain and Incised and Natchez Incised predominat-
Jars of Plaquemine Brushed and Manchac Incised, plates
of Haynes Bluff Plain, and "Tunica" rims predominated in the
midden and mound fill of Mound B. Bowls were fairly numer-
ous, but only one recognizable bottle fragment was found.
Corncobs, nuts, and possibly a squash stem were recov-
ered; these are being identified.
Deer bones were by far the most numerous. Bear, duck,
crane, dog, turtle, and fish bones were also found. One cow
scapula and a pig incisor were in the last, historic level
of Mound C. It is interesting to note that bone refuse was
scarce at Mound C where only the temple attendants stayed.
Mound B, the Chief's residence, yielded a large variety of
kitchen refuse. A high percentage of forequarter and hind-
quarter portions of deer was present. This may reflect the
equitable (?) division of game by the chieftain reported by
The Natchez excavation was conceived of as a pilot pro-
ject to test the degree of correlation of archaeological
data against a notable ample ethnohistorical framework. The
degree of conformity is not impressive. The reliability of
historical informants in less well documented situations de-
serves considerable circumspection.
Some Notes on Bricks
North Carolina Archives and History
Two popular beliefs in regard to bricks from the ruins
of colonial buildings are that they were brought over from
England, and that the age of the building can be determined
by the size of the bricks. Although bricks were brought
into the colonies during the eighteenth century, the large
percentage were fired locally, in or near the town where
they were used. It is interesting to note that in Williams-
burg, where records indicate that as many as 80,000 bricks
were brought in one ship as ballast, no distinction can be
made between these imported bricks and those made locally.
In Brunswick Town, a mid-18th century English colonial town
in North Carolina, no record of importation of bricks is
known, but ample evidence of ballast stone is present in the
foundations of the homes, and in the harbor before the town.
It is of interest to note that while Williamsburg and Bruns-
wick Town were leading 18th century towns in their respec-
tive states, only Brunswick Town is characterized by quanti-
ties of ballast stone, relating perhaps to the fact that
huge quantities of tar and other naval stores were exported
from Brunswick Town, replacing the ballast in the holds of
the ships on the return trip.
It is remarkable that the idea that the size of bricks
can be correlated with the time of their manufacture is so
strongly held by the general public, whereas little interest
is shown in the ceramic types, which are much more valid in-
dicators of time.
The evidence from Jamestown and Williamsburg has indi-
cated that the size of bricks is generally of little value
as a sensitive indicator for dating historic ruins. J. C.
Harrington in a study of seventeenth century brick and tile
at Jamestown has concluded that the bricks from the first
half of the seventeenth century are slightly thinner and
longer than those of the last half, with a trend toward
shorter, narrower and thicker bricks during the eighteenth
century. However, as a dating tool, such a slight trend
would have little value since a variation in sizes exists
within one period, and within one building due to differen-
tial clays, molds, and firing techniques.
As a result of this general lack of sensitivity of
bricks in temporal analysis of ruins, they are perhaps, a-
mong the last objects to be given consideration in such
studies. In fact, in several reports on historic sites I
have examined, the archaeologist failed to mention the size
of the bricks in the walls he had excavated. This is an ex-
ample of what might happen if we, in our correcting the pop-
ular conception of bricks as dating devices, overlook any
possible value that brick size may have in any instance.
At Brunswick Town where we are dealing with the middle
two quarters of the 18th century, we have a time capsule of
fifty years duration that should be of value in comparative
studies, and as a control on other sites of unknown age.
Here we noticed, as the first ruins were excavated, that
there were two obvious brick sizes found in these ruins. One
of these is a large brick from 84 to 9 inches long and from
4 to 44 inches wide and 24 inches thick. This brick is
sometimes referred to by visitors to the site as the "Wil-
liamsburg brick", though it is also the size of the James-
town brick of the 17th century. The smaller brick is only
6 3/4 to 7 3/4 inches long, and from 3 1/4 to 3 3/4 inches
wide and from 14 to 2 inches thick, all measurements being
smaller than those of the larger brick. There is variation
within both brick sizes, but the measurements do not overlap,
indicating different standards for each size. Because of
this difference a desire to know the temporal relationship
of these sizes to each other, and to other sites such as
Williamsburg and Jamestown was created,and as a result these
notes are presented. The method used in this comparative
study and the results obtained might be of value to others
working in historic sites were bricks are found.
The first step taken in this brick analysis was to de-
termine the normal brick size of the varying sized within
the large and small bricks from each ruin. Dealing with
three measurements for each brick can become cumbersome, so
a means was devised so that all three measurements were re-
duced to a single number which represents the length, width,
and thickness in terms of the total number of eighths of an
inch, sixteenths of an inch being considered too small a
unit to have validity. For instance, the Roman brick was
twelve inches long by four wide, and one and one-half inches
thick. If we convert the twelve inches to eighths by multi-
plying by eight, we have 96, by multiplying the width of 4
inches by eight, we have 32, and by converting the 14 inch
thickness, we arrive at 12. By adding these three numbers
we obtain a total of 140, representing the total number of
eighths in the three measurement of the Roman brick. By
using this method a series of brick measurements can be tak-
en and the normal size determined much faster than by work-
ing with varying fractions. This method of reducing the
measurements of a brick to a single figure tends to elimi-
nate some variations in brick sizes. For instance, a brick
8 by 34 by 2 inches would have the same number of eighths in
the total as one 9 by 3 by 14 inches. Because of this, cer-
tain minor variations would not be revealed by a chart based
on this method. However, dramatic differences revealed
using this method would be more likely to indicate a tempo-
ral or spacial validity than changes based on a more subtle
difference in brick sizes.
The eighteenth century English statute brick was 84 by
4 by 24 inches,which would reduce to a total of 120 eighths,
twenty eighths smaller than the Roman brick. One of the
small Brunswick bricks measures 7k by 3k by 2 1/8, which
produces a total number of 101 eighths,almost twenty eighths
smaller yet than the English statute brick. The seventeenth
century Dutch bricks from Green Spring Plantation produce a
total number of 77 eighths, twenty-four eighths smaller yet
than the small Brunswick brick, and slightly larger than
half the size of the Roman brick. Using this method a chart
was constructed using information obtained from various re-
ports and from houses or ruins of known date. This chart
shows the relative brick sizes from a number of American
sites from four centuries, with the oldest sites at the bot-
tom and the present American standard brick size at the top.
Notice how the brick size remains within the range of 115 to
130 eighths from the period of Jamestown through the 18th
century, and throughout the 19th century, indicating a long
tradition for this size brick. Compare this with the present
standard, which is smaller than that for the past centuries
on American sites. Notice the blackened squares in the top
center of the chart which represent the small brick found in
Brunswick ruins, and in 18th century ruins and houses in
Bath, North Carolina. This size falls between 100 and 110
eighths, and is obviously much smaller than the traditional
size found at Brunswick and colonial sites in Virginia.
Notice that no bricks of this size were reported from sites
in Virginia, and that bricks of this size have not been re-
ported from American sites of the seventeenth and nineteenth
centuries. A small imported Dutch brick was found at Green
Spring Plantation, but is much smaller than the small Bruns-
wick brick, as also is the average size of the 17th century
Dutch brick found in New England.
From the information revealed in this comparative
chart we can say that on North Carolina sites at the 18th
Comparison of Brick Sizes from Various Sites
CENTURY N.C. SITES
PRESENT STANDARD 1960
IDEAL BRICK" 1890 0
WILMINGTON,N.C. 1850 0
ENGLISH STATUTE BRICK 0
"OLD VIRGINIA BRICK"
WILLIAMSBURG 1770 0
WILLIAMSBURG 1719 _
BATH, N. C. 1730 1 U
SWANSBORO, N.C. 177
SIO 1730 3
S25 1730 a m
N41 1760 0
BRUNSWICK S15 1760 3 w
TOWN N4 1760 U 0
N.C. SII 1760 a0
RUINS 2 1730 U a
SS 1760 El
S7 1730 0 U
S13 1730 0
17Th CENTURY DUTCH
CHARLESTON, S. C.
GREEN SPRING, VA.
GREEN SPRING, DUTCH
SCALE IN EIGHTHS
17th CENTURY VA.
ARUNDEL, SUSSEX I
ARUNDEL, SUSSEX I
HERTFORD, HERTS I
EWELME, OXON I
HULL, YORKSHIRE I
TATTERS HALL CASTLE 1431 I
SARRE, KENT 1687
DUTCH BRICKS 1703
KLOMPJE, HOLLAND 1925
S,'" = 2626+58+ 17 = 101 Eighths
N.C Archives 8 History
century English port towns of Brunswick, Swansboro,and Bath,
a small brick was used that lies outside the range of the
traditional colonial English brick size, and appears to be
larger than the traditional Dutch brick imported to the
American colonies. The clay of the Brunswick bricks is not
that of imported Dutch bricks, but relates to the clay used
in the larger standard bricks made locally.
In order to gain a longer view of brick sizes through
time, and in so doing possibly some understanding of the re-
lationship between the small Brunswick brick and the larger
traditional size, Lloyd's A History of English Brickwork,
was studied. This book listed the brick sizes found in var-
ious dated structures in England during the past seven cen-
turies. The Roman brick with its size of 140 eighths on our
scale, is the largest. However, when bricks from structures
dating from 1260 A.D. to the late 18th century are plotted
on the chart we find that the range is the same as that
found to exist from four centuries on American sites. With
this additional information of the long tradition of the
size of the English brick, we can readily see why brick size
is generally an invalid indicator of culture change.
In A History of English Brickwork we find that bricks
were imported from Flanders to England in the fourteenth
century, and in the centuries to follow. Brick from Tatter-
shall Castle dating from 1431 are small in size resembling
the Dutch bricks, but the nature of the clay indicates that
they were probably made locally. A few other sites of the
seventeenth century are listed as having the small bricks
either imported from Holland or made locally by Flemish
brickmakers. All of these are smaller than the small Bruns-
wick brick. One example of bricks whose size correlates
with the Brunswick bricks came from a house in Mark Lane in
London built around 1700.
Other than this, nothing more can be found that will
help clarify the relationship of the small brick to the tra-
ditional English brick. The small bricks at Brunswick,
Swansboro, and Bath lie midway in size between those bricks
in the Dutch tradition, and those of the English tradition,
Why they occur on eighteenth century colonial sites and
houses in North Carolina and apparently not on those of a
similar period in Virginia is not clear. If they represent
bricks in the Dutch tradition, why are they larger than
those known to fall within that tradition? What is the sig-
nificance of the fact that of the measurements of bricks
from over 150 English buildings representing seven centuries,
only one was constructed of bricks matching the small Bruns-
wick brick in size? If bricks of this small size are rela-
tively rare in England, why do they occur in abundance in
18th century colonial English towns in North Carolina?
More data on brick sizes from ruins and houses of known
date in America will aid in establishing the areal distri-
bution of the small brick found in Brunswick Town in the
18th century. Establishing the relationship of this size
brick to the English or the Dutch traditions may prove more
difficult, as will the reason for the apparent concentration
of the size in 18th century colonial English towns in North
Carolina, (resulting in its possible general use as a time
marker in that area).
Brick size is only one of the many variable with which
historic site archaeologists deal in their studies of Ameri-
can culture during the past four hundred years. It is gen-
erally an invalid tool for dating due to its relatively
standardized form throughout the centuries. However, certain
information of value and interest can be obtained when a
dramatic variation in size or form occurs which may be found
to have a functional, temporal, or areal significance. The
archaeologist should not overlook these possibilities in the
interpretation of the data from his site.
Jamestown Brick (small)
Jamestown Brick (large)
Williamsburg Brick 1719
Brunswick Brick (large)
Brunswick Brick (small)
X 1 7/8
X 2 5/8
= 116 eighths
= 127 eighths
= 124 eighths
= 126 eighths
= 100 eighths
Caywood, Louis R.
Cotter, John L.
Crary, J.W., Jr.
Green Spring Plantation. Colonial Nation-
al Historical Park, Yorktown, Virginia:
Archaeological Excavations at Jamestown
Virginia Washington: 1958.
Sixty Years a Brickmaker. T. A. Randall
Co., Indianapolis, Indiana: 1890.
Encyclopedia Britannica, Vol. 4. Chicago: 1959.
Georgian Grace. New York: 1956.
Harrington, J. C. "Seventeenth Century Brickmaking and Tile-
making at Jamestown, Virginia". The Vir-
ginia Magazine of History and Biography,
Vol. 58, No. 1, January, 1950.
A History of English Brickwork. London:
T. The Dwellings of Colonial America. Cha-
pel Hill: 1950.
The Public Buildings of Williamsburg.
Colonial Williamsburg: 1958.
The Eighteenth-Century Houses of William-
sburg. Colonial Williamsburg: 1960.
Two Historic Island Sites
in the Coosa River
L. Ross Morrell
University of Alabama
During a three-month period in the summer of 1962, two
sites, Ogeltree Island and Woods Island, were explored under
the Alabama Power Company-University of Alabama cooperative
archaeological salvage program.
Excavations were completed in the Ogeltree Island site,
situated in the Coosa River opposite the mouth of Choccoloc-
co Creek in the Logan Martin Basin. Additional extensive
test excavations were accomplished on Woods Island, future
site of Lock No. 3 Dam.
A preliminary study of the material from these excava-
tions indicated that the Ogeltree Island site was occupied
by Indians of the early historic period, probably around
1540,the time of De Soto's expedition through the Southeast.
The sites on Woods Island were occupied by Indians of the
middle historic period, around 1675 to 1750.
Preliminary excavations at Ogeltree Island during the
summer of 1961 revealed a somewhat eroded, early historic,
village site and exposed the floor area, central fire basin
and adjacent refuse areas of an aboriginal dwelling.
The most important of the artifacts removed from this
house area was a European glass trade bead known to date
from the first half of the 16th century. This bead, identi-
fied by Dr. John M. Goggin of the University of Florida as a
Spanish Nevao Cadiz Plain bead dating not later than 1560
A.D., possibly represents the only artifact thus far excava-
ted in Alabama that could have been left by the De Soto ex-
pedition in 1540.
During the 1962 excavations at the Ogletree Island site,
removal of the house floor exposed a second floor containing
material contemporary with that of the first floor. An ad-
jacent area, 20 feet by 20 feet, was excavated and a third
rectangular structure found. The ceramic count consisted
primarily of Moundville Incised and Moundville Plain, with
Lamar Bold Incised showing as a minority.
A surface survey was undertaken when it was learned that
work on the Lock 3 Dam had begun on Woods Island. Here three
sites of aboriginal occupation were located, the largest of
which appeared to be the remains of a rather extensive his-
toric village. The first excavation at this site revealed
the remains of a burned, rectangular structure, whose roof
beams had collapsed over the floor area and crushed several
ceramic vessels. The predominant pottery type was of the
McKee Island series; an Etowah component was present as a
A second test area, 35 feet by 50 feet, revealed scat-
tered post molds, refuse areas and nine burials with associ-
ated aboriginal and European artifacts. The burials tended
to be primarily the shaft-and chamber variety. Associated
trade material consisted of a brass hilted sword; two iron
hoes; three iron axes; brass belt buckle; gun flints; musket
lock parts; brass bells; sheet brass ornaments; approximate-
ly 40 glass bead types, and a great number of other iron and
The above suggested date of 1675-1750 is based strictly
on a preliminary glance at the trade items, and it is hoped
that a more thorough analysis will confine the date more ac-
Excavation of the Mormon Temple Remains
at Nauvoo, Illinois: First Season
Dee F. Green and Larry Bowles
Southern Illinois University
In the year 1841 the erection of what was to be the
finest building west of the Allegheny Mountains was begun in
the frontier settlement of Nauvoo, Illinois. Built on the
crest of a high bluff overlooking a broad bend in the Miss-
issippi River the structure commanded an imposing view of
the prosperous little community nestled in the flat plain
between the bluff and the river. Its 165 foot tower could
be seen for some miles both up and down the river as well as
from the plains of Iowa to the west. One hundred and twenty
eight feet long by eighty-eight feet wide and three stories
high the building was constructed of fossiliferous Missis-
sippian limestone quarried near by.
Its builders, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints commonly called Mormons, were not permit-
ed, however, to enjoy the fruit of their industry. After
the martyrdom of their prophet, Joseph Smith, and his bro-
ther Hyrum in 1844 the situation in Nauvoo grew steadily
worse until in the winter of 1846 they were forced to cross
the Mississippi into Iowa, there to begin their historic
trek west to Salt Lake Valley. The temple was left in the
hands of their enemies, was pillaged, and in 1848 was par-
tially destroyed by fire which gutted the interior and cal-
inated the limestone walls causing the rock to spall off.
This same year a group of Frenchmen who called themsel-
ves Icarians and were engaged in one of the early experi-
ments in communism moved into Nauvoo and acquired the temple
lot and the burned building. They determined to rebuild the
structure but had little success in organizing the work and
had not progressed very far when in 1850 the ruins were hit
by a tornado. It leveled the north wall and threw the south
and east walls so out of plumb that the Icarians decided to
abandon the project and instead mined the stone for use in
other buildings, one of which still stands on the temple
The west wall remained until about 1865 when it was
felt by the city fathers to pose such a hazard to safety
that it was ordered removed. The ruins were filled in, oth-
er buildings came and went but the Mormons in Utah had not
forgotten their temple in Nauvoo. Slowly they managed to
buy back the property from which they had been driven and in
the fall of 1961 Dr. LeRoy Kimball, a Salt Lake Physician
whose ancestors had once lived in Nauvoo, convinced the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints authorities that
archaeological techniques should be used to locate the old
foundations of the temple. As a result, Dr. Melvin L. Fow-
ler of the Southern Illinois University Museum was contacted
and asked to conduct investigations of an exploratory nat-
In December of 1961 Dr. Fowler spent several days in
Nauvoo running exploratory test trenches with the aid of a
backhoe since the ground was frozen and too difficult to dig
by hand. This preliminary testing resulted in the uncover-
ing of four masonry piers thought at first to have support-
ed the pilasters of the south wall. The ghost impression of
the east wall was also discovered, and an idea of the nat-
ural stratigraphy of the site, the major outlines of which
remain unchanged, was gleaned. Dr. Fowler also located an
area highly disturbed by the bulldozing of a few years back.
This bulldozing was done in an effort to locate the old
walls but succeeded in destroying a good portion of the
northeast end of the building instead.
Dr. Fowler presented the results of his work to the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; and, on his re-
commendation, they decided to conduct a summer field season
at the site. Dr. Fowler was named director of the project,
and the authors were asked to supervise the project in the
Work was begun on the 15th of June, 1962 with Mr. Green
supervising the digging and Mr. Bowles in charge of mapping,
grid, and transit readings for profiles. The site was dug by
hand in five foot squares using natural stratigraphy. Two
artists were employed to draw scale profiles on large sheets
of graph paper using transit readings and tape.
At this point it becomes necessary to introduce the
stratigraphy of the site. The top six to eight inches con-
sists of a recent humus accumulation that is covered with
sod and contains artifacts dating to at least 1882, as evi-
denced by the uncovering of a coin bearing that date. Under
this so called plow zone is a stratum of yellow mottled clay
of varying thickness but averaging around one and a half
feet deep. This layer seems to represent earth that was re-
moved during the excavation of the basement in 1841 and was
subsequently used to fill in the ruins sometime after 1865.
Beneath this layer is a heavy concentration of rubble resul-
ting from the spelling of the limestone during the 1848 fire
and the subsequent mining activities of the Icarians and
other residents of Nauvoo. This layer also varies in thick-
ness but averages between three and four feet deep and is
very difficult to dig with pick and shovel.
Below the rubble a change in the stratigraphy occurs
depending on where one is within the site. The basement was
originally dug to two levels. The deeper and interior level
housed a stone baptismal font which sat on the backs of
twelve stone oxen symbolic of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Along the north and south sides rooms were partitioned off
at a higher level and two stone steps led from the side
rooms down into the font area. This lower room had a slop-
ing earth floor. Access to the basement was gained via cir-
cular staircases in the northwest and southwest corners.
Thus, in areas over the side rooms the stratigraphy un-
der the rubble consists of a lense of sand about four inches
thick, and under the sand a yellow sterile clay marks the
bottom of the original excavation by the Mormons. In a few
places traces of ash appear mixed with the sand, and it ap-
pears as though the Icarians may have removed the ashes from
the side rooms and deposited them in the interior or font
room. The stratigraphy in the latter consists of a thick
layer of ash less than a foot thick where the floor slopes
up to meet the side rooms but almost three feet thick in a-
reas where our test squares have gone that deep. Below the
ash is a layer of sand, and pockets of construction rubble
from four to five feet thick are found under the sand and on
top of yellow sterile clay. The four piers found by Dr. Fow-
ler and thought at the beginning of the season to represent
the foundations of the south wall are located between the
font room and the side rooms. They seem to have supported
interior pilasters, and during 1962 we uncovered an addi-
tional pier on the south side and the ghost of a pier which
had been mined out of the north side.
Since our contract called for the removal of the over-
burden down to the level of the wall foundations and because
these sit higher than the floor levels, we are still ignor-
ant of much of the detail connected with the various rooms,
particularly the center room, for here we have only test dug
a few of the many squares yet to be excavated. The font a-
rea is still completely covered with ash as are the areas of
the stairwells. Excavation of the western end of the site
awaits the removal of a house.
Despite these limiting factors we were able to accomp-
lish such tasks as the removal of the first five feet of o-
verburden from the site in all but the extreme western end.
The majority of this overburden was rubble and bulldozed
zone both of which were extremely difficult to dig although
we removed part of the latter with a backhoe. We have also
exposed the north, south, and east walls and in the process
uncovered several of the original foundation stones over-
looked or ignored by the looters of the site. The remnants
of partition walls along the north side have been located
although not excavated, and along the south side one parti-
tion wall and the ghost impression of three others have been
found. The piers discovered by Dr. Fowler were found to
rest on larger sub-piers, the full extent of which we have
not yet determined but estimate to be between eight and nine
feet square. The bottoms of these sub-piers are presently
10 feet below the surface.
The most spectacular and unexpected find of the season
was a stone lined tunnel. This structure was uncovered cut-
ting diagonally across the south wall. The trench was sunk
below floor level in order to test what should have been
sterile yellow clay but was found to be clay and sand mixed
with a small pocket of rubble. A few more shovels from the
bottom of the trench exposed stone, and the sides of the
structure were soon exposed to a depth of 10 feet below
present ground level. One of the large stone caps was re-
moved and the tunnel was found to be one foot square. Pro-
bing for distance we found that the tunnel extended for over
30 feet to the southeast and ten feet into the interior of
the building where debris prevented further probing. The
direction of the tunnel lies suspiciously close to the
area where we think the baptismal font may be. This area
has been closely defined due to a well, still in good re-
pair, which is located inside the temple basement and was in
all probability that used by the Mormons to fill the font
for their baptisms.
At this point, of course, our interpretation that the
tunnel was used as a drain for the font is only speculation
since we have not yet established its direct connection with
the font. Should S.I.U. receive a contract for an addition-
al season's work, this proposed relationship of tunnel and
font will be one of the main objects of investigation. A-
long with this, of course, will be the clearing of the var-
ious rooms and the investigation of the west wall as well as
stabilization of the site for public inspection.
Artifacts from the temple site are still being washed
and their study has not yet begun. From field observations,
however, it appears that the plow zone is abundant with pot-
tery, glass, metal artifacts, and various modern items of
plastic etc. The yellow mottled fill layer is mostly ster-
ile. The rubble contains large quantities of broken faced
stone which still sports marks of the mason's tools in var-
ious patterns. It also contains brick presumably used in
some partition walls. The few squares dug in the ash layer
produced large quantities of square nails and other metal
artifacts not yet identified as well as melted glass, plas-
ter, and pieces of smooth sculptured stone presumably from
the oxen and baptismal font.
The highly disturbed nature of the strata removed dur-
ing the past season makes us somewhat cautious about inter-
preting artifacts to be of Mormon, Icarian, or later vintage
except of obvious cases. It is hoped, however, that another
season in the deeper and perhaps less disturbed portions of
the site will bring to light materials that can be assigned
to the Mormon occupation on a more sure basis. Other sites
could be dug in order to fill out the picture of these two
early cultures in Nauvoo.
Industrial Archaeology in Great Britain
Edward McM. Larrabee
Fortress of Louisbourg Restoration Program
Archaeology in Great Britain
Great Britain has a tremendous depth of history, and
many of the structures and sites associated with the last
two thousand years or more are still extant. The British
are very interested in their history, and have done an ex-
cellent job of investigating, excavating, and interpreting
those things which are not standing, and of preserving, re-
storing, and marking those which can be seen.
As a result of the existence of so much history of such
great age, relatively recent events have been neglected. At
a time somewhere between the Civil War of the 1640's and the
early Georgian period at the beginning of the 18th Century,
events, places, and buildings cease to be considered "his-
toric" and become "modern." Of all the structures built in
the last two and a half centuries, only well furnished homes
which set styles and house antiques have been given adequate
attention and protection.
Another factor contributing to the general neglect of
18th end 19th Century historical sites in Britain is the
sheer mass from which one must pick and choose. This is
particularly true of industrial buildings, engineered struc-
tures, and transportation systems, because the countryside
is full of many good examples. England was the home of the
Industrial Revolution in the important period between 1700
and 1850. In many areas the entire complexion of the coun-
tryside was changed--not for the better--at this time and
has remained much the same ever since.
Besides these causes for the slight interest in indus-
trial remains there is the fact that many of them are not
remains at all, but part of every-day life. After the era
of intense development, a national characteristic of careful
workmanship, good maintenance, and conservation and contin-
ued use of buildings and machines has kept in running order
many things that in some other country might be ruined mon-
Our situation is quite a contrast to this. We have no
Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Medieval or Renaissance history--only
Pre-history and the modern period which nations with greater
"historical resources" tend to ignore. Even our prehistoric
monuments are usually not as spectacular and well known as
British neolithic, bronze-, and early iron-age remains. We
arrived on the scene of the industrial revolution a bit lat-
er than England, and hence have few 18th Century Industrial
sites. The two major domestic wars occurred in the latter
18th and mid-19th Centuries and our countryside were often
changed by industry only in the last hundred years. Conse-
quently, we have treasured the few remains of our early per-
iod, and have studied our "recent" past more closely than
We ourselves are probably ignoring what is commonplace
to us--late 19th and 20th Century industrial and urban
growth, and it will probably be left to newcomers on the
scene to preserve this period when it has become part of
their national past. For example, it is in Canada that Al-
exander Graham Bell's summer home and laboratory in Nova
Scotia has been turned into a musuem of late 19th Century
scientific experiments. Nonetheless, with the Smithsonian
Institution as the symbol of our national interest in such
things, we have preserved and studied our own technological
development well. As a result, although we cannot claim to
be better archaeologists than the British in the many fields
of their history which they have studied, our historic sites
archaeology seems to Be several decades ahead of Industrial
Archaeology, its counterpart in Britain.
The first awareness in British print of the possibilit-
ies of this field was an article in 1955 in The Amateur His-
torian by Michael Rix.l Mr. Rix has subsequently published
a followup: "Industrial Archaeology--Progress Report 1962,"
also in The Amateur Historian.2 A committee of the Council
for British Archaeology was formed for Industrial Archaeol-
ogy in 1959. This was the first official acceptance of the
1 Staff Tutor in Architectural History, University of Bir-
mingham, Department of Extra Mural Studies.
2 Vol. 5, No. 2, Winter 1962, pp. 56-60.
A two-week course of study was offered by the Universi-
ty of Manchester in the summer of 1961, directed by Dr. E.
R. R. Green with lectures given by a number of experts.
During September 1962 a one-week course was offered by the
University of Birmingham, Mr. Rix instructing, with assis-
tance from Mr. Robin Chaplin3 and Mr. Eric Robinson.4 The
latter is a specialist in Boulton and Watt and early indus-
trial history. In the week following this course, which I
attended,, another similar course of the same title was giv-
en by Mr. Chaplin. The success of these courses indicates
that we can expect them to be repeated and extended.
The term 'Industrial Archaeology' has a somewhat diff-
erent sense than the phrase 'Historic Site Archaeology' does
in North America. 'Industrial Archaeology' retains some of
the 18th Century antiquarian flavor of the word "archaeol-
ogy," and I do not mean this in a derogatory sense. By 'In-
dustrial Archaeology' today is mostly meant the examination
and recording of relics, monuments, and important sites of
the industrial revolution. It is an "appreciation" of the
period, in an 18th Century usage. The term is just begin-
ning to mean the excavation of these sites. The great in-
terest shown in those sites which are still standing, and
the high standard of British technique in archaeology, in-
sures that there will be careful excavation of many sites of
the industrial period, and that a useful body of information
will be collected and communicated as a result. The follow-
ing is a list of excavations at sites of more recent date
than the Rennaissance. As you will see, it is a very short
List of Excavations of Industrial Sites
Romano-British archaeologist, especially at Chester and
Virconium, among other sites. Address: Department of
Extra Mural Studies, the University of Birmingham, Eng-
excavated at Chester a stratified pottery site of the post-
3 Resident Staff Tutor in Warwickshire, of the Extra Mural
Department of the University of Birmingham.
4 Department of Economic History, University of Manchester.
This was mostly pottery of the Queen Anne Period, found ac-
cidentally during excavations intended to locate part of the
Roman Wall of Chester. It was published in the Chester and
District Archaeological Society Journal as "An 18th C. Rub-
bish Pit, Trinity Street, 1953," by Graham Webster and K.
Barton, 1957, vol. 44.
Ph.D., geologist, engineer and historian, especially
interested in industrial and Quaker history. Address:
Linton, Skipton, Yorkshire.
March to August of 1959
excavated the original furnaces and some of the subsequent
factory at Coalbrookdale.
The Coalbrookdale company is now a small subsidiary of Alli-
ed Iron Founders. It constitutes perhaps five percent of
their business, and specializes in ornamental castings and
fine cast iron objects. This is the site of the first suc-
cessful smelting of iron with coal. The Coalbrookdale com-
pany has operated continuously since that first smelting in
1709. Consequently, Allied Iron Founders put up 10,000 in
preparation for the 250th anniversary celebration of the be-
ginning of the modern iron industry. With this money an ex-
cavation which was largely a matter of clearing was accom-
plished, the structures and machinery found were consolidat-
ed and marked for permanent exhibit, and a museum was set
up. Several furnaces of different periods are displayed, a-
long with most of the elements of the water storage, forced
draft, and coal bunkering systems. An early locomotive,
earlier iron rails, and other large items manufactured by
the Coalbrookdale company are displayed here.
British Museum archaeologist from the Department of
British and Medieval Antiquities who specializes in
Dark Ages Archaeology, and is now working on a Scandi-
Summer of 1959
excavated the Longton Porcelain works, near Stoke-on-Trent,
Staffordshire. This was a careful excavation, though rela-
tively short, done to establish some controls. A previous
excavation had been made by Bernard Watney, as part of the
preparations for his book Longton Hall Porcelain (1957).
This factory had flourished between 1750 and 1770. Watney's
excavations had produced a considerable quantity of ceram-
ics, but no scientific records were kept. It was, most lit-
erally, a "pot-hunting" expedition. Consequently, the Bri-
tish Museum sent Wilson to make a stratigraphic record of
the site. Watney cooperated with the entire project. Var-
ious things not in the British Museum from these excavations
will be found in the museum at Stoke-on-Trent.
D. H. Jones
Amateur specialist in mills, pre-19th century, both
wind and water powered. Address: 28 Weston Road, Sut-
Excavations or clearing now in process.
Jones is technical advisor to the City of Birmingham on "The
Sarehope Water Mill Project."
This is to be the restoration of an 18th and early 19th Cen-
tury water powered corn-mill with possibly a machine grind-
ing or forge mill attached. The corn-mill machinery is in-
tact. The forge mill will require replacement of some ma-
chinery from other mills. The entire restoration is to be a
working exhibit when complete.
Resident Staff Tutor in Warwickshire of the Extra Mural
Department of the University of Manchester.
This is an excavation that has not yet taken place, but the
preliminary surveying has been done and the digging
should commence in the spring of 1963.
Tern Forge at Attingham Hall, South of Shrewsbury.
This was part of the extensive system of forge hammers set
up in the early 18th century to use the production of the
growing iron furnace industry at and near Coalbrookdale. It
was the finishing factory of the Coalbrookdale Company and
an integral part of the works. Interest here is not just in
the design of the forge, but in the entire complex of indus-
trial buildings, the water-works which supplied power, and
on the living quarters, the corn-mill, which was necessary
to provide food for the employees, and the other features of
this self-contained community.
Mr. Chaplin has two late 18th-early 19th Century iron-
works sites, both associated with John Wilkinson, one of the
most famous of the iron-masters. While preliminary surveys
have not been carried as far here, the same appreciation of
local geography, topography, and the social conditions marks
Sheffield City Museum, Eston Park, Sheffield, 10.
Excavated the Catliffe Glass Works (1740-1884)
This Yorkshire site contained much waste glass. I do not
know the results of the work as it was completed after I
left England. It is very unusual to carry interest to so
late a period.
H. F. Cleere
The Iron and Steel Institute, 4 Grosvenor Gardens, Lon-
March and August, 1962
Excavated a Roman Iron Bloomery at Ticehurst, Sussex.
This is not of recent period, but the Institute is inter-
ested in the technical aspects of iron making at all per-
iods. This could lead to more modern sites, and Mr. Cleere
might be contacted about this.
This list of excavations and of source materials is on-
ly what I could locate in the short time that I was working
on this project, and I will welcome any additions which can
be made to make it more complete.
Although scientific excavation of industrial sites is
just starting, there has been extremely good preparation for
this phase of study. Partly this ground work has been ac-
complished by the preservation of materials for study, part-
ly by a series of specialized technical studies, and partly
by a body of well written and thoroughly documented history.
We will deal first with the preservation of materials, which
is in the form of collections for study, exhibits at mus-
eums, and archives, record surveys, and catalogs.
Museum Exhibits and Study Collections
The Science Museum, South Kensington, London, SW7. This is
the most important collection for industrial history and
technology, and serves much the same purpose as the tech-
nology building of our Smithsonian Institution. As a col-
lection this was started in 1857, but was not known by this
name until 1909. Lists of drawings and photographs of the
collection may be requested from the Director's Office.
The Victoria and Albert Museum, also South Kensington (a-
cross the street from the Science Museum), London, is a ma-
jor repository of objects of the Victorian era; its collec-
tions were started in 1852. It can be used for studies of
styles and manufacturing techniques although its emphasis is
on fine arts of earlier periods from all parts of the world.
Many publications on styles and materials are available.
Museum of Science and Industry, Newhall Street, Birmingham
3, started in 1950. The emphasis, properly in such an area,
is on machines and engines, with some smaller tools. Again,
photographs of items are on sale, and a list of these may be
had on application.
Department of Industry, National Museum of Wales, Cardiff.
The Department is fairly new, but is in an area where there
was intense development in the early 19th Century, and is
associated with a working party which is surveying "Indus-
trial remains in the souther counties of Wales."
Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading, Berk-
shire. Excellent collections of hand tools, and studies of
how they were, or still are used. Lists of objects, mono-
graphs (e.g., The English Farm Wagon, Jenkins, 1961, 247 pp.)
are available. An excellent museum for the archaeologist.
The American Museum in Britain, Claverton Manor, near Bath
(Radstock Road), in Somerset. This has some materials which
were imported from Britain to America, shown in the "Period
Rooms" which demonstrate furnishings and American life from
1680 to 1860.
Folk Museum of West Yorkshire, Shibden Hall, Halifax, York-
shire. More artifacts and techniques of 17th-19th Century
Rural England. The Bankfield Museum, associated with this
in Halifax, specializes in weaving, spinning, and the tex-
tile industry, and has several publications on the woolen
The Castle Museum at York, Yorkshire, has medieval shops and
Irish Clay Pipes. There is a collection in the castle at
Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Until Bel-
fast rose to prominence in the Nineteenth Century, Carrick-
fergus was the most important port on the Lough, and the key
to Northeastern Ireland.
English Clay Pipes. Browely, south of Shrewsbury in Shrop-
shire, was and is an important manufacturing center. Mr.
Adrian Oswald, of The Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham,
has made a special study of these pipes.
Ceramics. City Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, Staf-
fordshire, has the beginning of a good collection of ceram-
ics from this very important ceramic producing area. Some
booklets and postcards are available, although we hope this
key museum will expand its activities and collections. This
should be a central repository at which pottery types can be
identified and placed.
There are Railroad Museums at Clapham (suburb of London),
and at York, and others I did not trace.
Note: For further information on museums, a useful pamphlet
is "Museums and Art Galleries in Great Britain and Ire-
land," published by Index Publishers Ltd., 69 Victoria
Street, London, SW1, price 2/6d.
Archives, Catalogs, Records Surveys, Etc.
The Royal Commission on Ancient and Historical Monuments,
(of England,--, Scotland, 7 Coates Gardens, Edinburgh 12;
Wales and Monmouthshire,17 Queens Road, Aberystwyth, Wales.)
This is in the Civil Service System but is a commission, not
a department. Most investigating commissions are of short
standing, but the Royal Commission on Ancient Monuments has
been going for fifty years or more, with a permanent staff.
The Royal Commission measures and records all buildings
through the Nineteenth Century, and "all important buildings
thereafter." However, it rarely publishes buildings con-
structued since the beginning of the Eighteenth Century.
Hence there should be a sizeable body of information on in-
dustrial buildings and sites which have disappeared since
the survey was carried on in particular areas. The publica-
tions appear irregularly, by County. The unpublished mater-
ial is probably kept in the County or City Archives, but
some records should be kept in the central office.
The National Buildings Records. The address is Fielden
House, Great College Street, London, SW1. Cecil Farthing,
Secretary. The NBR publishes an annual report. The purpose
of the NBR is to collect information, especially as struc-
tures are destroyed, and have it available for study, rather
than to publish it.
Committee on Industrial Archaeology. Chairman: Professor
Roy Campbell, Professor of Industrial History, University of
Glasgow. This committee was proposed in the Fall of 1960
and formed in early 1961 by the Glasgow Archaeological Soc-
iety. (Secretary, Mr. H. P. Miller, 4 Clifton Street, Glas-
gow C3, Scotland.) The members of the Glasgow Archaeologi-
cal Society at large and any other interested individuals
have been asked to record information on forms which have
been distributed. The Committee will compile and organize
the information which comes in. This collection will com-
prise only industrial buildings and sites, not residential,
farming, or other remains of the same recent period.
Another side of the accumulated work which is now con-
verging on our subject is the body of specialized studies.
The bibliography I have collected is in no way comprehen-
sive, as it simply represents the books and articles at hand
for the University of Birmingham course. Especially neglec-
ted is an extensive literature on canals and railroads.
These subjects were not emphasized in our course because
they each require separate study, and because we chose to
concentrate on some relatively neglected aspects of early
industry, such as iron founding, aqueduct design, and plant
Specialized Studies: Journals which frequently contain ar-
ticles useful for Industrial Archaeology
The Amateur Historian
The Quarterly Journal of the Standing Council for Local
History. Editor: Lionel M. Munby; Pestells, West
Wickham, Cambridge. Published by The National Council
of Social Service, 26 Bedford Square, London. Single
Issue 3s6d. Annual 15s.
Transactions of the Newcomen Society
Founded 1921. One issue annually, except for WW II.
Indices for I-X, XI-XX. Extra papers (usually facsimile
reproduction) on occasion.
Concerned with history of engineering, both static and
moving. Every issue contains a wealth of detailed in-
formation. Excellent, but highly technical.
Bannister, Turpin (Dean of Faculty of Architecture, U. of
April 1950 "The First Iron Framed Buildings," The Architec-
tural Review, pp. 231-46. This is the article
which started the hunt for more and aroused the
Hacker, Miss C. L.
1960 "William Strutt of Derby (1756-1830)," Journal
of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural
History Society, No. LXXX, pp. 49-70.
Green, E. R. R.
1960 "Industrial Archaeology," Antiquity, XXXIV,
March No. 130, pp. 43-48.
Maguire, Robert, and Matthews, Peter
1958 "The Ironbridge at Coalbrookdale--A Reassess-
July-Aug. ment," Architectural Association Journal, pp
34,35,36. Bedford Square WC-1, 2/6. (Rix
thinks history inaccurate and poor proofread-
ing, but drawings and photographs are good.)
Mott, R. A. (Dr. Sci.)
1957-8 "The Shropshire Iron Industry," Transactions
of the Shropshire Archaeological Society, Vol.
LVI, Part I, pp. 69-81. Simple sketch, and
production figures for first years.
1957-8 "Coalbrookdale, the Early Years," Transactions
of the Shropshire Archaeological Society, Vol.
LVI, Part I, pp. 82-93. Details of family,
inheritance, etc., "troubles financial rather
Rix, Michael (Staff tutor in Architectural History, U. of
Birmingham Department of Extra Mural Studies)
Winter "Industrial Archaeology Progress Report 1962,"
1962 The Amateur Historian, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 56-
60. (First report was in Fall issue, 1955)
This 1962 article sums up most of the current
activity and is the starting point of any
work in the field.)
Rimmer, W. G.
1957-8 "Castle Foregate Flax Mill, Shrewsbury (1797-
1886)," Transactions of the Shropshire Arch-
aeological Society, Vol. LVI, Part I. (with
which is incorporated the Shropshire Parish
Register Society). The Benvon's were fight-
ing Marshall for ownership, etc. Factory was
overbuilt--not full for years. Unconvincing
conclusions about non-industrialization of
ca. 1958 "Boulton and Fathergill and the Birmingham
Hardware Trade," University of Birmingham
Webster, Graham, and Barton, K.
1957 "An Eighteenth Century
Street, 1953," Chester
logical Society Journal,
Rubbish Pit, Trinity
and District Archaeo-
Barton, K. J.
1956 "The Buckley Potteries II, Excavations at
Prescot's Pottery 1954," Flintshire Miscel-
lany, no. 1, reprinted from Flintshire His-
torical Journal, vol. 16.
1951 "A London Stoneware
tions at Bankside,"
vol. 126, no. 519, pp.
Books on Architecture
Barney, Farm and Cottage in England and Wales.
Fox, Cyril, Monmouthshire--Houses and Homes.
Gloag, John, and Bridgewater, Derek, A History of Cast Iron
in Architecture, London, 1948, George Allen and Unwin
Ltd., 395 pp. (very handsome; large format)
Meeks, Carroll L., The Railway Station, An Architectural
History, London, 1957, The Architectural Press (and New
Haven, Yale University Press, U. S. title, The Railroad
Pevsner, Nikolaus, Pioneers of Modern Design (from William
Morris to Walter Gropius), Pelican, Jarrold & Sons Ltd.
Norwich, 254 pp. (first published by Faber & Faber as
Pioneers of the Modern Movement, 1936, and ed. by Mus-
eum of Modern Art, 1949)
Richards, J. M. (with photographs by Eric de Mare) The Func-
tional Tradition in Early Industrial Buildings, London,
1958, The Architectural Press, London, 200 pp.
H. M. Stat. Office, The Great Exhibition of 1851; A Commem-
orative Album, compiled by G. H. Gibbs-Smith, 1950, 142
Books on Special Techniques, Industries, or Areas
Asliton, Thomas Southcliffe, M. A., Iron and Steel in the
Industrial Revolution, 1924 and 1951, Manchester Uni-
versity Press, 265 pp.
Court, W. H. B., The Rise of the Midland Industries. 1600-
1838, 1938, Oxford University Press, London, Humphrey
Milford, 271 pp.
Dickinson, H. W., A Short History of the Steam Engine, 1938,
Babcock and Wilcox, Ltd., Cambridge University Press,
H. M. Stat. Off., Belfast, The Industrial Archaeology of
County Down (Northern Ireland), forthcoming, as of June
Hedfield, Charles, The Canals of South Wales and the Border,
1960, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, Phoenix House
Ltd., London, 272 pp.
Mathias, Peter, Trade Tokens, Abram Schulman Publishers. A
numismatic study of the coinage of the early industri-
alists. This was necessitated by the sudden demand for
specie caused by the growth of the wage system. The
mints, set up for a pre-industrial system, could not
meet the need.
Nef, J. U., The Rise of the British Coal Industry, 2 vols.,
London, 1932, George Routledge & Sons, Ltd.
Simmons, Jack (Prof. of History, University of Leicester),
The Railways of Britain; An Historical Introduction,
London, 1961, Routledge and Kegar Paul, 264 pp.
Watney, Bernard, Longton Hall Porcelain, London, 1957, Faber
& Faber, 72 pp., 80 plates.
Derry, T. K., and Williams, Trevor I., A Short History of
Technology From Earliest Times to A. D. 1900, (Derived
from large 5 vol. History of Technology), 1960, Oxford
at the Clarendon Press.
Dickinson, H. W., James Watt, Craftsman and Engineer, 1935,
Babcock and Wilcox, Ltd., Cambridge Universty Press,
Matthew Boulton, Babcock and Wilcox,
Ltd., 1936, Cambridge University Press, 218 pp.
Gibb, Sir Alex, The Story of Telford, The Rise of Civil En-
gineering, 1935, London, Alex Machlehose and Co., 357
Raistrick, Arthur, Ph.D., Dynasty of Iron Founders, The Dar-
bys and Coalbrookdale, London, 1953, Longmans, Green
and Co., 308 pp.
Rolt, L. T. C., The Cornish Giant, (The Story of Richard
Trevithick, Father of the Steam Locomotive), London,
1960, Lutterworth Press, 160 pp.
Great Engineers, London, 1962, G. Bell
& Sons, Ltd., 244 pp. Darby, Newcomen, Jessop (cannals
and railroads), Murray (mechanics), Mandslay (mechan-
ics), Locke (Rr Eng.), Fowler (agriculture), Baker,
Crompton (electricity), Lanchester (autos and aero).
Warburg, Jeremy, The Industrial Muse, (Poetry re Industrial
To sum up the status of Industrial Archaeology in Great
Britain at present, we can say that it is just starting to
be archaeology in our sense of the word. However, there is
already present a greater body of detailed background study
than we have been able to compile. Other fields of arch-
aeology in Britain are characterized by highly professional
excavation, often with the aid of dedicated'and well-trained
amateurs. Given this context, and the back-log of informa-
tion and of preserved sites and materials,Industrial Archae-
ology should develop very fast once it gets a fair start.
The Fourth Annual
CONFERENCE ON HISTORIC SITE ARCHAEOLOGY
Ocmulgee National Monument
Thursday, October 31, 1963
MORNING SESSION 9:00 12 Noon
"Seventeenth Century Glass J. Paul Hudson
Excavated at Jamestown" Pages 95-103
"Excavation of Eagle Tavern" Roy Dickens
"Notes on Fort San Carlos" Hale Smith
"Excavations at Panama Vieja" George Long
"Recovering and Processing Objects from Stanley South
Wrecks off the North Carolina Coast"
AFTERNOON SESSION 2:00 4:30
"The Trial Ethnohistory Project Charles Fairbanks
at the University of Florida" Pages 110-112
"Analysis of the Buttons from Stanley South
Brunswick Town and Fort Fisher" Pages 113-133
"A Sixteenth Century Spanish Coin William Lazarus
from a Fort Walton Burial" Pages 134-138
"Indian-Spanish Occupation Lewis Larson
on the Georgia Coast"
"A Review of Here Lies Virginia Charles Fairbanks
by Ivor Noel Hume"
Seventeenth Century Glass Excavated at Jamestown
J. Paul Hudson
National Park Service
I appreciate this opportunity of being able to speak to
you about a few kinds of 17th-century glass which have been
excavated at Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown, as you know,
was settled by the English in 1607. It was the capital of
Virginia for almost a century--from 1607 until 1699--and was
the first successful English Colony planted in the New
I might mention at the outset that there are not many
references in the early Jamestown records which relate to
glass. There are, however, a few. Eight days after the col-
onists reached Jamestown, Capt. Christopher Newport and a
small group of men sailed up the James River and explored to
the falls, a distance of about 60 miles. On May 22, one of
the group recorded that while visiting an Indian village
Capt. Newport presented the aborigines bells, pins, needles,
glass beads and glasses in exchange for strawberries, mul-
berries, bread and fish. The next day, May 23, Newport gave
an Indian chief penny knives, shears, bells, glass beads and
glass toys. On May 25, at another village, Newport gave the
chief "a glasse and some aquavitae therin."
In March, 1608, Capt. John Smith and a small party of
Englishmen visited an Indian village near Jamestown, and for
300 bushels of corn the colonists gave the Indians "a pound
or two of blue beads."
A few months later, during the summer of 1608, Smith
wrote: "Some few bunches of blue beads I had, which he (an
Indian chief) much desired, and seeing so few, he offered me
a basket of two pecks (of corn)." A few days later Smith
recorded: "This day we spent in trading our blue beads."
While these early references are not too revealing, they
do indicate that the early Jamestown colonists had glass
goblets, glass toys, and glass beads.
Before discussing the kinds of glass which were exca-
vated at Jamestown by National Park Service archaeologists I
would like to mention briefly something about the two glass-
making ventures which were carried out in the Virginia col-
ony, in 1608-09 and again in 1621-24, one of the first in-
dustries in English America.
In October, 1608, 70 new settlers arrived at Jamestown,
including 8 Dutchmen and Poles. They built a glasshouse "in
the woods near a mile from Jamestown." William Strachey,
Secretary of the Colony, described it as "a goodly house
with all offices and furnaces thereto belonging." When Capt.
Newport left for England, a month or so later, he carried
with him "trials of pitch, tar, glass, frankincense, soap
ashes, with that clapboard and waynscot that could be pro-
vided." Of what this first trial of glass consisted, the
records give no hint. It certainly must have been suffi-
cient, however, to reveal to the officials of the Virginia
Company in London that glassmaking was a reality in Virginia.
After Newport sailed away troubles began.
The Dutch glass-workers, who probably were Germans,
were sent to Chief Powhatan's village on the York to build a
house for the wily chief. While they were away, during the
early months of 1609, the Poles remained at the glasshouse
and produced another trial of glass. But what they made is
not known. Archeological excavations at the glasshouse site
revealed that a few window panes, small bottles, and simple
drinking vessels may have been made in 1608-09.
The Dutch glass workers, who were building the house
for Powhatan, conspired against the English. Two of their
number returned to Jamestown and stole arms and powder from
the storehouse. They then plotted to kill Capt. Smith, and
persuaded the Chief of the Paspahege Indians to attack Smith
near the glasshouse. Quoting a contemporary account: "Long
they struggled in the water (Smith and the Indian Chief),
from whence the king perceiving two of the Poles upon the
sands, would have fled, but the President (Smith) held him
by the hair and throat til the Poles came in. Then seeing
how pitifully the poor savage begged for his life, they con-
ducted him prisoner to the fort." Chief Powhatan became
suspicious of the Dutchmen who were living in his village,
and told them: "You that would have betrayed Capt. Smith
to me, will certainly betray me...and caused his men to beat
out their brains." A few months later the starving winter
of 1609-10 fell upon the colony. Four hundred and forty
settlers (out of a total of 500) died during this terrible
time, and thus ended the first glassmaking venture in the
Twelve years passed before a second attempt was made to
manufacture glass at Jamestown. Capt. William Norton was
sent to Virginia in 1621 to "set up a glass furnace and make
all manner of beads and glass." This venture resulted in
one misfortune after another and never was an industrial en-
terprise plagued with so many calamities. First, the old
glasshouse was repaired; but no sooner was this done than a
James River storm blew the roof off the structure. Next came
the Indian massacre of 1622, when 347 colonists were killed.
Although the Italian workmen at the glasshouse were not at-
tacked, 78 people living at Martin's Hundred--only 7 miles
from the glasshouse--were murdered. This calamity stopped
work at the glasshouse for an indefinite period of time.
About the time the venture was to begin again one of the
workmen, Vicentio by name, became discontented and smashed
in the main working furnace with a crowbar. The furnace was
repaired, but shortly thereafter the manager, Capt. Norton,
died. George Sandys, poet and translator of Roman poems,
was appointed to replace Norton. He, too, had trouble with
the workmen. They claimed that the local sand was of poor
quality,so Sandys sent boats to Cape Henry and elsewhere for
a better grade. The records reveal that little glass was
made between 1621 and 1624, and glass fragments found at the
site indicate that only a few window panes, simple drinking
vessels, and small bottles may have been manufactured. But
certainly no profits were made for the Virginia Company. The
time was not ripe for any industry in the wilderness settle-
ment. Until the Indian menace was removed, and the settlers
could learn to live off of the land and conquer disease and
swamp fevers, no industry would succeed at Jamestown.
Two major archeological excavations have been carried
out at Jamestown by the United States Government--the first
one 1934 to 1940, the second one 1954 to 1957. At the end
of the second "dig" in 1957, a total of 140 structures--
houses, outbuildings, workshops, kilns, and public buildings
lhad been excavated. Approximately half a million cultural
objects--known as artifacts--were recovered; since before
the dawn of history man has left his story in the objects he
discarded. Near almost every structure excavated at James-
town glass fragments have been found, including bottles,
drinking glasses, table glass, beads and buttons, window
glass, and miscellaneous objects. Brief mention can be made
of only a few of the most important glass specimens recov-
Let us begin our story with bottles. A few medicine
bottles and phials have been found, some in association with
very early 17th-century artifacts. It is quite possible that
a few of the medicine bottles were used during the very ear-
ly years, especially during the hard winter of 1609-10 when
8 out of 10 colonists died from malnutrition and disease. A
few scent and perfume bottles were recovered, fragile spec-
imens which were used at Jamestown over three centuries ago.
These small bottles may remind us of the year 1620, when a
group of maidens were sent to Jamestown to become wives of
many of the settlers. Although many women were already es-
tablished with their families in the Virginia Colony before
this time, the London Company recognized that homes and
children for all men would be conducive to established fam-
ily life and permanent residence.
Several green-colored gin bottles were recovered at
Jamestown, many from sites which were occupied during the
first half of the 17th-century. These thin bottles, square
in shape,and with short necks, are seen in many Dutch paint-
ings of the 16th and 17th centuries. Imported from Holland,
they were shipped to Virginia in wooden compartmented cases
which held a dozen or more of the fragile bottles. One gin
bottle was found in an abandoned well of the 1620-40 period.
Cork or wooden stoppers held the gin in place, and prevented
air from seeping into the bottle and spoiling the beverage.
It is quite possible that when Capt. Newport served aquavi-
tae to an Indian chief in May, 1607, that the beverage was
poured out of one of the square, green-colored, "gin" bot-
During archeological excavations thousands of fragments
of 17th-century English glass wine bottles were recovered.
Practically every site which was occupied by English set-
tlers during the second half of the century produced an a-
bundance of broken wine bottle glass. This appears to sub-
stantiate documentary evidence that glass wine bottles were
not made in England prior to 1650. Along with the wine bot-
tle fragments 104 glass bottle seals were found. These were
applied to the shoulders of many bottles. The seals were in-
scribed with various devices--a name, initials, a date, a
coat-of-arms or crest, or some device representing the owner
of the wine bottle. The wine bottles excavated at Jamestown
were made in English glasshouses, and most of them were
green in color (a few were dark green or black). The ear-
liest English wine bottles made of glass, dating from about
1650 to 1665, had bulbous bodies, tall necks, narrow bases,
well-defined string rims, and low basal "kick-ups". The per-
iod between 1665 and 1700 witnessed a gradual change in the
bottle shape. The bodies became more squat and the necks be-
came shorter. The overall height of the bottle decreased
while the height of the basal "kick-ups" increased. The
string rims on all 17th-century English wine bottles are
well-defined. This is understandable as the function of this
rim or ring was to hold the cork tightly in place by means
of a brass wire. The wire was wrapped around the bottle neck
under the rim, then over the cork, and then twisted tightly
under the rim or ring. Contemporary accounts reveal that
many kinds of wines were drunk in the Virginia colony three
centuries ago, including muscadine, Rhenish, malmsey, red,
claret, Canary, tent,Malaga, Florence, Navarre, white, sack,
and many others. The abundance of wine bottle glass recov-
ered at Jamestown reveals that the English settlers who
lived in the Virginia wilderness enjoyed a glass of wine on
frequent occasions. This popular beverage usually was stored
in graceful, olive-green, English-made wine bottles, which
were also used as serving decanters.
A few window panes may have been made at Jamestown in
1608-09 and 1621-24 as numerous fragments found near the
site of the early 17th-century glasshouse resemble window
glass. But practically all window glass used in the Virgin-
ia Colony in the 17th-century was imported from England.
One type used was known as crown glass. The process of mak-
ing it consisted of blowing a gather of molten metal into a
hollow spherical shape on the end of a blow-iron. To the
opposite side of the sphere a pontil was attached by means
of a nodule of the molten metal. The blow-iron was then
broken free, leaving an opening in the globe. By rotating
the glass rapidly while it was still in a semi-molten state
it opened out into the form of a flat disc, adhering to the
pontil by the boss in the center. The flat disc, when cool,
was cut into the desired shapes.
Many of the early panes were diamond shaped--known as
"quarrels"--and were held in place by means of slotted lead
strips called "cames". The window frames used in many early
17th-century Virginia houses were hand-wrought iron case-
ments. But one must keep in mind that practically all the
humbler dwellings had no glass panes in the windows, that
their window openings were closed by batten shutters oper-
ated by hinges of wood and fitted with wooden fastening de-
vices. Window glass was a precious commidity during the
early years of the colony.
Most glass beads shipped to Jamestown (from England)
were made in Venice, although a few were manufactured in
England. As no glass beads were found at or near the site
of the glasshouse, it appears that none was made in Virginia
in the 17th-century. Most beads excavated are round or oval
in shape, although many are cylindrical or tubular, having
been cut from colored glass rods. After three centuries, the
attractive colors still persist; and when one looks at the
colorful specimens today he can readily understand the charm
they held for the aborigines. In 1608 Capt. John Smith re-
corded that one or two pounds of blue beads could be traded
to the Indians for 300 bushels of corn. Smith also wrote
that when his party explored the Chesapeake Bay area that
for a few pounds of copper, iron, and glass beads, the Ind-
ians would give enough food to keep 40 men well fed for six
weeks. The food consisted of bread, corn, meat, fish and
In the 17th-century practically all drinking glasses
used at Jamestown were imported from England. (It is remote-
ly possible that a few simple drinking vessels were made in
the Jamestown glasshouse.) The drinking glasses used at
Jamestown fall into three distinct periods: The period of
Italian influence,when the glasses were entirely in the Ven-
etian style. Secondly, the period when the Venetian style
was waning (Anglo-Venetian glasses). And thirdly, the Eng-
lish period, when glasses were made of the new metal per-
fected by George Ravenscroft--known as lead glass or flint
The Anglo-Venetian period was one of transition, from
the Venetian types to an English form. In the 1660's and
1670's, London glass sellers imported glass from Venice on a
large scale. Because of the Great Plague in England in 1664,
and the Great Fire of London in 1666, many English glass-
houses were closed. As a result, it is believed that Eng-
lish glass sellers ordered an unusually large amount of
glass from Venice and Murano. John Greene's drawings give a
clear idea of the kinds of glasses that were in common use
in England between 1666 and 1674. While it is true that the
glasses were made in Venice the designs were prepared by
English glass sellers. The glasses ordered by Greene, num-
bering 24,000,had short stems and a lengthened bowl--a well-
balanced and artistic drinking vessel. The metal, the hol-
low stem, and the decoration were Venetian, but the forms
were English. The bowls were usually straight sided or
slightly curved, and many had plain or ornate collars run-
ning round the base. Some bowls were funnel shaped, a few
had ridges or ribs running down their sides.
The period when drinking glasses were designed and made
by Englishmen started shortly after George Ravenscroft had
made successful examples of lead glass, about the year 1675.
The addition of lead oxide to the batch, which resulted in a
heavy but soft glass, brilliant in appearance, proved to be
"the most-far reaching event in the history of English
glass-making" (Francis Buckley). Because of the importance--
a far-reaching result of the new lead glass--a few words
should be said about George Ravenscroft.
In the year 1675 Ravenscroft was working for the Glass
Sellers Company in London, attempting to perfect a metal in
which oxide of lead to some extent replaced the alkaline
fluxes previously used to produce a crystal glass. His ear-
ly lead glasses quickly developed that defect of tiny glist-
ening hairline cracks and surface decomposition known as
"Crizzling," but in June, 1676, the Glass Sellers' Company
issued a statement that "Wee the under written doe certify
and attest that the defect of the flint glasses (which were
formerly observed to crissel and decay) hath been redressed
several months ago and the glasses since made have all
proved durable and lasting as any glasses whatsoever..." A
year later (1676) Ravenscroft was permitted by the Company
to mark his glasses with a seal having the device of a rav-
en's head, taken from his own family armorial bearings.
Glasses with the raven's head seal are among the most covet-
ed of all known to the collector. Only about 20 sealed ex-
amples are in existence--and 2 sealed specimens (from a pos-
set pot and a wineglass) have been recorded at Jamestown.
Two other sealed fragments with indecipherable seals have
been recovered (both quatrefoil wineglass stem fragments) as
well as a fragment from an inverted hollow knop type wine
glass bearing a seal which resembles either a bell, bird, or
After 1680 English glassmaking became prosperous in an
economic sense. New factories began to be founded all over
England and English glassmakers collected styles from other
countries with astonishing rapidity. Also new styles were
developed in England, and for the first time Venetian styles
were not copied slavishly. In 1678 there was one glasshouse
in England which made lead glass whereas in 1696 sixty-one
glasshouses made the new lead or "flint" glass. This "ren-
aissance" of glassmaking in England was reflected in the new
styles of glass which were shipped to Virginia, especially
as manifested in the drinking vessels. Wineglasses were made
of the new lead glass with a variety of stems--including in-
verted balusters, drop knops, ball knops, angular knops,
double knops, and acorn knops. Bowls were usually of the
straight funnel or round funnel type, although just about
the time the century ended a few waisted--and bell-shaped
bowls began to appear.
While not a common commodity, glass was used in all
the American colonies throughout the 17th century. Window
panes were used in many homes, especially during the second
half of the century. Beads were used mainly as trading pro-
ducts. Bottles were used for a variety of purposes as
containers for wines, gin, brandy, aqua vitae and other bev-
erages, as well as for holding oils, medicines, and powders.
Scent and perfume bottles were not uncommon. Drinking ves-
sels made of glass were imported in large numbers, and these
included goblets, wineglasses, beakers, and mugs. Glass
dishes were used for sweetmeats and fruits, and glass con-
tainers of various sorts were used for holding jellies and
preserves. Other objects of glass used in the colonies in-
cluded spectacles, sleek stones or chintz glaziers, glasses
to measure time, lenses for telescopes, and tubes and sy-
phons for scientific and experimental equipment. Busy as the
Jamestown settlers were in clearing a wilderness, planting
crops, and raising families, they did manage to find a few
moments to enjoy some of the luxuries and niceties of life.
Glass was one of the articles which gave the homesick Eng-
lishman some pleasure, for in his small Virginia house the
few glass specimens which he owned were attractive, useful,
and well-made by proud English and European glassmakers.
In conclusion, I would like to mention several important
events which stand out in the story of English glassmaking
during the 17th century:
1. English glassmaking during the first 75 years of the
century was dominated by Venice. This is not difficult to
understand, for during this period the finest glass in the
world was made in Venice and Murano. Fine, thin glass, of
unrivalled elegance and beauty, was fashioned in this great
Italian glassmaking community.
2. Shortly after 1615 wood-burning furnaces were discon-
tinued in compliance with an English law prohibiting the use
of wood as fuel. This brought about a new type coal-burning
furnace, new style melting pots, and in some respects new
techniques in the melting of glass.
3. The glassmaker's chair--or gaffer's chair--became stan-
dard equipment in the 17th century. First used in the late
16th century, this chair became the gaffer's "work-bench."
On it he trundled his blowing iron or pontee to retain the
circularity of the vessel he was shaping.
4. The 17th century was a period of monopolies in England.
Certain influential men received licenses or patents for
making glass, often with permission to import glass from
foreign countries, especially Venice. An annual fee was
paid the Crown by the holder of the patent, or license.
5. Practically no glass made in England between 1600 and
1660 is in existence today. Perhaps the Civil War in Eng-
land, the plague, and the Great Fire of London were factors
which caused much of the glass to disappear.
6. During the first quarter of the century two attempts
were made by the Virginia Company of London to manufacture
glass in the New World--at Jamestown-- first in 1608-09,
again in 1621-24. Some glass was made, but the two ventures
were economic failures.
7. In 1635 the Glass Seller's Company--consisting mainly
of glaziers--received a charter from Charles I. The Company
was incorporated in 1664. This Guild was to play an impor-
tant part in the fortunes of English glassmaking.
8. In 1662 Christopher Merret translated Antonio Neri's
famous Italian book-published in 1612--into English. This
book, The Art of Glass, was an epoch making work on several
accounts. It was the first volume entirely devoted to the
art of glassmaking; it revealed in the greatest detail the
manufacturing and composition of a great variety of glasses
and, through its translation into English may have had a de-
cisive influence in the evolution of lead glass.
9. Between 1667 and 1672 John Greene, a London glass sell-
er, and his partner, Michael Measey, ordered 173 different
kinds of glass from Allesio Morelli, a Venetian glassmaker.
Some 24,000 drinking glasses, over 1,000 looking glass
plates, beads, and other wares, were imported during this 5-
year period. Greene prepared drawings of the kinds of glass
he wanted Morelli to make; and these drawings are now pre-
served in the British Museum. They are invaluable as they
are the most complete set of drawings of 17th century glass-
ware in existence.
10. About 1675 an English glassmaker, George Ravenscroft,
was successful in making lead glass. To sand and potash he
added lead oxide, thus reducing the ration of salts and sta-
bilizing the glass. The new glass was heavy, soft (easy to
engrave), and possessed a glossy brilliance not present in
soda glass. Ravenscroft's success was one of the most impor-
tant contributions to the glass industry in its entire his-
tory. The new glass was called "cristalline glass" by its
maker. Many of Ravenscroft's wares were stamped with a seal
of a raven's head. About 20 sealed vessels are in existence,
including bowls, bottles, jugs, mugs, posset pots, and wine-
glasses of two forms. Of five sealed fragments recovered
at Jamestown, at least 2, possibly 3, bear the raven's head
Excavations at Panama Vieja
George A. Long
University of Florida
A few months before his death in May, 1963, Dr. John M.
Goggin conducted an archaeological expedition to the Repub-
lic of Panama with the purpose of investigating Spanish ce-
ramics at the historical site of Panama Vieja. This inves-
tigation was part of the continuing research that Dr. Goggin
had been doing the past years in his use of Spanish ceramics
as time indicators for Florida and Caribbean sites. As
those present at this conference know, Dr. Goggin had been
doing extensive work with majolica, a tin enameled earthen-
ware, for that purpose.
Previous to December 1962, Dr. Goggin had been receiv-
ing Spanish ceramic material collected at the site of Panama
Vieja by H. Morgan Smith. This site, located on the Pacific,
had been a Spanish colonial port. The town was founded in
1519 and was destroyed by Henry Morgan in 1671. There were
indications that a new majolica type had made an appearance
at Panama and that there were pottery producing kilns at
Panama Vieja in which majolica may have been manufactured.
Dr. Goggin, his wife, and two student assistants;
Jeffery Rubin and myself, arrived in Panama Christmas Eve
and remained two weeks in which activities centered around
investigating the kiln site associated with the ruins of
Panama Vieja and digging stratigraphic test pits within the
actual ruins of the destroyed town.
The kilns were located a short distance outside of the
old town, at least a quarter of a mile from the ruins. This
was probably because they were a fire hazard or because the
location was adequate for obtaining the proper clay. The
area around the kilns was rich in red clay earth and there
was a large depression near the kilns which was perhaps a
Two kilns were represented at the site. One of the
kilns had been completely destroyed by a bulldozer in an
earlier land clearing project. The other kiln was buried
under an overburden of earth deposited in that operation.
Fortunately there had been no construction on the site be-
fore Dr. Goggin's arrival. However, circumstances prevented
the excavation of an intact kiln at that time.
Material rescued by Smith and that collected during
this investigation shed much light on Panamanian kiln prac-
tices. Artifacts reflecting the kiln technology and exam-
ples of the various stages of production were obtained.
The Panamanian potters were placing some of their wares
in cylindrical ceramic containers to protect them from the
flames during the firing process. These saggers have verti-
cal rows of triangular openings on the side in which pins
are inserted that support the plates inside. Frederick Mat-
son in correspondence with Dr. Fairbanks, has confirmed that
use of the saggers and pins. Highly similar saggers and
triangular pins are also known from English and Dutch Delft
Tripodal clay supports were used to support and separate
the bowls during firing. These can be expected to leave
three scars on the fired pottery at the points of contact.
Plates which are supported inside the sagger by the inserted
pins through the sagger wall will have scars beneath the
Various stages of production are represented. Ceramics
from the kiln site include unglazed pottery which represents
the biscuit stage of production. The enameled earthenware
pottery was fired twice. After the original firing the bis-
cuit or clay body is dipped into the enamel and than retired.
Pieces of fired pottery which had not yet been enameled were
common on the site.
It appears that unglazed earthenware was being produced
on the site. Sherds of unglazed earthenware decorated with
feldspar inlays were found associated with the kilns. This
type of ware has been reported for the Portuguese fort, Ft.
Jesus at Mombasa, Kenya, Africa.
Waste material occurred on the site which included ves-
sels that were improperly fired. Common among the waster
collection was blue-on-white decorated majolica in which the
glazing process had not reached maturity. Blue and white
glaze drippings are found on some of the sagger parts. Some
of the wasters strongly suggest the polychrome majolica
which occurred in the upper levels of the stratigraphic test
pits excavated within the ruins of the town.
Dr. Goggin set up three excavation units within the
ruins of Panama Vieja. The first was located behind the
Cathedral of St. Anastasius near the rectory. A second lo-
cation was chosen on the opposite side of the main road
named Calle de Santo Domingo. The third location for stra-
tigraphic test pits was chosen near the beach. At these
places sections five foot square were excavated in four inch
Because of the collapsed ruins, cut stone and roofing
tile complicated the upper levels. From approximately twenty
to thirty inches below the surface level was a midden-like
zone characterized by black dirt, shell, and bone fragments.
Brown marl occurred below. At fifty two inches below ground
surface bedrock halted excavation in the sections behind the
Majolica, Olive Jar sherds, various glass fragments,
and metal artifacts were obtained throughout the levels. A
complete sherd count has not been made at this time. How-
ever, definite trends in the occurrence of majolica types
throughout the levels can be seen in preliminary observa-
Predominate in the bottom levels were two types of
plain ware. One has a white enamel over a white paste. It
is identical or very similar to Columbia Plain. The other
type is characterized by a pale green enamel over a red
paste. In Dr. Goggin's field notes there is reference to
the majolica types of Columbia Plain and Panama Plain. Oc-
curring also in the bottom levels were the majolica types;
Itchtucknee Blue-on-Blue and Yayal Blue-on-White. Oriental
porcelain was also present in some strength.
In the upper levels the two plain types of majolica no
longer occur. Instead there is a large quantity of a poly-
chrome majolica and some blue-on-white majolica. The majol-
ica referred to by Dr. Goggin as Panama Polychrome has black,
green, and blue decorations on a surface that grades from
white to pale green. The black varies to a brown and magen-
ta. The paste is red.
The Columbia Plain, Itchtucknee Blue-on-Blue, and cer-
tainly the oriental porcelain are imported types which occur
in the lower levels. The Panama Polychrome and a possible
local variety of San Luis Blue-on-White in the upper levels
may reflect the replacement of imported ceramics by locally
It is also possible that the plain majolica in the low-
er levels such as the pale green type with the red paste may
represent common wares being produced at Panama Vieja during
an earlier period. Changing commercial regulations could
account for a change in the quality of pottery manufactured.
It can be speculated that the pale green color in the glaze
of the plain type of majolica and the Panama Polychrome
could be caused by a common impurity. Analysis of the pot-
tery excavated within the ruins with consideration of the
stratigraphic placement and analysis of the pottery and clay
from the kiln site will probably yield the final facts.
In this report I have briefly described Dr. Goggin's
archaeological investigations at Panama Vieja last December
and have tried to make some general descriptions of the ma-
terial he obtained there. A more complete analysis of the
Panama ceramics will be reported sometime in the future. Dr.
Goggin often expressed his deep appreciation of the help ex-
tended to us by Dr. Alejandro Mendez Pereira, Director of
the Panama National Museum. The present author would like
to add his own thanks for the help Dr. Mendez so graciously
extended to us. I would also like to express my apprecia-
tion to H. Morgan Smith and Dr. Russell H. Mitchell for the
many courtesies they extended us.
The Trial Ethnohistory Project at the University of Florida
Charles H. Fairbanks and Charles J. Fleener
University of Florida
The project began in September, 1962, with the employ-
ment of three highly qualified graduate students: Luis
Arana, Charles J. Fleener, and Maria Rosa Uria Santos. John
M. Goggin, directed the research until shortly before his
death on May 4, 1963. The original research proposal out-
lined a program of locating, abstracting, and translating
items concerning Florida Indian groups from the Stetson Col-
lection of Spanish documents in the P. K. Yonge Library of
Florida History at the University of Florida. The project
was terminated on June 30, 1963 with the expenditure of the
Early in the course of the project it was necessary to
make a decision regarding the proposed intent of the work.
The number of pertinent items discovered far exceeded the
original estimation. In addition, the problems of transcrib-
ing the manuscript caligraphy proved more difficult than had
been anticipated. In nearly all the cases the three re-
searchers were dealing with photostats rather than with mod-
ern transcribed copies. The only available handbook, Juan
Villasana Haggard's Handbook for Translators of Spanish His-
torical Documents, is not particularly adapted to the orth-
ography of the Florida scribes. For these reasons it was
decided to first transcribe the pertinent extracts into mod-
ern typewritten Spanish orthography. It was obvious that
typed cards bearing contemporary Spanish transliterations of
the original handwritten documents would be of great use to
the majority of researchers desiring to use the files. A
standard form on 5" x 8" cards was prepared for recording
During the course of the academic year the researchers
read some 240 documents (approximately 3055 pp.), covering
the period extending from 1592 through 1735. The complete
list of documents in the Stetson collection for these years
was made in the Woodbury Lowry and North Carolina series of
documents. Excerpts were made from more than 80 manuscripts,
totaling more than 200 items.
The dates chosen encompass the era of greatest Spanish-
Indian activity in Florida. The period covered the develop-
ment of the mission system and the destruction of the mis-
sions by the Carolinian slavers. It is the era in which the
aboriginal Indian population largely disappeared from the
It was found to be desirable to do a certain amount of
indexing and ordering of the material encountered as the
project developed. Fortunately, the Stetson Collection had
previously been indexed and calendered by William Griffin
under the auspices of the St. Augustine Historical Society.
The Ethnohistoric Survey,keeping in mind the needs of future
researchers, decided to set up indexes based on the various
Indian linguistic groups. The Timucua, Apalache, Guale and
Mocama, Chichimeca, Mayaca, and Apalachicola provinces were
chosen as the basic divisions and, within each sector, sub-
divisions were set up according to communities. Various
translations (as opposed to mere transliterations) of gener-
al references were also produced, again to facilitate fur-
A number of outstanding items were encountered in addi-
tion to the quantity of specific facts that forms the bulk
of the material.
A step-by-step description of the founding of the new
town of Ivitanayo in 1683 is one example of such discoveries.
This reveals the methods by which the Spanish created a made-
to-order Indian community. It throws a great deal of light
on Spanish administrative procedures as well as the accul-
turation process that was at work during this period. Thus,
its usefulness extends beyond the realm of ethnohistory into
that of general anthropology.
Considerable information on the movement of the Toco-
pacas on the lower west coast of the Peninsula shows the dis-
locations resulting from the colonial situation. A specific
description of the preparation of the sacred cassena tea
with the addition of ashes opens new areas both in ethnobot-
any and ritual affairs. A number of references to the Mayaca
Indians sometime after they had been considered extinct will
result in a much better understanding of the process of de-
population of the peninsula during the first Spanish Domin-
Luis Arana was especially interested in the description
of the efforts by the Bishop of Cuba to convert the Indians
on the Keys. This was described in a document of 1711. The
subsequent movement of Florida Indians to Habana, during the
1730's, is a subject that contains ecclesiastical, political,
and economic connotations for both Florida and Cuba. Luis
Arana is preparing a paper dealing with this subject.
A document of 1717 contains a detailed discussion of
the Indian counting and enumeration system. Evidence was
found that the Spanish Indian provinces were laid out in
conformity with linguistic criteria, a fact that was not
documented until the Ethnohistoric Survey discovered the rel-
avent references. This breakthrough promises to be highly
useful in furthering the study of Floridian Indian languages,
a field of research that has hardly been examined so far.
In an excellent report of 1676, the Bishop of Cuba
painted a useful picture of the newly Christianized Indians
in Guale, Timucua, Apalache, and Apalachicola provinces. A
description of physical characteristics, living habits,diet-
ary, and housing conditions, as well as the spiritual fervor
of the new converts, is vividly described. A number of such
reports have been found and transcribed.
The researchers also took special cognizance of ac-
counts of travels through the Peninsula. A collection of the
names, and if possible, physical locations of the missions
and native communities has been assembled. The result is a
survey that enables the researcher to trace, generally,with-
in the period of a decade, the emergence and disappearance
of towns throughout Florida, and in some cases, to watch
their movement from one site to another. A series of res-
idencias by the officer in charge moving community by com-
munity through the province under scrutiny, was a useful aid
in this specific project.
The aim of the Florida Ethnohistoric Survey had been to
discover and make available as much information on Indian
groups as possible, to organize the material encountered,
and with the needs of future researches in mind, to suggest
further avenues of study. The personnel of the Ethnohistoric
Survey believes that the material produced represents the
greatest single collection of data on the Florida Indians so
far available to researchers.
Analysis of the Buttons
from Brunswick Town and Fort Fisher
North Carolina Archives and History
From the excavation of the ruins of the homes and shops
in Brunswick Town of the period from 1726 to 1830, two hun-
dred and fifty-eight buttons have been recovered. Seventy-
eight percent of these were recovered from the six room ruin
of the Public House-Tailor Shop. The town was burned in
1776, consequently most of the ruins have a sealed-in con-
text from 1726 to 1776. Two ruins have revealed that.they
were occupied between 1800 and 1830's, and buttons from this
context have been recovered.
Across the Cape Fear River from Brunswick Town, on the
site of Civil War Fort Fisher, is located the ruin of the
lighthouse keeper's house, which was used as a headquarters
by Colonel William Lamb, defender of the fort. This brick
house ruin represents the period 1837 to 1865, and is docu-
mented through the original construction contract of 1837.
From this context, two hundred and forty-nine buttons were
recovered, as well as seven sleeve links, making a total
from both sites of 507 buttons and sixty sleeve links. With
this wealth of material from three isolated contexts, cover-
ing a period of one hundred and forty years, an analysis of
the button types was undertaken so that some data could be
made available which may prove of value to others working in
the field of historic site archaeology.
A number of reference sources were examined, but none
gave the type of detailed information which would prove of
value in a typological analysis such as would be most useful
to the archaeologist in an evaluation of buttons from an ar-
chaeological context. Apparently late 18th century and ear-
ly 19th century buttons are considered "early" by some writ-
ers on the subject, and therefore such studies are of limit-
ed use in comparison with buttons from early and middle 18th
century contexts. One reason for this situation, is the
comparative rarity of button samples from the 18th century.
Costumes and museum collections have been examined by some
writers on buttons, and conclusions as to the button types
have been made, but this approach also leaves much to be de-
sired when it comes to comparison with buttons from known
archaeological contexts where percentage relationships based
on a relatively large sample can provide valuable compara-
tive typological and temporal data. Historic references and
museum collections should be utilized by historic site ar-
chaeologists in studies of ceramics, kaolin pipes, buttons,
and other items of material culture, but this data is very
limited in its usefulness in the interpretation of an Ameri-
can historic site when it is used without the archaeological
data. It is through the archaeological data that the most
valuable insights can be had into the material culture of a
group once occupying a particular site. The approach of the
historic site archaeologist is therefore one in which a syn-
thesis is attempted utilizing the data provided by historic
references and archaeological technique, analysis, and in-
In conducting the analysis of the buttons from the ruins
at Brunswick Town and Fort Fisher the types were established
on the basis of the observable physical characteristics of
form and detail. Through this approach a total of 16 button
types were described for the period from 1726 to 1776, and
16 types for the period from 1800 to 1865. Three additional
types characteristic of sleeve-links were described.
The description of the thirty-five button types is pre-
sented first, followed by an analysis and an interpretive
summary. Throughout the paper a greater understanding can
be had by frequent reference to the analysis chart accompa-
nying the article.
In order to better comprehend the type descriptions
some of the terms used should be defined. "Brass" is the
term used to refer to the yellow metal composed of copper
and zinc and other metals in various proportions, which was
used in the manufacture of so many buttons. When the color
of the metal was a definite copper color, such as in those
buttons which had been silverplated, the term "copper" is
used. For the brittle metal buttons which have the appear-
ance of white brass, and are made of brass with arsenic add-
ed, the descriptive term "white brass" is preferred. This
hard white metal is sometimes known by the term, tombac. For
the soft, cast whitemetal buttons which often have the shank
and the disc cast as one piece, the term "whitemetal" has
been used. They may be of pewter, lead, or soft alloys. The
buttons indicating that they were once covered with a thin
layer of gold are termed "gilt", and those with a silver
coating "silverplated". The term "shank" refers to the at-
tachment on the back of the button body or "disc" through
which the hole of the "eye" passes.
ANALYSIS OF THE BUTTONS
FROM THE RUINS AT
BRUNSWICK TOWN AND
FORT FISHER, N.C.
of the Button Types
FORT FISHER RUIN
1837 to 1865 Context
0 10 20 30
1800 to 1830
1726 to 1776
Glass Face Cast Brass Engravd Fe d Gas
Type I Type 6 & 1 Tp 7 Tye 13
Lmo ased race
Typec f V7ious Type
Type 9 Machine Stamped
Hand Staped 2 7
Type35 Sleee Lks Type 34
S 18,th Centur
17 Type 26 16 19 20 21 32
Type II Tye Tp 2 Type 27
th Century w Civil Wa
one piece cast back eye brazed hole for
with dri lied eye or soldered expanding bone or wood back brass wire eye
spunback fux joined bone back
embossed face embossed face
TYPE 1 TYPE 2 and polished TYPE 3 embsedface TYPE 4 embossedface
two piece face cast with eye in place cast with eye in place cast with eye in place
pierced top casting spur cast back foot on eye spun back foot on eye mold seam
in boss in boss
polished under-face cast face flux joined casting spur bras
TYPE 5 TYPE 6 TYPE 7 TYPE 8
flat disc face design cast domed disc one piece cast soft whitemetal one piece cast steel
brass no oot iron oxide coating
well soldered eye soldered "U" eye mold seam soft metal core
TYPE 9 TYPE 10 TYPE 11 TYPE 12
cast, faceted glass
brass eye and boss drilled eye in shank no off-set rim flat disc
pressed into back soldered eye
one piece bone bone disc crimped on rim face
TYPE 13 TYPE 14 TYPE 15 TYPE 16
cast pierced brass words & designs on back centering hole for cutting tool four hole bone disc
back often rounded
casting plugs stamped brass back usually flat
TYPE 17 TYPE 18 TYPE 19 TYPE 20
iron face shell porcelain iron back & front
sunken panel loose iron eye through back
fiber center iron back flat back convex front & back fabric covered
TYPE 21 TYPE 22 TYPE 23 TYPE 24
machine stamped domed, machine embossed
machine stamped brass face brass fe & back eye loose or soldered n hle coave back
iron back & eye eye loose in hole machine stamped
poorly soldered eye
TYPE 25 TYPE 26 TYPE 27 TYPE 28
cast soft whitemetal spun back stamped brass
wire eye cast In boss cast soft whitemetal drilled eye sunken panel
cast in one piece
TYPE 29 TYPE 30 TYPE 31 TYPE 32
engraved bone sleeve link cast one piece brass stamped brass link
wire in brass plug shank, shell & set holder button mold for Type 8 & 7
pressed into back with drilled eye ra wire eye
S casting outline
shell disc brass set holder
TYPE 3 TYPE 3 glass set glass or paste set wire eye in place
TYPE 33TYPE 34 TYPE 35 ready for casting
N.C. DEPT. of ARCHIVES S HISTORY
THE BUTTON TYPES
Cast brass with shank and back cast together. Wedge shaped
shank with drilled hole. Two piece construction, with domed
cast brass front with relief design. Some have vari-colored
domed glass front. Back is cut by tool as it was spun to
remove irregularities of casting. The two halves are bonded
together with flux after being ground flat on the edges. The
two halves form a hollow button with a very neat hairline
seam at the edge.
Comments: The size is 15, 18, or 20mm. across. No flat
wedge type disc buttons have been found except in
the small sleeve-link size. Front design is of-
ten varieties of the Tudor Rose.
Domed brass type with halves brazed together to form a sharp
smooth edge. Brass wire eye extends through back half and
is soldered in place. Hole for expanding gases on each side
of eye characterizes this type. Face is usually smooth, but
may have face design made during casting.
Comments: Size is from 12 to 20 mm. across. One example
has iron wire eye. This type button was worn by
British and French soldiers prior to 1768, when
regimental numbers were placed on buttons. (Campbell, ms.
p. 7) (Calver & Bolton, p. 229).
Domed, thin, embossed brass or copper faces with a wide va-
riety of designs. Frequently gilt or silverplated. The
front is crimped over a domed bone or wooden back with four
holes. The back has a thinned rim grooved to receive the
crimped metal front.
Comments: Size is about 15 to 30 mm. across. This is the
major type recovered from the Brunswick Town ru-
ins, comprising 42 percent of all buttons recov-
ered. Of this type, 16 percent were embossed with imita-
tions of various fabrics, 8 percent were plain, and the re-
mainder were of various designs. Fifty-two percent showed
signs of gilt, 8 percent were silverplated, and 60 percent
were brass or copper, some of which may have originally been
covered with gilt. Many of this type are represented only
by the embossed face, the wooden back having been destroyed
through decay. A number still have the bone backs in place,
and several wooden backs have been preserved by action of
the copper oxide from the face.
Same as Type 3 with the difference lying in the bone back.
Instead of four holes there is only one center hole through
which a brass wire eye is inserted and bent over. Several
bone backs with eye in place but with the front missing have
been found. Fronts with no backs attached were included
with Type 3.
Comments: Two related examples have an iron disc back with
Domed, thin, embossed brass or copper front with pierced a-
reas in the design. Behind this pierced face is a smooth
second face providing depth of appearance. Behind these two
faces is a bone or wooden back with four holes, or one hole,
and an eye of brass wire as in Type 3 and 4.
Comments: This four piece button is one of the more elabo-
Cast brass or copper face with Tudor Rose and other designs
Domed brass or white brass back with brass wire eye extend-
ing through back. Eye is fastened in place at the time of
casting, with metal from the back conforming to the shape of
the eye, producing a "burr" or "spur" on each side of the
eye. Back and front halves are ground at edges to insure
close fit as in Type 1. Front and back fastened together
with adhesive flux. Fine seam around edge where back and
Comments: The same basic type as Type 1 with the exception
of the eye. Some examples have spun, tooled
backs to remove the irregularities of casting.
Some have had the spur on each side of the eye removed with
a file, the marks of which can be seen. A related example
has iron backs and eyes.
Brass or white brass discs with brass wire eye fastened to
back during casting. The foot and ends of the eye on the
button were turned out to form a foot before casting--this
foot is usually hidden by the cast boss. The irregularities
of the cast back are removed by a cutting tool as the button
is held in a chock and turned. The back is slightly concave,
flat, or tapering to a high point or boss at the eye. The
concentric rings of the cutting tool around the eye are di-
agnostic. Some eyes are of iron.
Comments: This type was described by Olsen as having a char-
acteristic burred edge around the eye, however,
this burr is not present on the Brunswick buttons
as a result of the cutting tool. The Brunswick buttons of
this type do, however, have a collar of metal on each side
of the wire eye which is a result of the molten metal con-
forming to the shape of the eye during casting. When the
eye is broken off, this part of the cast boss around the eye
appears as a double "spur". Faces plain except for one
which has fine engraved design. The eye has a turned out
foot beneath the boss.
Whitemetal, brass, white brass, or copper cast metal disc
buttons like Type 7 with the exception of the back, which is
not spun and tooled. These buttons were cast in a mold. The
raised center boss around the eye is present as in Type 7,
but no concentric rings are seen since no cutting tool was
used to remove the natural pebbled surface of the casting.
The faces are plain, polished smooth, with the exception of
one which has a relief design from the casting mold, and two
white brass buttons with a Tudor Rose engraved on the face.
The size varies from 16 to 27mm. across.
Comments: On examples where a one-piece face mold was used
there is a spur of brass on each side of the eye
resulting from the molten metal conforming to the
shape of the eye during casting. When two piece face mold
was used, the boss was a complete dome without the brass
spurs at the base on each side of the eye. The foot is of-
ten turned out beneath the boss.
Flat coin shaped discs of copper or brass. The brass wire
eye is fastened to the back with a drop of solder. The front
is often stamped with designs made from several individual
Comments: The size varies from 14 to 35 mm. across. The
larger buttons are those with the more elaborate
stamped designs. Two examples of this type had
silverplated faces. It is worthy of note that in other de-
scriptions of this type (Johnson, vol. 1, p. 12, and Olsen,
p. 552) a characteristic feature of this type is said to be
the tendency of the eye to separate from the button back.
Not a single button of this type from the Brunswick ruins
was without its securely fastened eye.
Cast brass, saucer shaped button with a "U" shaped eye sol-
dered to the concave back. No smoothing of the back was
done. The domed face has a small irregular rim.
Comments: Only one of this type has been recovered from
Brunswick Town. It is the type worn by soldiers
in the French Army around 1750 (Campbell, ms., p4)
Cast, flat, whitemetal button with eye and disc cast as one
piece. Face plain, or with boss where eye comes through, or
star in relief. Examples from 19th century context with
script "I", "U S", or swirl design. Mold mark visible on
back and on eye.
Context: 1726 to 1865
Comments: The buttons of this type from the 1726 to 1776
context were 17 to 24 mm. across, while the "U S"
and script "I" types from the 1837 to 1865 con-
text were 13 to 20 mm. across. The 13 mm. were the vest
buttons and the 20 mm. were the coat General Service buttons
of the militia in the War of 1812, (Calver and Bolton, p148)
Domed whitemetal button with high iron content and an iron
wire eye. The oxidation of the iron in the metal has pro-
duced a coating of oxide over a soft whitemetal core. A
solid domed type shaped like Type 2.
Comments: Only one of this badly preserved type was found.
Domed, faceted glass buttons with brass plug in back holding.
brass wire eye. Color is black, or brown with black spots.
Brass back plug with brass wire eye inserted into hot glass
while it was still in the mold.
Comments: Faceted steel buttons were made by the mid-lith
century, and this faceted glass type button prob-
ably dates from that same period.
Flat bone button with shank and drilled eye in one piece
Comments: This button, only one of which was recovered from
the Brunswick ruins, is an imitation of the cast
brass, wedge back buttons with a drilled shank.
Bone discs with no tooled rim for receiving the crimped over
metal front. These discs have only one central hole. The
size varies from 9 to 29 mm. across.
Comments: These bone button discs were found in some number
during the excavation of Fort Michilimackinac,and
are dated there from 1750 to 1770. They probably
were locally made and may have been covered with fabric with
a string eye. None have been found with brass eyes inserted
at Brunswick, and none are shown in the Michilimackinac man-
uscript illustrations. (Campbell, ms., p. 11).
Flat, brass, disc with depressed rim around back to receive
crimped front. Front does not cover whole face of button,
but only the area around the rim, resulting in a thickened
rim on the face. The eye is soldered to the back of the disc.
Comments: Only two of this type were found, one in the
Brunswick ruins and one at Fort Fisher ruin.
Cast brass coated with silver, with pierced pattern around
edge. Rope pattern interwoven around edge. Center polished
smooth and slightly concave to reflect light. Two addition-
al circular pieces added to build up the center.
Comments: This is the most elaborate button found at Bruns-
wick. It has two pouring marks on the back made
during molding. A brass wire eye is soldered to
Brass, flat disc type with brass wire eye soldered to back.
Some examples are slightly concave on the back, with a thick-
ened rim on the back. Makers names, concentric lines, a
wreath motif, and references to the gilding impressed or in
relief on the back are characteristic. The front is usually
plain, but concentric ring design is found.
Comments: One included in this type has a plain back, but
has an eagle on a cannon with a stack of six
balls under the barrel on the front, and the word
"CORPS" beneath. This button was used by the enlisted men
of the artillery corps between 1814 and 1821. (Johnson, p.
44.) It is also unusual in that the brass wire eye has had
the foot bent outward where it joins the button back, thus
affording a better footing for the eye. This is one of only
two buttons with this type attachment for the eye found in
this type. Another button which was included in this type,
but is not typical, is one found in the Public House-Tailor
Shop at Brunswick, in what is apparently a 1726 to 1776 con-
text. This button would ordinarily be included in Type 9,
but on the back, stamped with a die after the button was cut,
is the work "GILT". The early context and the style of the
button would indicate that this may be an example of the
earliest type of marking on the back of buttons, i.e. hand
stamped with a die rather than machine stamped or impressed
during casting. It should be pointed out here, perhaps, the
difference between the disc shaped buttons of the 18th cen-
tury, represented by Type 9, and Type 18 of the early 19th
century other than the wording on the back. The disc but-
tons of the 18th century are characterized by their flatness
and little rounding of the edges. The disc buttons of the
early 19th century, besides the frequent use of words, de-
signs etc. on the back, are more rounded at the edges, and
do not have the die stamped designs characteristic of the
18th century buttons. The working on the button backs of
Type 18 buttons are: LORD AND LEES WARRANTED", "*GILT
*", from the 1800-1830 context, and: "TREBLE GILT STAND
d COLOUR", "STANDARD- COLOUR", "BEST G", an eagle and **
BEST**, "***LONDON", "BENEDICT & BORNHAM EXTRA", as well
as various wreath type motifs, and concentric lines, from
the 1837-1865 context.
Bone buttons with five holes, with the center hole usually
larger. The central area of the button face is usually de-
pressed, leaving a thicker rim. The holes are drilled in
this depression. The backs show parallel saw marks, and the
face shows concentric cutting rings. The size is 16 mm. a-
cross, with an occasional one 23 mm., or 13 mm.
Comments: These have not been found in an 18th century con-
Bone buttons with four holes which usually taper both front
and back. Made like the five hole buttons, but the backs
are often domed, showing concentric rings of a cutting tool
used to smooth the back surface as well as the front.
Iron, four hole buttons made in three pieces. The front
with a depressed center area is crimped over a thin back
disc. A center disc of wood or fiber aids in providing a
tight fit of the two metal halves.
Comments: These buttons are badly preserved, and often are
found without the metal back, indicating that
other materials than iron may have sometimes been
used as a base for the crimped over front. Although this
type button is not said to have been introduced before 1870,
(Olsen, p. 553) it has been found in an early 19th century
context at Brunswick Town, Fort Fisher and elsewhere. The
size is from 14 to 18 mm. across.
Shell buttons with four holes and a depressed central area
for the holes. The size. varies from 8 to 13 mm. across.
Some have arcs and notches around the rim as a decoration.
Comments: Two shell buttons of this type, but with only two
holes, were found at the Fort Fisher ruin.
Porcelain, white, four hole, convex face and back, with de-
pressed area in central portion of the face for the holes.
The size is 10 to 11 mm. across, with a few 15 mm.
Comments: Since only two of these were found in the Bruns-
wick Town context of 1800 to 1830, it is apparent
that this type became a major type between 1837
and 1865, as revealed from the Fort Fisher ruin, represent-
ing 29 percent of all buttons recovered from this ruin. One
green and two blue, four hole buttons, and one blue two hole
button were found in the Fort Fisher ruin, and evidently re-
present rare types during the period.
Domed, three piece iron buttons with fabric covering the
face. The front domed piece fits over the iron back disc
with inserted eye. The pressure of the back disc holds the
fabric in place.
Comments: This type is badly preserved, with only traces of
the fabric remaining on the face of the buttons.
The eyes frequently pulled out of the iron back-
Slightly domed brass front crimped over an iron backing disc
with an iron eye. The front is embossed with various deco-
rative patterns and gilded.
Comments: The iron backs and eyes are very badly preserved,
and it is assumed that the iron wire passed
through the back disc loosely, as it did with the
brass examples of the same period.
Slightly domed, three-piece brass buttons with the brass
wire eye passing loosely through a hole in the back piece.
The back disc often has one or more concentric rings in re-
lief around the eye. The front is pressed over the back
disc, and is embossed with various designs and is gilded.
The size varies from 9 to 15 mm.
Comments: These are civilian buttons, counterparts to the
military buttons of Type 27.
Domed, three-piece brass buttons with the line eagle device
on front. Drawn brass wire eye extending through hole in
back and loose, or soldered. Back plain, concentric lines
in relief, or "SCOVILLS & CO. EXTRA"
Comments: These buttons were General Service Buttons of the
period before and during the Civil War, and no
doubt date from the 1865 period of the occupation
of Fort Fisher. (Johnson).
Disc type, slightly convex on the face with wire eye sol-
dered to back. Stamped brass with the letters "N C" on a
lined central area surrounded by a rayed star with sometimes
seven and sometimes eight points. The size is 22 mm. across.
Context: 1860's, during the occupation of Fort Fisher.
Comments: All buttons of this type found have the wire eye
broken away from the back.
Flat, cast whitemetal button with wire eye set into boss on
Back. Plain undecorated face. The size is 18 mm. across.
Comments: Only one of this type was found.
Cast whitemetal four hole button with conical shape toward
the back, probably from being pulled during use. The size
is 17 mm. across.
Comments: Only one of this type has been found.
Flat, cast brass, spun back type with shank and disc cast in
one piece. Drilled hole in the shank for the eye.
Comments: The size is 15 mm. across. This type is made
like the back of Type 1. None of this type were
found in a colonial context except as sleeve
links, and only one was found at Fort Fisher.
Stamped brass four hole button with a depressed center area
The size is 12 and 16 mm. across.
Comments: One button of this type is complete in a single
piece. Another type has two and probably three
parts, a face and a matching back with four match-
ing holes, both stamped. The front piece was pressed over
the back piece around the rim, with a piece of cardboard
probably separating the two halves and helping to produce a
tight fit. This is the same construction as the iron but-
tons described as Type 21.
During the excavation of the ruins at Brunswick and
Fort Fisher a total of sixty sleeve links were found. A de-
tailed analysis of these interesting button types will not
be presented here, however, three additional types and a
general summary is given.
Domed bone button with engraved design on the front and a
brass eye set into a brass plug in a hole cut into the back
of the button.
Comments: Size is 11 mm. across and 5 mm. thick.
Composite button of shell, brass and glass. The shell disc
is 15 mm. across, with a hole drilled in the center of the
back for attachment of the brass shank. The shank is cast
brass with a drilled hole for the eye. The shank is attached
to the hole with an adhesive. Some brass shanks extend
through the shell to the front and hold a glass or paste
stone which appears as a set on the face of the button. The
face of the shell is incised with radial and concentric
lines, a geometric or star pattern.
Comments: The brass shank is often found without the shell
disc, and might be difficult to recognize without
knowledge of the construction of the complete
Domed, hemispheric, round, oval, square or octagon shaped
set holders for glass, paste or composition sets. These
were made of whitemetal, brass, copper, silver, pewter, or
iron. The set was held by crimping the domed back over the
edge of the set. The two buttons were held together by brass
links of wire or stamped links. The eyes were cast as a
part of the set and drilled, or a wire eye was fastened
through the holder and soldered, or soldered to the back of
the domed holder. The back has embossing on some examples.
Comments: Many sets without the holder have been recovered
as well as the metal holders minus their sets.
Sleeve links not of the set holding type can be
typed within the same framework as the buttons.
ANALYSIS OF THE BUTTON TYPES
When the buttons were divided into the thirty-two types
the percentage relationship between the types was determined
with the buttons from Brunswick and Fort Fisher being compu-
ted separately. The resulting percentages were plotted as
two bar graphs. This graphic data was combined with draw-
ings of the button types and a photograph of various types,
into a master analysis chart which illustrated the complied
data. From the bar graph it can be seen that types one
through sixteen represent the button types from the 1726 to
1776 Brunswick Town context. Types three through nine, how-
ever, represent the major types from this context. The most
striking part of this graph, of course, is the high percen-
tage of Type 3 buttons represented, indicating that this was
a major type used by the residents of Brunswick. As can be
seen from the analysis chart, Type 3 is an embossed face but-
ton crimped over a bone or wood back. Type 4 is virtually
the same type with the exception of the brass wire eye
through the bone back instead of the four hole back. Type 5
is also basically this same type, having the bone or wood
back with four holes or a single hole and a brass wire eye,
but with the exception of the two-piece face. When these
three types are combined, over fifty-five percent of all
buttons recovered from the Brunswick ruins are represented.
Types 6, 7, and 8 are related in that they were cast
with a brass wire eye in place in the mold during the cast-
ing process. When the wire eye was placed into a hole in
the mold and the molten metal poured over it, the metal ran
into the slot holding the wire eye, and produced a casting
spur on one or both sides of the eye. These spurs are char-
acteristic of Types 6, 7, and 8 except when a two-piece mold
was used, producing a mold mark across the back of the but-
ton as shown in the drawing of Type 8. In this case the
two halves of the mold could be tightly fitted around the
wire eye, resulting in the elimination of the casting spur.
This method of attaching the eye during the casting process
is used with the two-piece cast buttons of Type 6, where the
eye passed through the back half. It is also used with Type
7 buttons which are a flat disc, but were tooled on the back
in a lathe after casting in order to remove irregularities
of the cast back surface. The buttons of Type 8 are similar
except that they do not have the tooled back surface, but
were used as they came from the casting. Types 7 and 8 have
the ends of the wire eye bent over to form a foot. This
characteristic can seldom be observed due to the fact that
the boss of the cast metal around the foot prevents this ob-
servation, but the cutting tool used to smooth the back of
Type 7 frequently cuts into the wire foot at the edge of the
boss, revealing this characteristic.
Types 1, 31, and 34 are related in that the eye is
drilled through a cast shank. However, only Type 1 was
found as a button in the colonial context. Type 31 was
found as a sleeve link type in the colonial context, but no
larger buttons of this type were found except in a 19th cen-
Type 2 is a well made button with two domed halves
brazed together and polished smooth to produce an almost in-
visible seam. A hole in the back on each side of the wire
eye identifies this type. These holes probably functioned
to allow expanding gases created during the brazing process
to escape without danger of exploding the button. A number
of this type were found during the excavation of Fort Michi-
limackinac and date from the British occupation of the fort
prior to 1768 when numbered buttons began to be used.
(Campbell, ms., p. 7-8) Type 10 has been identified as a
French button worn by the soldiers around 1750. (Campbell,
ms., p. 4) Only one of this type was recovered from the
ruins at Brunswick.
Type 9 is of interest in that the face is often stamped
by hand with a series of dies to produce a decorative design.
These buttons are often quite large, as can be seen from the
photograph on the analysis chart. A characteristic of this
type button is that the wire eye is well soldered in place,
all specimens recovered from the Brunswick ruins having the
eye intact, even though only the small ends of the wire eye
is all the surface bearing on the button back. This evi-
dence is contrary to that reported by Olsen (Olsen, p. 552)
who states that many "eyeless" buttons of this type have
been recovered from "early house and fort sites". His date
for the type of 1785 to 1800 would indicate that by "early"
he means the period not prior to 1785, which would be consi-
dered late at Brunswick. The difference in the degree to
which the eye of this type is securely fastened to the back
is probably related to the period involved. Olsen lists
only a fifteen year span for the type, when evidence from
Brunswick and Fort Fisher indicates that one hundred years,
from the 1760's to 1860's, would be a better estimate of the
period involved. This evidence would also indicate that the
buttons of this type prior to the Revolution would likely
have securely fastened eyes, while those of the 19th century,
such as Type 28, would be poorly soldered in place, and fre-
quently broken off and lost.
The analysis chart reveals that the Type 11 buttons,
poured into a mold which formed the eye and button disc in
the same operation, were used both in the 18th century, and
were popular in the early years of the 19th century. Mili-
tary buttons of the War of 1812 were of this type. One of
the differences in this type from the two centuries is that
those from the 18th century have the eye complete with a
short shank below the eye, while those from the 19th century
often lack the shank below the eye, resulting in the eye
emerging directly from the back of the button, often as a
Only one button of Type 12 was found in the excavation
of these ruins. The relatively soft core and the coating of
iron oxide indicate that the material was some sort of steel
with a high whitemetal content. The domed button was cast
solid, with an eye of iron held in place during casting.
Steel was used as a minor button material from the 1750's.
(Perry, p. 268) A similar style button cast in glass is
represented by Type 13. This type has a brass eye and cir-
cular eye holder or boss pressed into the hot glass, result-
ing in a small tit of glass pushing up from the button be-
tween the two feet of the eye.
Although bone button backs such as found on Type 3 and
4 buttons were a definite part of the button complex of the
18th century context at Brunswick Town, the four and five
hole complete bone buttons of Type 19 and 20 have not been
found in any context prior to 1800. Olsen reports that the
five hole bone button was used as early as 1750, but this
has not been found to be the case in the present study.
(Olsen, p. 553) However, bone discs with one center hole,
and with no off-set rim have been found in the colonial con-
text as well as the 19th century. A number of Type 15 but-
tons were found at Fort Michilimackinac in a 1750 to 1770
context. (Campbell, ms., p. 11) It is thought that this
type was probably covered with fabric. It should be distin-
guished from the one hole off-set rim backs of Type 4, which
were forms or backs for the embossed metal buttons.
Also appearing in the early 19th century context along
with the four and five hole bone buttons are the discs of
stamped brass frequently having words or concentric lines or
a wreath type motif in relief or impressed into the back.
The eye of Type 18 buttons is frequently poorly soldered and
may be missing. Two of this type had the ends of the wire
eye bent over to form a foot, but this was an exception
rather than a rule for the type.
As can be seen from the graph on the analysis chart,
buttons of porcelain and shell, for shirts, are major types
from the 19th century context. (Type 22 and 23). Type 32
of stamped brass is similar in style, as well as the cast
soft whitemetal button of Type 30.
Type 21 is an iron button with four holes made in three
parts. The front with a depressed center panel is pressed
over an iron back with a fiber center to act to give body
and hold pressure on the two iron halves. Buttons of this
type are usually badly preserved, and are frequently found
without the back half. From the evidence from Brunswick
Fort Fisher it would appear that this type button made its
appearance during the first quarter of the 19th century.
Another type of iron button was made in two parts with a fi-
ber center, but was domed and had an iron wire eye loosely
fastened through a hole in the back half. The front half
was covered with a fabric. This is Type 24. A variation of
this is type 25, which has a stamped brass front and an iron
back. Type 26 is also related, but is made with back, front
and eye of brass, and consequently this type will be much
better preserved. Type 25 and 26 relate to the colonial
tradition of Types 3 and 4, but the difference is easily
seen in the type of embossed face, the stamped relief de-
signs of Type 25 and 26 appearing quite different from the