27 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2016
  2. www.histarch.illinois.edu www.histarch.illinois.edu
    1. Bunker Hill

      The Battle of Bunker Hill was the first official battle of the Revolutionary War and took place in Massachusetts. Despite a narrow British victory, the battle encouraged the rebels that they had a chance to win the war. “The Battle of Bunker Hill: Now We Are at War.” Accessed September 6, 2016. https://www.nps.gov/nr/twhp/wwwlps/lessons/42bunker/42bunker.htm.

    2. 61.82 1/2

      I wanted to see some economics numbers from the time to compare Howe's wealth with the average American, but I could not find any substantial economic statistics on the period. However, I was able to find some inflation calculations and found that Howe's wealth would be around $1474.43, but that's still useless with comparative statistics. Here's the graph that shows US inflation from 1792-2016: “$61.82 in 1792 - Inflation Calculator.” Accessed September 6, 2016. http://www.in2013dollars.com/1792-dollars-in-2016?amount=61.82.

    3. Both sections of the footing showed extensive evidence of fire.

      I have noticed that in several of the history books that I've read, fires often cause historians trouble become so many documents have burned either on accident, like Thomas Jefferson's childhood journals, or purposely, George and Martha Washington's letters.

    4. The shotgun house is acknowledged as a true African American architectural form.

      I would never have thought of shotgun houses being African in origin because I have seen it so much in the South. I did some quick reading on them, and, apparently, it is theorized that shotgun houses came with Haitian immigrants, which is why their popularization started in Louisiana and Creole communities and grew in use both due to smaller urban residential lots and real estate taxes that charged based on frontage, not square footage.

      Campanella, Richard. “Shotgun Geography: The History behind the Famous New Orleans Elongated House.” NOLA.com, February 12, 2014. http://www.nola.com/homegarden/index.ssf/2014/02/shotgun_geography_new_orleans.html.

    5. However marginal they may have seemed to the dominant European community,

      I find this statement contradictory because I felt that some of Deetz's earlier writing in this article showed that the community had some care for them, as evidenced by them receiving land at all and having high-quality pottery, possibly gifts from wealthy men.

    6. John Vlach tells us that there is a clear pattern in the types of objects used by African Americans to decorate graves.

      Some very quick reading on this topic taught me that it was a common spiritual belief in Africa that even the afterlife people had the same needs, so the broken objects may be items that the family members thought the dead would need or want. My hypothesis from that would be that the bottles would be smashed to deliver water to the grave. “44-1-10.pdf.” Accessed September 7, 2016. http://www.histarch.illinois.edu/NP/44-1-10.pdf.

      It is another common pattern that I have read in history where people are buried with items that they might need or want, like how the Egyptian Pharaohs were buried with their belongings and even servants, or how in the ancient Indus Valley society, wives would throw themselves onto their husband's funeral pyres, or in Roman civilization, the dead were buried with a coin in their mouth to pay for the passage into the afterlife.

    7. A widespread African system of belief holds not only that the spirits of the dead are white beings, but they reside beneath the water.

      I remember that when I lived in Uganda, native Ugandans would often say water to mean life, and none of us understand why. I think that these ideas are likely connected.

    8. Since the artifactual and architectural remains of these communities are a better index of the life of African Americans in their own terms, they hold great promise of supplementing American black history in a different and important way.

      This concept reminds me of the "Introduction to Vernacular Architecture" article where it talked about how structures that were ordinary and unremarkable at the time but now have huge potential to offer valuable insight into how people lived and the zeitgeist of their time.

    9. In our world today, other lessons gained from thinking about artifacts might be applicable.

      When I took AP Lang, my teacher instilled in me the idea that "Everything's an argument" (Houser 2014), so I have developed the habit of searching for the argument immediately whenever I read nearly anything critically. While reading this article, I could not find any argument to this piece until this paragraph. It felt purposeless to me at first, but looking at it retroactively, I now see a sharply crafted argument about the importance of archaeology and artifacts history and cultural anthropology through this example.

    10. Yet America was not a melting pot in the eighteenth century, and it is not one today.

      One thing that bothered me about Deetz's writing was that it seemed to occasionally try to suggest a subtle commentary about African-American history, but any attempted analysis lacked a crafted sense of reason to me. After all, the crime of America and African-American history is well documented, and, of course, there is always some new perspective or idea to suggest, Deetz never adds anything to the commentary other stating that it was as bad. For me, the embedded commentary did not add to the article and distracted from what, I felt, was the central argument about the importance of archaeological analysis because I was, instead, thinking about the racial implications.

    11. In the New York Times article "Homeownership Drop Is Bad News, but Not for the Reason You Think," economist Dean Baker explains the negative reasons behind the decline in homeownership that are not the obvious reasons that come to mind initially. Baker presumes that most people will interpret the homeownership drop is bad because most people feel that owning a home is inherently good, but Baker states that the drop actually has some potentially positive omens as owning a home is not universally a positive choice for every person. Ideally, Baker says, a drop in owning homes should mean that people are investing money into areas beyond real estate that are more sensible given a person's current condition and that are cheaper and safer to return a profit. However, non-home investments have gone down faster than homeownership, a problem that Baker attributes to the fact that most adults and families lack the education and knowledge to make an informed decision for them and their families. Further, this homeownership drop has disproportionately affected African-Americans, implying that African-Americans also disproportionately lack the ability to make informed financial decisions.

      Where I saw this connect to the story of Parting Ways was that when the African-American men who would live there surely lacked the teachings needed to live effectively because they had been raised as slaves and not given educations, and other than their time as slaves, soldering was the only other form of work that they had been exposed to; even though the land of Parting Ways was destitute, the residents only had farming as way of life to take up. Without any formal education, any ability, or even chance, to read, write, understand finances, run businesses, etc. the four men had no choice but to take up the lives of farmers even if their land lacked the necessary resources. For the African-American citizens today without investments or wise money spending, most of them, likely, grew up in and were educated in poor areas with low qualities of educations due to a lack of funding from low tax revenue. The opportunity exists for these African-Americans and their families to improve their lives and conditions of living, but they cannot take these opportunities because nobody ever gave them the ability to do so. The problem is not as conspicuous as the problems of the 1790's; it is easy to look back and see the crime of allowing children to be born into the world as property and then thrown out into without any reasonable education to give them the abilities to live the full potentials of their lives, both as a result of the lack of training and of the legal, institutional, cultural, and overall barriers placed in the way of African-Americans. Today, children are not born into slavery, but children are born into situations where their parents never received the proper tools to do better and succeed and create a better life, and, as a result, neither do their children. The struggles and consequences of the past are not as acute and definite, as they were at Parting Ways and the entire freedmen community, yet they exist, and it would be another crime to forget that.

       “Homeownership at 50-Year Low — So What?” The New York Times. Accessed September 7, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/08/02/homeownership-at-50-year-low-so-what/homeownership-drop-is-bad-news-but-not-for-the-reason-you-think.
    12. https://www.youtube.com/a40c636a-ab25-4342-9687-7a375e1e1565 I found a great, short video that quickly introduces what Parting Ways is. Its a fantastic source for background information going in to reading the article.

    13. Yoruba two-room side-entrance building

      A very very modernized version of that concept

    14. their African heritage surfaced one more time

      How many generations removed were the Parting Ways residents from being in Africa?

    15. tiny cemetery

    16. shotgun house

    17. Mud-wall-and-post construction is reminiscent of West African building methods, although it did occur in the Anglo-American tradition at an earlier time.

    18. terminus post quem

      " Latin for "limit after which," is used to indicate the date after which an artifact must have been deposited." “TPQ.pdf.” Accessed September 7, 2016. http://anthropology.si.edu/writteninbone/comic/activity/pdf/TPQ.pdf.

    19. photograph

    20. When the site was first visited, the area later shown to have been the main center of occupation was grassy, with an occasional locust tree, in contrast to the scrub pine and oak that covered the remaining original ninety-four acres. There was only one visible feature, a large cellar hole heavily overgrown with brush. Initial excavations were directed at this feature and a slight depression in the ground a short distance away.

    21. map

      Here's a modern map that I found that tries to replicate how the men divided the land. “Maps of New Guinea Settlement from 1823-Present | Parting Ways.” Accessed September 7, 2016. http://partingways.org/cms/learn/parting_ways/documents.

    22. Were it not for Howe's having served in the Continental Army, we would know hardly a thing about him.

      To me, Deetz's tone feels like he's blaming this fact on Howe's race, but that feels unfair to me. Record-keeping was not a common practice in the 1700's.

    23. But Cato was a common slave name

      I'm also curious about why Cato was a common name. When I hear the name Cato, I think of the line of Roman politicians who hated Caesar. Carthage, and luxury.

    24. New Guinea

      Why was New Guinea a common name?

    25. If archaeology is a vital contributor to our understanding of all of America's common folk, and what their life meant to them, it is doubly so in the case of our understanding of the black experience in America.

      That is an interesting point that I had never really considered, but it suddenly makes recounting individual black history more interesting given the difficulties that it presents.

    26. Cato Howe was black.

      Immediately, I'm curious about why the write chose to put such emphasis on the fact that Howe was black. The intro paragraph offers no reason for such importance.

    27. James F. Deetz

      According to the New York times, Deetz was a Harvard-educated anthropologist who specialized in colonial America. “James Deetz, 70, Chronicler of America's Colonial Past.” The New York Times, November 28, 2000, sec. National. http://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/28/national/28DEET.html.