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Students Uncover Slave Artifacts at Poplar Forest Plantation

Throughout June and July, college students from the University of Virginia unearthed slave artifacts from former president Thomas Jefferson’s plantation at Poplar Forest in Bedford County, Va., as part of an ongoing archaeology program.

“This is a part of a larger effort to eventually restore that structure and open it up as an interpretative place where the public can interact with the issue of slavery here on the property,” said Poplar Forest’s Associate Archeologist Eric Proebsting to WSET news.

These discoveries help fill in the historical gaps of the lives of the 94 slaves owned by Jefferson, as well as scores of others who were enslaved by the Cobbs and Hutter families later on. The students have found plates, bottles and smoking pipes at two of the slave quarter sites.

“These sites will reveal new data about the daily lives of both enslaved and free people who labored on this plantation both during and after Thomas Jefferson’s ownership,” states the university program’s website. — By Locke Curtis

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