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Slave Quarter

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c. 1855
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)
  • Slave Quarter (W. Barksdale Maynard)

This structure is described as Delaware's only documented slave building (but see KT38.1). The documentation consists of an insurance map and policy of 1860 that show “a Framed Quarter 16 × 24 1½ stories high with porch,” worth $125, standing on this location. It housed ten men and four women ages twelve to sixty-four. Later, the building disappeared from the site, but twentieth-century researchers found it standing in a grove of trees across the fields, a log structure with frame additions. When studied in 1992, it was extremely dilapidated. The logs are oak and pine, dovetailed, and chinked with riven scrap and fragments of sawn scantlings. The roughly finished structure had an exterior chimney and a loft. On the plausible assumption that this building is the one mentioned in the 1860 policy—it is the same size and has a porch—it was returned to its original site and heavily restored.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Slave Quarter", [Seaford, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 290-291.

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