Date of Award

8-1-2013

Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

David B. Landon

Second Advisor

Christa M. Beranek

Third Advisor

Stephen A. Mrozowski

Abstract

Whitehall is a historic house museum located in Middletown, Rhode Island, and is currently interpreted as the residence of the famous Irish philosopher and author of "The Alciphron," Dean George Berkeley. Berkeley, however, only lived on the property for three years. During its 300 year history, Whitehall was operated as a tea or coffee house, a quartering house for British troops during the American Revolution, a farmstead, and a restoration project during the early twentieth century preservation movement. Using historical documents and photographs, geophysical data, and artifacts uncovered during the June 2010 excavation, this study aims to encourage the expansion of the current house museum interpretation. It seeks to demonstrate that Whitehall is an informative microcosm of the surrounding area. It also seeks to demonstrate how landscape lens archaeology can be used to examine the juxtaposition of the extreme wealth of the Gilded Age residents on Bellevue Avenue, barely five miles away in downtown Newport, with the impoverished inhabitants of Whitehall during the mid-nineteenth century. In this way, it serves to broaden the understanding of the living conditions experienced by those impoverished by the failure of their farm due to the increasing industrialization of the northeast.

Comments

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