Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

David B. Landon

Second Advisor

Stephen Mrozowski

Third Advisor

Heather Trigg


Boston's African Meeting House is one of the oldest and most significant African American churches in the country. This 19th century structure and the free African American community surrounding it, were a rare and integral part of our nation's history. These middle-class African Americans were able to rise above prejudice and segregation to create a thriving community in which businesses flourished, children were educated and revolutionary social changes were made. This situation was particularly unique because it occurred during a time when most African Americans were still enslaved. In an effort to understand how this community was created, I examine the material culture from a privy on the site. Ceramics along with a small sample of glass and other artifacts are used to link consumer choice with the creation and negotiation of a middle-class, African American identity.


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