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Race and Labor on a Plural Farm: Setauket, New York, 1700-1885

Location: Setauket, New York, United States

June 9, 2014 to July 25, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, May 31, 2014

Flyer: PDF icon thompson_house_2014.pdf

Program Type


RPA certified



Northwestern University

Project Director:

Bradley D. Phillippi

Project Description

The eighteenth- and nineteenth-century farmstead is known locally as the Thompson House. Five successive generations of the Thompson family lived on this site alongside their enslaved and, after 1815, wage laborers of African descent. Entering its third field season, this project seeks to collect data from contexts of both slavery and freedom. The objective is to learn how the new system of wage labor altered interactions between the Thompsons and African American laborers in the daily operations of the farm.

Excavations will be undertaken between the above dates from 8:00am to 4:00pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, weather permitting. Wednesdays are reserved for artifact washing and cataloging. Participants will learn the fundamentals of archaeological excavations, site interpretation, and laboratory analysis.

The project is limited to 6 volunteers. Priority will be given to participants who can commit to the full project schedule. To apply, please contact Bradley D. Phillippi at

Please keep in mind:

  • Project materials, including excavation equipment, will be supplied.
  • No experience necessary.
  • No cost to participate (no tuition or other fees)
  • Setauket is near Stony Brook University and has housing opportunities for students.

Period(s) of Occupation: Historical, 1700-1885

Historical archaeology; plurality and labor; race and racism; African Diaspora

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

The site is located in Setauket and near Stony Brook University where housing opportunities are available. Please contact the site director for more information.

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered 0


Contact Information
Bradley D Phillippi
1810 Hinman Ave
United States