Paste Gems

January 20, 2021By Taylor BrownArchaeology & Landscape Restoration
One of the most thrilling artifacts to uncover at a site is a paste gem and in the last two seasons at the Overseer’s we have found six. Paste gems are imitation jewels, or rhinestones, made by pouring melted glass into gem shaped molds to mimic real gemstones. They could be made in any size [...]

The Naming Project: Sally

December 8, 2020By Hilarie M. HicksResearch

Born December 10, 1763, Sally was 19 years old when James Madison Sr. gave her to his new son-in-law, Isaac Hite. In his commonplace book, Hite wrote next to Sally’s name: “sold.”

The Naming Project: Betty

October 19, 2020By Hilarie M. HicksResearch

Betty, sometimes called “Big” or “Old” Betty, was enslaved by James Madison Sr. and possibly by his father Ambrose. She married Anthony and was the mother of Billey Gardner.