(18 Total References)
"Behind the closed doors of their ...
"Behind the closed doors of their modest Baltimore homes, beyond the view of their bosses, these unskilled railroad workers maintained a rich social, religious and family life," says University of Maryland archaeologist Stephen Brighton, whose students just finished digging in the backyards of 19th century Baltimore immigrants.
Now, Brighton's team has begun work excavating another Baltimore-area site - a small settlement in Texas, Maryland that resisted adopting a more mainstream American lifestyle up to the Eisenhower years.
This is the third year Brighton's team has worked there.
"These people helped build Maryland's infrastructure and supply materials for the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, yet their voices have been muted in history," Brighton
"We're beginning to reconstruct their inner world."
CHILDHOOD IN BALTIMORE
and University of Maryland
undergraduates participating in his
archaeological field school spent the past three weeks digging behind the Irish Shrine
in Baltimore - three homes along Lemmon Street in Baltimore dating to the 1850s.
"The children of these working class families were literate, or at the very least learning to read and write," Brighton
"The children had at least some leisure or play time - even in an era when children from the working class were viewed as part of the family's economic structure and put out to work at an extremely young age."
The cache of children's materials on Lemmon Street tracks with earlier discoveries in the rural community of Texas, Maryland, and adds to his
confidence that this is a representative find.
"We're looking back at a period in American history well before child labor laws," Brighton
previous digs, Brighton's
already learned quite a bit about the distinctive patterns of life there.
Irish immigrants settled around 1846 and formed a tight community - one that he
has found persisted into the 1950s, when quarries closed or consolidated, and work dried up.
Those economic changes disrupted the fabric of family life there.
"The patterns in Texas are unlike anything I've seen in big cities like New York, Philadelphia and Baltimore," Brighton
"For about a century, this community remained highly insular, and the families intermarried.
They were able to maintain an invisible wall that separated them from the larger community and preserved their traditional ways.
In the big cities, the Irish had blended in and adopted American lifestyles by the close of the 19th century," Brighton
previous excavations here uncovered two large icehouses and a privy.
recovered ceramic plates, teacups, chamber pots, glass beer and medical bottles, combs, buttons, jewelry, beads and religious medals.
Other evidence came from census records that showed several generations living under the same roof.
Even after children married, they remained with their parents and eventually inherited the house.
FAMILY DINNERS: Ceramic plates were used at family dinners where everyone in the house gathered to share a simple meal, to bond, and transmit their cultural legacy.
At the time, most Americans tended to socialize by holding large dinner parties, but Brighton
didn't find the kind of serving dishes and utensils that would have been needed for such events.
concludes that the Irish immigrants didn't socialize that way and kept dining a family affair.
also recovered religious medallions - further evidence, he
says, of the centrality of religion in family and community life.
Media may arrange for a tour by contacting Brighton
students prepared a blog documenting their excavations at Texas.
More online: http://sites.google.com/site/archaeologyoftexasmaryland/.
University of Maryland archaeologist
KeatingSearch Journal » Texas, Maryland Archaeological Dig
Texas, Maryland Archaeological Dig | Stephen Brighton
KeatingSearch Journal > Texas, Maryland Archaeological Dig
said on 29 March 2010 at 7:34 pm
If there are interested family members, I would love to hear from you about your family history in Texas, MD.
said on 29 March 2010 at 7:35 pm
My name is Stephen Brighton, professor of archaeology at the University of Maryland.
Stephen Brighton: Hello Keatings, My name is Stephen Brighton, professor of archaeology at the University of...
: Hello Keatings, If there are interested family members, I would love to hear from you about your...
Steve Brighton: Assistant Professor in Department of Anthropology, University of Maryland.
His interpretations of the material past seek to confront and demythologize issues of immigration to the US such as negative stereotypes and racialization, and other naturalized ideologies sustaining inequality and injustice between (some) immigrant groups and the mainstream native-born public.
Anthropologist Brighton ...
Anthropologist Brighton (Maryland) offers a historical archaeological investigation of the diaspora of Ireland, reflecting the migration of Irish immigrants to the US during a turbulent period in Irish history from the mid-1840s to the 1850s.
Using this transnational approach to link artifacts and ceramics found in rural Ireland with those discovered in sites in the urban, northeastern United States, Brighton
also employs contemporary diaspora studies to illustrate how various factions sustained a distinct homeland connection even as the Irish were first alienated from, and then gradually incorporated into, American society.
With more than forty million Americans claiming Irish ancestry, fully understanding Ireland's traumatic history and its impact on the growth of the United States remains a vital task for researchers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Brighton's study of lived experience follows a fascinating historical path that will aid scholars in a variety of disciplines.
Stephen A. Brighton is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Maryland.
articles have appeared in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology and Historical Archaeology
Stephen A. Brighton, an ...
Stephen A. Brighton, an archeologist in the department of anthropology at the University of Maryland, has become interested in the research project.