17 November 2008
This is an 1896 presidential campaign button for the Republican candidate, William McKinley. As we mentioned before the courthouse block was occupied predominantly by African Americans through the middle of the 20th century. The Republican Party was in support of Emancipation and was therefore the political party of choice for African Americans during this time period. This button serves as a reminder that African Americans were politically active, having just received the right to vote in 1870 with the ratification of the 15th Amendment.
The McKinley election was actually the first time celluloid was used for campaign buttons. Celluloid buttons became very popular and are still commonly used today. Unfortunately, this material decomposes easily and therefore buttons like these are very rare to find during archaeological excavations.
Archaeology in Annapolis is currently working with the Historic Annapolis Foundation to create a small exhibit at the Anne Arundel County Courthouse on Church Circle in Annapolis. The exhbit will feature artifacts from excavations on the courthouse block and should be installed in the the coming year. We'll keep you posted on progress!
14 November 2008
When looking at the picture on the left you can see the stratigraphy (layering) of the ground. Evidence of roads and road construction from the past 100 years is on view for anyone passing by to view. Imagine what these roads have laid witness to especially given the few events I listed above. While I was at the Musee de la Reddition, I saw a film showing what the city of Reims looked like before and after its moment in history including events such as the V-E Day parades down the streets of the city, including this street. It was a great way for me to have some context as to what types of finds and materials the archaeologists might be looking for.
Coming soon: Archaeology in Angers, France -- The discovery of 5th century artifacts while building a city tramway
12 November 2008
So, as I mentioned before, prior to the expansion of the courthouse the entire courthouse block in Annapolis was home to an ethnically diverse community. Pictured below are ceramic pipe bowls embossed with the words "Home Rule" which were found at the site:
These pipe bowls are likely connected to Irish immigrants who called the Courthouse block home. "Home Rule" refers to the demand made by the Irish "Home Rule League" for greater autonomy for Ireland within the British Empire during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The presence of these pipes show that even while living in the United States, Irish immigrants were still involved in the politics of their home country. In 1879, Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Nationalist movement, visited the United States to raise money and support for the movement.
Check back later this week to learn about another interesting artifact found at the courthouse site!
02 November 2008
I was just forwarded an announcement about a talk that will be given at
On Tuesday, December 2nd, at 7:00pm,