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Conference Overview

Early North American plantations were not confined to places south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In the mid-Atlantic region, where fertile farmland and deep-water ports provided complementary economic engines, agricultural estates exploiting coerced labor grew in close proximity to urban centers where Northern and Southern interests co-mingled. This conference seeks to understand the distinctive qualities of plantation complexes in the middle colonies and new states while also comparing them to better-known Southern institutions and situating them within the larger contexts of the British Atlantic and the United States.

This conference brings academics, public historians, museum professionals, and others together to examine the phenomenon of mid-Atlantic plantations through interdisciplinary lenses. Scholars will bring their varied backgrounds and research findings to discussions of economic, familial, and religious networks; slavery, indenture, and free labor; land ownership and land development; agriculture, architecture, and spatial relationships; and the construction of gendered and racial categories on mid-Atlantic plantations.

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please visit the registration page here. All pre-circulated papers will be made available to registered attendees of the conference. For accommodations in Philadelphia, please visit this link.


The McNeil Center for Early American Studies, the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia, Stenton Museum, Cliveden of the National Trust, and the Graduate Program in
Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania.