Sam Davis Home
In 1850 the Davis census lists ownership of 35 slaves, 14 males and 22 females. By 1960, 52 slaves, 27 males and 25 females, were living in the 14 slave cabins on the Davis property.
Most Southern slave dwellings were small, often not bigger than 100 square feet, located near the fields, yet close enough to the main house and overseer's quarters to maintain control. Slaves worked hard to transform their quarters into homes, keeping them in good repair and making them as comfortable as possible. Many cabins had adjacent gardens where slaves grew crops to supplement their allotment of food.
The original slave cabins on the Davis farm were sold in the late 1920s to raise money to keep the site open. Later, the Sam Davis Association recognizing the importance of slave cabins to the history of the farm, acquired these cabins from Rattle & Snap
near Columbia, Tennessee.
Large-scale cultivation of cotton began in Tennessee in the 1820s. Although the state's agriculture was never devoted exclusively to cotton, it did remain an important cash crop for the region. The 1860 agriculture census shows that 100 bales of cotton (400 pounds each) were grown on the Davis farm.
Slave Quarter, Dickerson vicinity, Frederick County MD. Courtesy Library of Congress, HABS MD 11-6,4-6
A spring scene near Richmond VA. Harper's Weekly. Courtesy of Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-116583
Southern Cornfield, Nashville Tennessee
(1862) by Thomas W. Wood. T.W. Wood Art Gallery, Montpelier Vermont
Land of cotton. Courtesy Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-56499
Workers including children, picking cotton in Georgia. Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, Miriam & Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints & Photographs. The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenoix and Tilden Foundations.