Slave Cabins

Slave Cabins (HM1B55)

Location: Smyrna, TN 37167 Rutherford County
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Country: United States of America
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N 35° 59.383', W 86° 30'

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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.
HM NumberHM1B55
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 at 3:00pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 545069 N 3982923
Decimal Degrees35.98971667, -86.50000000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 35° 59.383', W 86° 30'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds35° 59' 22.98" N, 86° 30' 0.00" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)615, 931
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1399 Sam Davis Rd, Smyrna TN 37167, US
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