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Archaeology of Identity and DissonanceContexts for a Brave New World$
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Diane F. George  and Bernice Kurchin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056197

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056197.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 27 January 2020

“The Little Stairway under the Bell”

“The Little Stairway under the Bell”

Ethnicity, Race, and Class in Antebellum Brooklyn

Chapter:
(p.106) 6 “The Little Stairway under the Bell”
Source:
Archaeology of Identity and Dissonance
Author(s):

Marcus Alan Watson

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813056197.003.0006

The Lott House in Brooklyn, one of the few remaining Dutch colonial farmhouses in New York City, was a place of multiple and transforming identities in encounters between persons of Dutch, English, and African descent. At one time the family was among the largest slaveholders in Brooklyn, yet they may have become abolitionists and used their house as part of the Underground Railroad. This chapter looks at the Lott family in the first half of the nineteenth century and how they fashioned and adapted their identities within the changing environment of antebellum America, particularly in relation to the people of African descent whom they owned, employed, or otherwise encountered. Making use of the built environment and archival evidence, the author argues that identity formation for the Lotts was a troubled endeavor, made difficult by the contradictory and sometimes clashing facets of their ethnic, religious, and social identities.

Keywords:   Lott House, Brooklyn, Underground Railroad, Dutchcolonial farmhouses

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