AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: SWEET AND BITTER: RUM, WINE AND CHOCOLATE IN AN 18TH CENTURY FRENCH ÉMIGRÉ COLONY.
Author: MAUREEN COSTURA   
Date/Time: Fri., 9:00 AM
Co-Author(s): MAUREEN COSTURA 
Abstract: In 1793 a colony for French and Saint-Domingan émigrés was planned along the banks of the Susquehanna River on the Pennsylvania frontier. During the decade that followed this mixed group of refugee aristocrats, displaced sugar planters and illegally enslaved Africans struggled to recreate their familiar lifestyles. Archaeological investigations at the site over the past two years reveal that despite the financial and logistical difficulties associated with the transportation of exotic goods to this remote locale, port, wine, rum, and chocolate were all imported and consumed. As the elites transformed from producers of these goods to impoverished consumers, the French aristocrats and Saint-Domingan planters struggled to adapt their consumption patterns to the new scarcity of such bittersweet reminders of their lives in the Ancien Régime. As most of the émigrés failed in their attempts to recoup their lost fortunes, the importation of these goods must have represented an ever-greater financial burden, but it was one that was never surrendered. Differing concepts of healthiness, status and sociability influenced patterns and locales of consumption. The presence of bottles once used for expensive wine and liquors in structures associated with slavery raises questions about who the intended consumers of these goods were, and whether these intentions altered or undermined the importation strategies of the elites.

Program Number: 3-0220
Session Title: HOT TRADE: FRONTIERS AND FRICTION IN PAST ECONOMIES
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN FRANKLIN (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SHANNON DAWDY (University of Chicago)  
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