People often associate historic preservation strictly with physical structures. Historic preservationists, however, strive to preserve not only physical structures, but also the history of a structure’s inhabitants. Undertaking the inclusion of the anthropological history of the inhabitants along with the preservation of the historic slave house is important because it reveals a part of history that cannot be gleaned from the historical record, alone.
The relationship between the historical record and the stories of the inhabitants are crucial to our understanding and interpretation of the lifeways and settings of an enslaved people in the antebellum South. In doing so, the plantation landscape is revealed not through the eyes of the master but through the perspective of those who were in his charge.