A Slave Dwelling in Louisa County

This virtual tour examines a kitchen-quarter that housed two enslaved households at Bracketts plantation in Louisa County. In the 1860 U.S. Census, Thomas Watson, a farmer and lawyer, owned 46 enslaved men, women, and children and had nine slave houses. Given this building’s mixed functions and its proximity to the main house, it likely housed a female cook and her family members, along with a second slave grouping in an upstairs room. The kitchen-quarter and an adjacent, brick duplex slave quarter stood near other outbuildings and formed a line across a farm lane from the plantation house, the earliest portion of which dates to the late 18th century. The second slave household in the kitchen-quarter probably worked as domestic servants or trades people within the main house complex. Identified Bracketts slaves from the 1860 census included: Anthony, who had his own tools; Eliza Ann; Maria, a “housemaid”; and, Sam Quarles.