Building Berry Hill : plantation houses and landscapes in antebellum Virginia

Ellis, Clifton Coxe, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Bluestone, Daniel, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Wells, Camille, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia
Lounsburgy, Carl, University of Virginia
McInnis, Maurie, Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, University of Virginia

The subject of this dissertation is Berry Hill plantation in Halifax County, Virginia. James and Eliza Bruce built the plantation house in 1842, and it is still considered the finest example of Greek Revival architecture in antebellum Virginia. The house is, however, a radical departure from the plantation house of the eighteenth century. The change in house form is the result of the transformation of women's role in the household during the nineteenth century - - in plan, Berry Hill responds to Eliza Brace's role as mistress and mother, and she took an active role in planning the house. Over the next decade James and Eliza Bruce shaped, with the help of slaves and local builders, an extensive and intricate plantation landscape. Berry Hill was not the vision of one man, but rather the result of negotiations between husband and wife, master and mistress, slaves and slaveholders. This plantation landscape served a large community of whites and blacks. Berry Hill plantation was a response not only to larger national issues of politics and aesthetics, but of complex social relationships that revolved around issues of class, race, and gender.

Note: Abstract extracted from PDF file via OCR.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Digitization of this thesis was made possible by a generous grant from the Jefferson Trust, 2015.

Thesis originally deposited on 2016-03-14 in version 1.28 of Libra. This thesis was migrated to Libra2 on 2017-03-23 16:36:00.

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