Clues to African-American Life at
Manassas National Battlefield Park
Plantation size was often measured by the number of slaves owned. With an average of 20 slaves, Portici was a "middling plantation" that evolved from an earlier farm, Pohoke, about 1820.
Destroyed by fire in 1863, only Portici's foundation remains. Archeologists found evidence of domestic servant quarters in cellar excavations.
Unearthed from Portici, the carved finger ring of ebony (center) likely came from Africa with its owner, while rings of domestic horn (left) or bone (right) were fashioned here by African-Americans.
Archeologists suspect Portici's resident carpenter, a slave named Henry Grimes, reworked this horseshoe heel into a wedge.