Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Rafferty, Janet E.

Committee Member

Peacock, Evan

Committee Member

Zuckerman, Molly K.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Applied Anthropology

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures


This thesis investigates the relationship between success and access to children, slaves, and kin as labor sources during the period of 1833 to 1865 in northeast Mississippi. The theoretical concepts of agricultural intensification and relative intensity were used to measure variability among the households. Artifacts from seven archaeological sites were used to establish mean dates. These sites were tied to their original occupants through historic records. A historic document search revealed the number of slaves and children each family had, and whether they had kin living nearby. Agricultural census records showed the productivity of each farm during the study period. Families were considered successful if they stayed in the study area until death, increased the number of slaves or land owned, or increased their agricultural output. This thesis concluded that the relationship between success and the availability of labor is complex with no one strategy ensuring success.



Ultraviolet Light||Kinship Networks||Child Labor||Slavery||Historical Archaology