The House in the Cemetery Podcast Series

Episode 7: Buttons, Porcelain, and Anglophilia: Archaeology from The Woodlands


William Hamilton, a wealthy individual, owned the Woodlands. In the broader narrative of this grand estate, however, what position did Hamilton’s servants hold? Objects un-earthed in a 2016 archaeological excavation help historians answer this question. Find out in “Buttons, porcelain, and Anglophilia: Archaeology at the Woodlands”.

What You’ll Discover

  • The dynamics of class and race in early national Philadelphia
  • How early American elites defined themselves through taste sensibilities
  • The broader consumer trends in 18th century North Atlantic markets

Primary Exposure
In this segment, we examine a livery button found during a 2016 archaeological excavation. This button indeed has a direct connection to William Hamilton’s servants and reveals how master-servant relationships at the Woodlands functioned.

Further Reading
Catherine Kelly, A Republic of Taste: Art, Politics, and Everyday Life in Early America.
Simon P. Newman, Embodied History: The Lives of the Poor in Early Philadelphia.

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About the podcaster: Alex Balawejder is a graduate student at Villanova University studying history and specializing in the public history concentration. Alex has a Bachelor of Arts in history from West Chester University.


This podcast is part of "The House in the Cemetery" project, part of the Villanova Public History Program. More information about this project can be found here.