Bricks in the chimney of a slave house at Horton Grove at Historic Stagville, North Carolina. These bricks were made on-site by enslaved people. In order to maximize output the bricks were taken from their molds for firing in a kiln when not completely dry. Consequently, many of them bear the hand and fingerprints of those responsible for making them. This image shows a complete hand print with marks from all four fingers visible.
Stagville plantation is located in parts of what are now Orange, Durham, Wake, and Granville counties. Established in 1787 by the Bennehan and Cameron families, Stagville was the largest plantation in North Carolina. In 1860 more than nine hundred enslaved people lived on its thirty thousand acres. Most of them worked in the fields growing crops such as tobacco, wheat, corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.