Vance Farm or Vance Plantation?

What is a plantation you might ask? Well, historically in the United States a plantation has been the term used to describe a massive farm owned by a member of the social class known as the planter class. This farm would have at least 1000 acres, be used primarily for cash crops such as cotton or corn, and be worked by over 20 enslaved people. So, is it appropriate to call what the Vance family had a plantation? True, it was much smaller than what we regularly consider a plantation, but at its height there were nearly 900 acres and 18 enslaved people. But ultimately, does it matter? After all, a plantation is still just a specific type of farm. What is most important is how the language we use in referencing the Vance family home today effects the perspectives of visitors. A farm suggests images of a quaint and simple place, where food is grown, and animals are raised for slaughter. Plantation however, almost immediately brings to mind images of enslaved people forced to work hours on end in backbreaking conditions with only sleep being their reprieve at the end of the day. So, it is important to understand how the language we use in referencing the past effects the way people view the Vance family.

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