The Hermitage was purchased in 1804 by Andrew Jackson, the man who would become the seventh president of the United States.  Between 1804 and the Civil War, The Hermitage was an active cotton plantation. Jackson initially purchased around 425 acres and that grew to 1,100 acres on the eve of the Civil War.  The enslaved population at The Hermitage also grew steadily and by the mid-1820s, The Hermitage was home to 150 enslaved African Americans.

Between 1988 and 2009, The Hermitage supported an ambitious archaeology program.  During those 21 years, over 12 slave quarter sites were excavated, the garden and ice house were thoroughly investigated archaeologically, and shovel-test-pit surveys and magnetometry were implemented across several parts of the plantation.