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Grant number like: RZ-51219-10

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American University (Washington, DC 20016-8200)
Daniel Sayers (Project Director: November 2009 to January 2015)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$200,000 (approved)
$176,893 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2010 – 6/30/2014

Nineteenth-Century Tidewater Resistance Communities: The Forgotten Social History of the Great Dismal Swamp

Archaeological and historical research on the Great Dismal Swamp, located on the border of Virginia and North Carolina, leading to scholarly articles and presentations, a website, and a documentary film. (36 months)

From 1700 to 1860, thousands of maroons, or escapees from slavery, settled in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina and Virginia. The Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study (2002-2009), an archaeology-centered program, demonstrated that maroons formed communities during this period, mostly in the swamp interior. After 1800, social and economic transformations occurred in interior maroon communities, likely instigated by the rise of corporate interests in the swamp. However, we do not fully grasp the precise natures of these community transformations and what their impacts were on community life. This collaborative 3-year, multidisciplinary expansion (7/2010-6/2013) of the Great Dismal Swamp Landscape Study will explore these maroon community transformations to determine their natures and impacts. The results of this research will be important to several humanities disciplines including, history, African American studies, cultural geography, anthropology, and historical archaeology.