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January 07, 2005

Great Dismal Swamp

Daniel Sayers is using archaeological method and oral history to piece together the story of fugitive slave communities in the islands of the Great Dismal Swamp.

A doctoral student from the College of William and Mary is spending a second year in the thickets of the Great Dismal Swamp in hopes of documenting the small communities fugitive slaves may have created. Daniel Sayers has located and begun examining six areas of relatively high ground, or islands - some on the swamp's North Carolina side - that may have been settled between the late 1600s and mid-1800s by slaves known as Maroons. Fugitive slaves from the West Indies or Guyana, or their descendants, were called Maroons.

"If there's runaways living in this swamp, they would be living on these islands," he said. "You can kind of see them here, you know."

Posted by Ghost of a flea at January 7, 2005 06:03 AM

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