New Book about the Great Dismal Swamp

a desolate place

There is a  new book called A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archaeology of Maroons, Indigenous Americans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp  and it is about the archaeology and history of the Great Dismal Swamp.  For some reason it came in under my radar but it was featured on NPR today and I have now ordered it.  Any of you who follow my blog know that the Great Dismal Swamp with its foreboding blackberry hells, alligators, cottonmouths and tannin-infused black-water was a vital cradle for the formation of North Carolina as it provided a refuge for Virginia runaway slaves, indentured servants, Native Americans and those fleeing the fallout of the failure of Bacon’s Rebellion.

The author, archaeologist Daniel Sayers, states that he has found the remains of a dozen log cabins, clay pipes,  gun-flints and many other items that would have been a part of the material culture of ten generations of African Americans and others that called this life-giving labyrinth home.

I cannot wait to read it!

For more about the Great Dismal Swamp and it’s place in NC history please refer to my earlier post on the singularly important book, A Very Mutinous People: The Struggle for North Carolina, 1660-1713  by Noeleen McIlvenna.


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