Posts Tagged ‘Dismal Swamp’

The Dismal Swamp

“It was the dense, tangled hostility of the swamp and its enormous size that enabled hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of escaped slaves to live here in freedom….The Dismal Swamp covered great tracts of southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina, and its vegetation was far too thick for horses or canoes….The Great Dismal Swamp, now reduced by draining and development, is managed as a federal wildlife refuge….From the 1760s until the Civil War, runaway slave ads in the Virginia and North Carolina newspapers often mentioned the Dismal Swamp as the likely destination, and there was persistent talk of permanent maroon settlements in the morass.”
Richard Grant. “Deep in the Swamps, Archaeologists Are Finding How Fugitive Slaves Kept Their Freedom,” Smithsonian Magazine, September 2016


Note:  Click on the map (or the link above) to read Grant’s article which includes photographs by Allison Shelly and a much larger version of the map.

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