Marcus Nevius, an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island and author of City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Maroonage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856, has offered to guide us into and through the Great Dismal Swamp and its history, so that we can better understand maroons and maroon communities in early America and learn more about how enslaved people used an environment around them to resist their enslaved condition.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
Ben Franklin’s World is a production of the Omohundro Institute.
During our journey through the swamp, Marcus reveals information about the Great Dismal Swamp and how it came by its “dismal” name; Details about maroons and the differences between petit and grand maroonage; And the many roles the Great Dismal Swamp played in enslaved peoples’ resistance to slavery.
What You’ll Discover
- The Great Dismal Swamp
- Why study the Great Dismal Swamp
- Advertisements for runaway enslaved persons
- Archaeology of the Great Dismal Swamp
- Native Americans in the Great Dismal Swamp
- Maroons and Maroonage
- Details about the enslaved who made their way to the swamp
- Maroon life in the Great Dismal Swamp
- Slave uprisings and rebellions in early Virginia
- The Dismal Swamp and Dismal Swamp Canal Companies
- Enslaved resistance in the swamp
- Life and work in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1856-1865
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Marcus Nevius
- Marcus on Twitter
- Marcus on Facebook
- City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Maroonage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856
- Freddie L. Parker, Running for Freedom: Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1775-1840
- Freddie L. Parker, Stealing a Little Freedom: Advertisements for Slave Runaways in North Carolina, 1791-1840
- Daniel O. Sayers, A Desolate Place for a Defiant People: The Archaeology of Maroons, Indigenous Americans, and Enslaved Laborers in the Great Dismal Swamp
- Warren Milteer, North Carolina’s Free People of Color, 1715-1885
- Michael McDonnell, The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia
- Woody Holton, Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia
- Lorena Walsh, From Calabar to Carter’s Grove: The History of a Virginia Slave Community
- Mary Thompson, “The Only Unavoidable Subject of Regret”: George Washington, Slavery, and the Enslaved Community at Mount Vernon
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- Episode 282: Vincent Brown, Tacky’s Revolt
Time Warp Question
In your opinion, what might have happened if the Dismal Swamp and Dismal Swamp Canal Companies had not existed? How would the lack of the timber and portage economies in the Great Dismal Swamp have impacted the ability of enslaved people to make their way to and live in the Great Dismal Swamp?
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