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African American Life in Central Delaware, 1770-1940: Archaeology Combined with Documentary Research

Author(s): Heidi Krofft ; Jason Shellenhamer

Year: 2016

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The historic farm site of Samuel Dale, an AME minister and leader in the African American community around Middletown, Delaware, was identified and evaluated for the U.S. Route 301 project.  The site was determined eligible, however, it was decided that a traditional data-recovery would not yield the greatest mitigation benefit.  Instead, a historic context detailing the African-American community in St. Georges Hundred from 1770-1940 was prepared to mitigate the impacts to the site.  The documentary research provided information on several themes including demography and household structure, community, work life, and social conditions.  The context also provided a synthesis of previously identified African American sites in the area and potential research questions for future studies.  This paper will highlight the challenges encountered in identifying and interpreting the African American experience in the historical and archaeological record and how in-depth documentary research can contribute to a more meaningful interpretation of the archaeological record.

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African American Life in Central Delaware, 1770-1940: Archaeology Combined with Documentary Research. Heidi Krofft, Jason Shellenhamer. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434609)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 164

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America