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Freedom and Community in Urban New England

Author(s): Sarah Croucher

Year: 2014

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In understanding the archaeology of nineteenth century African American New Englanders, although some studies have targeted smaller, rural, sites, archaeologists and historians have tended to focus on communities in the largest New England cities, much less attention has been paid to smaller urban centers. However, for the first generations of emancipated New Englanders, smaller urban centers clearly exerted a significant draw. Middletown, Connecticut, was home to a growing community of African Americans through the early- to mid-nineteenth century, closely associated with the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. This paper explores the complexities of freedom and race in nineteenth century New England through the archaeology of the Beman Triangle, a planned African American community in a mid-sized New England city. A focus on this site offers a way to begin to broaden our knowledge of communities to offer a mid-point between large cities and rural locales.

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Freedom and Community in Urban New England. Sarah Croucher. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436911)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-37,03

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