Enslavement, Maroonage, and Cultural Continuity Outside the Dockyard Walls: Middle Ground, Antigua
This is an abstract from the session entitled "Military Sites Archaeology in the Caribbean: Studies of Colonialism, Globalization, and Multicultural Communities" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.
English Harbour, Antigua was home to a Georgian Naval Dockyard used to careen and repair Royal Navy vessels in the Caribbean between 1724 and 1899. The success of these operations relied on enslaved African artisans and labourers. Inside the Dockyard walls, these men were collectively known as “The King’s Negroes.” Outside the dockyard walls, these men were part of African communities located in the neighboring valleys and hills known as Middle Ground. Middle Ground was geographically, socially, and politically remote from the commercial plantation zones of the island, cut off by contrary winds and high hills. This remoteness allowed for the development of flourishing African communities including self-emancipated Afro-Antiguans who found refuge there. Peering through the archival cracks and supported by preliminary archaeological surveys and analysis, we argue that the Middle Ground communities contained free, enslaved and maroon Africans as early as the 1750s and persisted through Emancipation in 1834.
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Enslavement, Maroonage, and Cultural Continuity Outside the Dockyard Walls: Middle Ground, Antigua. Christopher K. Waters, Desley Gardner. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457101)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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