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Marcus P. Nevius

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Latest 4 Apr 2021 | Updated Daily

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185. Seeking a City of Refuge in the Great Dismal Swamp with Marcus P. Nevius

Conversations at the Washington Library

The Great Dismal Swamp is a remarkable feature of the southern coastal plain. Spanning from Norfolk, Virginia to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, the Swamp is now a National Wildlife Refuge home to Bald cypress, black bears, otters, and over 200 species of birds, among many other critters. But in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it was the home to the ambitions of planters and businessmen who sought to transform the swamp into a plantation enterprise of rice, timber, and other commodities. It was also home to the enslaved individuals who labored to make those dreams a reality. Yet the natural landscape, combined with the circumstances of the white-owned companies who controlled the Swamp, created opportunities for the enslaved to resist their bondage, and even self-emancipate into the Swamp’s rugged interior. And like the Jamaican Maroons who sought security in the island’s central mountains, some enslaved Virginians found a city of refugee in the Great Dismal Swamp. These acts of resistance were, as today’s guest explains, a form of petit marronage in a region that experienced more continently than change from the colonial era to the eve of the American Civil War. On today’s show, Dr. Marcus P. Nevius joins Jim Ambuske to discuss his new book, City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1765-1856, published by the University of George Press in 2020. Nevius is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island and a 2020 Washington Library Research Fellow. Ambuske caught up with him over Zoom as he was completing some research on the Great Dismal Swamp in the revolutionary era. About Our Guest:  Marcus P. Nevius is an assistant professor of history at the University of Rhode Island. His scholarship has received the support of a Mellon Fellowship from the Virginia Museum of History and Culture and the support of a research fellowship awarded by the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon. He has also published several book reviews in the Journal of African American History. About Our Host: Jim Ambuske, Ph.D. leads the Center for Digital History at the Washington Library. A historian of the American Revolution, Scotland, and the British Atlantic World, Ambuske graduated from the University of Virginia in 2016. He is a former Farmer Postdoctoral Fellow in Digital Humanities at the University of Virginia Law Library. At UVA Law, Ambuske co-directed the 1828 Catalogue Project and the Scottish Court of Session Project.  He is currently at work on a book about emigration from Scotland in the era of the American Revolution as well as a chapter on Scottish loyalism during the American Revolution for a volume to be published by the University of Edinburgh Press.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/mountvernon/messageSupport this podcast: https://anchor.fm/mountvernon/support

52mins

19 Nov 2020

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Marcus P. Nevius, "City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856" (U Georgia Press, 2020)

New Books in African American Studies

In his newly released book City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856 (University of Georgia Press, 2020), Professor Marcus P. Nevius (Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Rhode Island) tells the interrelated histories of petit marronage, an informal slave's economy, and the construction of internal improvements in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina. The vast wetland was tough terrain that most white Virginians and North Carolinians considered uninhabitable. Perceived desolation notwithstanding, black slaves fled into the swamp's remote sectors and engaged in petit marronage, a type of escape and fugitivity prevalent throughout the Atlantic world. An alternative to the dangers of flight by way of the Underground Railroad, maroon communities often neighbored slave-labor camps, the latter located on the swamp's periphery and operated by the Dismal Swamp Land Company and other companies that employed slave labor to facilitate the extraction of the Dismal's natural resources. Often with the tacit acceptance of white company agents, company slaves engaged in various exchanges of goods and provisions with maroons-networks that padded company accounts even as they helped to sustain maroon colonies and communities.In his examination of life, commerce, and social activity in the Great Dismal Swamp, Nevius engages the historiographies of slave resistance and abolitionism in the early American republic. City of Refuge uses a wide variety of primary sources-including runaway advertisements; planters' and merchants' records, inventories, letterbooks, and correspondence; abolitionist pamphlets and broadsides; county free black registries; and the records and inventories of private companies-to examine how American maroons, enslaved canal laborers, white company agents, and commission merchants shaped, and were shaped by, race and slavery in an important region in the history of the late Atlantic world.Jerrad P. Pacatte is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick studying eighteenth and nineteenth-century African American women’s history and the history of slavery and capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Jerrad_Pacatte! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/african-american-studies

1hr 50mins

20 Mar 2020

Similar People

Episode artwork

Marcus P. Nevius, "City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856" (U Georgia Press, 2020)

New Books in American Studies

In his newly released book City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856 (University of Georgia Press, 2020), Professor Marcus P. Nevius (Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Rhode Island) tells the interrelated histories of petit marronage, an informal slave's economy, and the construction of internal improvements in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina. The vast wetland was tough terrain that most white Virginians and North Carolinians considered uninhabitable. Perceived desolation notwithstanding, black slaves fled into the swamp's remote sectors and engaged in petit marronage, a type of escape and fugitivity prevalent throughout the Atlantic world. An alternative to the dangers of flight by way of the Underground Railroad, maroon communities often neighbored slave-labor camps, the latter located on the swamp's periphery and operated by the Dismal Swamp Land Company and other companies that employed slave labor to facilitate the extraction of the Dismal's natural resources. Often with the tacit acceptance of white company agents, company slaves engaged in various exchanges of goods and provisions with maroons-networks that padded company accounts even as they helped to sustain maroon colonies and communities.In his examination of life, commerce, and social activity in the Great Dismal Swamp, Nevius engages the historiographies of slave resistance and abolitionism in the early American republic. City of Refuge uses a wide variety of primary sources-including runaway advertisements; planters' and merchants' records, inventories, letterbooks, and correspondence; abolitionist pamphlets and broadsides; county free black registries; and the records and inventories of private companies-to examine how American maroons, enslaved canal laborers, white company agents, and commission merchants shaped, and were shaped by, race and slavery in an important region in the history of the late Atlantic world.Jerrad P. Pacatte is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick studying eighteenth and nineteenth-century African American women’s history and the history of slavery and capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Jerrad_Pacatte! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-studies

1hr 50mins

20 Mar 2020

Episode artwork

Marcus P. Nevius, "City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856" (U Georgia Press, 2020)

New Books in the American South

In his newly released book City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856 (University of Georgia Press, 2020), Professor Marcus P. Nevius (Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Rhode Island) tells the interrelated histories of petit marronage, an informal slave's economy, and the construction of internal improvements in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina. The vast wetland was tough terrain that most white Virginians and North Carolinians considered uninhabitable. Perceived desolation notwithstanding, black slaves fled into the swamp's remote sectors and engaged in petit marronage, a type of escape and fugitivity prevalent throughout the Atlantic world. An alternative to the dangers of flight by way of the Underground Railroad, maroon communities often neighbored slave-labor camps, the latter located on the swamp's periphery and operated by the Dismal Swamp Land Company and other companies that employed slave labor to facilitate the extraction of the Dismal's natural resources. Often with the tacit acceptance of white company agents, company slaves engaged in various exchanges of goods and provisions with maroons-networks that padded company accounts even as they helped to sustain maroon colonies and communities.In his examination of life, commerce, and social activity in the Great Dismal Swamp, Nevius engages the historiographies of slave resistance and abolitionism in the early American republic. City of Refuge uses a wide variety of primary sources-including runaway advertisements; planters' and merchants' records, inventories, letterbooks, and correspondence; abolitionist pamphlets and broadsides; county free black registries; and the records and inventories of private companies-to examine how American maroons, enslaved canal laborers, white company agents, and commission merchants shaped, and were shaped by, race and slavery in an important region in the history of the late Atlantic world.Jerrad P. Pacatte is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick studying eighteenth and nineteenth-century African American women’s history and the history of slavery and capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Jerrad_Pacatte!Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/american-south

1hr 50mins

20 Mar 2020

Most Popular

Episode artwork

Marcus P. Nevius, "City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856" (U Georgia Press, 2020)

New Books in Law

In his newly released book City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856 (University of Georgia Press, 2020), Professor Marcus P. Nevius (Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Rhode Island) tells the interrelated histories of petit marronage, an informal slave's economy, and the construction of internal improvements in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina. The vast wetland was tough terrain that most white Virginians and North Carolinians considered uninhabitable. Perceived desolation notwithstanding, black slaves fled into the swamp's remote sectors and engaged in petit marronage, a type of escape and fugitivity prevalent throughout the Atlantic world. An alternative to the dangers of flight by way of the Underground Railroad, maroon communities often neighbored slave-labor camps, the latter located on the swamp's periphery and operated by the Dismal Swamp Land Company and other companies that employed slave labor to facilitate the extraction of the Dismal's natural resources. Often with the tacit acceptance of white company agents, company slaves engaged in various exchanges of goods and provisions with maroons-networks that padded company accounts even as they helped to sustain maroon colonies and communities.In his examination of life, commerce, and social activity in the Great Dismal Swamp, Nevius engages the historiographies of slave resistance and abolitionism in the early American republic. City of Refuge uses a wide variety of primary sources-including runaway advertisements; planters' and merchants' records, inventories, letterbooks, and correspondence; abolitionist pamphlets and broadsides; county free black registries; and the records and inventories of private companies-to examine how American maroons, enslaved canal laborers, white company agents, and commission merchants shaped, and were shaped by, race and slavery in an important region in the history of the late Atlantic world.Jerrad P. Pacatte is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick studying eighteenth and nineteenth-century African American women’s history and the history of slavery and capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Jerrad_Pacatte! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/law

1hr 50mins

20 Mar 2020

Episode artwork

Marcus P. Nevius, "City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856" (U Georgia Press, 2020)

New Books in History

In his newly released book City of Refuge: Slavery and Petit Marronage in the Great Dismal Swamp, 1763-1856 (University of Georgia Press, 2020), Professor Marcus P. Nevius (Assistant Professor of History and Africana Studies at the University of Rhode Island) tells the interrelated histories of petit marronage, an informal slave's economy, and the construction of internal improvements in the Great Dismal Swamp of Virginia and North Carolina. The vast wetland was tough terrain that most white Virginians and North Carolinians considered uninhabitable. Perceived desolation notwithstanding, black slaves fled into the swamp's remote sectors and engaged in petit marronage, a type of escape and fugitivity prevalent throughout the Atlantic world. An alternative to the dangers of flight by way of the Underground Railroad, maroon communities often neighbored slave-labor camps, the latter located on the swamp's periphery and operated by the Dismal Swamp Land Company and other companies that employed slave labor to facilitate the extraction of the Dismal's natural resources. Often with the tacit acceptance of white company agents, company slaves engaged in various exchanges of goods and provisions with maroons-networks that padded company accounts even as they helped to sustain maroon colonies and communities.In his examination of life, commerce, and social activity in the Great Dismal Swamp, Nevius engages the historiographies of slave resistance and abolitionism in the early American republic. City of Refuge uses a wide variety of primary sources-including runaway advertisements; planters' and merchants' records, inventories, letterbooks, and correspondence; abolitionist pamphlets and broadsides; county free black registries; and the records and inventories of private companies-to examine how American maroons, enslaved canal laborers, white company agents, and commission merchants shaped, and were shaped by, race and slavery in an important region in the history of the late Atlantic world.Jerrad P. Pacatte is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey-New Brunswick studying eighteenth and nineteenth-century African American women’s history and the history of slavery and capitalism. Follow him on Twitter @Jerrad_Pacatte! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoicesSupport our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

1hr 50mins

20 Mar 2020