The Great Dismal Swamp
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Anyanwu
N 36° 37.244 W 076° 32.936
18S E 361495 N 4053916
Quick Description: Now a Wildlife Refuge National Park, The Great Dismal Swamp was the home of thousands of escaped slaves who formed Maroon communities in the swamp.
Location: Virginia, United States
Date Posted: 8/24/2013 2:56:32 PM
Waymark Code: WMHXNW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 7

Long Description:
I recently had the opportunity to visit The Great Dismal Swamp on the Northeast boarder of North Carolina and Southeast border of Virginia. It’s now a National Wilderness and Wildlife Refuge Park known for it birds and wildlife. So why would I visit a place call The Great Dismal Swamp? Good question considering my extreme dislike of mosquitoes ?. The Great Dismal Swamp was home to thousands of escaped slaves prior to emancipation. They were called Maroons and they lived in the swamp. The swamp is connected with the intercoastal waterway that extends North to the Chesapeake Bay area and South to the Florida Everglades. Escaped slaves could live in the swamp and trade with local townships. George Washington initiated a project to build a series of canals through the swamp to aid trade and transportation. Free men and slaves were used for the labor. Washington inadvertently created escape routes for slaves and afforded slaves had the most extensive knowledge of the swamps. Although there were several attempts to clear the runaway slaves from the swamp, these efforts were largely unsuccessful because runaways could effectively not be found. After emancipation, Maroons were employed by the timber industry as labor to help logging in the swamp. Later the swamp attracted many hunters. Once it became a protected wilderness area, the old hunting lodges and homes were torn down. Archeologists are trying to uncover more documentation of the maroon communities. Currently, there is an Underground Railroad Pavilion in the swamp displaying information about the escaped slave communities of The Great Dismal Swamp.
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge
3100 Desert Rd
Sulfolk, VA USA

Web site: [Web Link]

Site Details: Free, Open Sunrise to Sunset

Open to the public?: Public

Name of organization who placed the marker: National Underground Railroad: Network to Freedom

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