National Park Service and Howard University
Contact: Joy Beasley, 410-925-8682
National Park Service (NPS) archeologists at Monocacy National Battlefield near Frederick, Maryland are entering a second year of archeological excavations at one of the largest known slave sites in the region. From June 21 – 30, the NPS will host students and faculty from Howard University for a two-week archeological field school aimed at providing exclusive and enhanced learning opportunities for students interested in archeology.
The archeological site is associated with L'Hermitage, a plantation established in 1794 by the Vincendières, a family of French planters who came to Maryland from Saint-Domingue (known today as Haiti). By 1800, 90 slaves lived at L'Hermitage, making it the second largest slave population in Frederick County and among one of the largest in Maryland. Last summer, the remains of six dwelling houses were uncovered, as well as artifacts associated with enslaved occupations of the site from 1794 until 1827.
The summer's excavations will continue through August and focus on exploring the structures identified last summer. Information from the excavations will be used in the development of new exhibits and interpretive programs focusing on slavery and African-American experiences at Monocacy National Battlefield.
"We are pleased to be able to support a second season of field research, and are excited about the increased student involvement in the project," said project director Joy Beasley, Monocacy National Battlefield's Cultural Resources Program Manager.
Funding for this project has been provided by the NPS Cultural Resource Preservation Program and the Secretary of the Interior's Youth Intake Program. Undergraduate and graduate students from the University of Maryland (College Park), American University, Howard University, and University of Maryland University College have been hired to assist with this project.