This study of a post–Civil War African-American community, established on what is now the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, attempts to fill in some of the gaps in our knowledge of African-American history. The "reservation" is examined from its antebellum origins to the establishment of the Naval Weapons Station in 1918, using numerous historical sources including census data, records of the Freedman's Bureau, county deeds and tax assessments, and recently collected oral histories. This history of freed African-Americans is a first step toward a deeper knowledge of day-to-day life, a knowledge of African-American history "from the insider's point of view."
The authors examine human settlement patterns in a wide variety of historic-period settings, from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic and the Caribbean, in both the 18th and 19th centuries. Settlement pattern information has proven itself to be flexible enough to be utilized in the investigation of several levels of social and economic organization, particularly when combined with an environmental studies approach. The study of settlement patterns, both prehistoric and historic, is an important component of archaeological research and its inquiries into the functioning of cultural systems. Part 1 of this volume contains two essays on 18th- century settlement patterning of plantations in the Chesapeake and on the Caribbean island of St. Eustatius. The second part contains four articles on settlement patterns in 19th-century contexts, moving the discussion to the newly opened frontiers in western Maryland and then on to the Midwestern states.
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