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The Archaeology of Race in the Northeast$
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Christopher N. Matthews and Allison Manfra McGovern

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060576

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060576.001.0001

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Race and Remembering in the Adirondacks

Race and Remembering in the Adirondacks

Accounting for Timbucto in the Past and the Present

Chapter:
(p.134) 7 Race and Remembering in the Adirondacks
Source:
The Archaeology of Race in the Northeast
Author(s):

Hadley Kruczek-Aaron

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813060576.003.0007

Though it was announced with great fanfare in 1846, the reporters and activists who first celebrated the Adirondack land grant experiment initiated by abolitionist Gerrit Smith quickly revealed their growing pessimism over its fate. When the offer of 3,000 40-acre parcels to black New Yorkers succeeded in attracting only a small percentage of willing migrants to the region (including to one settlement in North Elba, New York, nicknamed Timbucto), records show that these same writers struggled to understand and explain the reasons for the lackluster response and the perceived “failure” of those who did eventually make the trip. This chapter will review the accounts written by these commentators and will consider the role that ideas about race and the realities of racism played in their creation. It will also describe recent remembrances of Timbucto and consider the political ethics of present and future commemorations, including those carried out under the auspices of the Timbucto Archaeology Project.

Keywords:   Timbucto, race, memory, archaeological ethics, Adirondacks

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