Night of Knowledge – May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022 @ 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
South Carolina Maritime Museum
Hope McFaddin


Patroons and Periaguas of the Lowcountry: Creole Maritime Archaeology

This evening talk is based on Dr. Lynn Harris’ book Patroons and Periaguas: Enslaved Watermen and Watercraft of the Lowcountry. Learn why enslaved patroons were vital to the economic well-being of South Carolina’s plantations. What types of watercraft did Afro-Carolinian patroons operate? How did their abilities as skilled mariners enable them to go places and do things most enslaved individuals of the Lowcountry could not? Join us as we learn all this and more!



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GUEST SPEAKER – Dr. Lynn Harris

Dr. Lynn Harris (PhD. University of South Carolina) has worked as a maritime historian and underwater archaeologist for over 40 years in South Africa, Namibia, Costa Rica, North and South Carolina. Harris joined ECU in 2008 and currently is a Professor at the Program of Maritime Studies in the History Department at East Carolina University, one of a handful of programs in the world that trains graduate students as underwater archaeologists. Harris leads annual maritime archaeology fieldwork expeditions in the US and abroad, and teaches courses in shipwreck archaeology, maritime heritage of the North Carolina Outer Banks, African and Caribbean maritime history and archaeology, and Coastal Cultural Resource
Management. Harris has collaborated with interdisciplinary teams of colleagues on summer study abroad programs to Africa, and grant projects on coastal and inland waterway topics. She is co-Director of the ECU Coastal and Marine Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, Chair of the North Maritime History Council and serves on the Africa to Carolina Advisory Board. She was invited as a speaker to represent ECU in the NC event series Trowel Blazers: Women Making History. Harris received several professional awards for fieldwork photography from
the Society for Historical Archaeology and served as a consultant for National Geographic Documentary “Drain the Oceans” on slave ship history and underwater archaeology. Amongst others – she is author of the book Patroons and Periaguas: Enslaved Watermen and Watercraft of the South Carolina Lowcountry, and editor of a compiled volume Seaports and Sea Power: African Maritime Landscapes. Journal articles, amongst others, include one titled “African Canoe to Plantation Crew: Tracing African Memory and Legacy” in Coriolis: Interdisciplinary Journal of Maritime Studies (2014) that won the annual journal writers award. Another was “The Special Signal Services (SSS) Women and the Native Military Corps: Operators and Guards at the WWII Secret Radar Station of the Western Cape, South Africa.