Periodically on this blog I have mentioned a long-term work-in-progress, COLD IRON, the first book in a trilogy set in the Catoctin region of Maryland. In the process of researching for the book, I was lucky enough to meet archeologist Elizabeth Anderson Comer, who has answered my questions with grace no matter how ridiculous they seemed. (“Is there enough iron left in the ruins of the Catoctin iron Furnace to melt a fairy?” led to a particularly interesting discussion…)
Elizabeth edited Catoctin Furnace: Portrait of an Iron-Making Village, which was written by her mother, Elizabeth Yourtree Anderson, and she has kept her mother’s legacy of historical preservation alive through her own involvement with the Catoctin Furnace Historical Society.
So when I heard about the society’s newest initiative, I had to donate and help spread the word! I’ll let Elizabeth take it from here:
The iron furnace at Catoctin Furnace, which made cannonballs used during the Revolution and so on, was first worked by enslaved Africans and African Americans, but this first wave of workers all left the area by the 1840s. As it goes with power imbalances, no one wrote down much about their lives, and, with one possible exception, the whereabouts of their descendants are unknown. Yet their story is integral to the story of early industry, labor in America, and African American history – using bioarchaeology, we can find out what their lives were like, where they were from, and (possibly) where their descendants are. Consider throwing your charity dollars at this IndieGoGo campaign, and, if you can’t do that, share this link as far and wide as you can. I think we can find enough people to crowdfund $14,000 to tell this unknown story – what do you think? Thank you so much in advance for your help!
Here is the link to our campaign: