African Ironmaking Culture Among African American Ironworkers
in Western Maryland 1760 to 1850
In this thesis Jean Libby investigates technological transfer diffusion of African
ironmaking culture into western Maryland by enslaved ironworkers.There is a comparison
with ironmaking societies in West Africa. Similarities in furnace technology and cultural
practices are examined.
The enslaved population is described demographically at census intervals. African American
autobiographies, archeological data,census manuscripts, legal records and advertisements
are the primary sources of information.Technological diffusion occurred and occupational
identity increased when workers made iron with methods based on African traditions.
Resistance to enslavement is a vital part of the history of these ironworkers.
MA Thesis, 1991
San Francisco State University