Smuggling, Iron and Sugar: Millersville University Students in Atlantic Project with Bermuda Maritime Museum

    MILLERSVILLE, Pa., Nov. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- History and archeology
 students from Millersville University of Pennsylvania plan to spend next
 summer at the Bermuda Maritime Museum to research smuggling, iron and sugar
 during the 18th century.
     As part of "The Atlantic World Project" they will study a link between
 the archeological excavations by Millersville students of Dr. Timothy
 Trussell at the Elizabeth Furnace Plantation in Lancaster County, Pa., and
 the archiving of the Manila shipwreck off Bermuda by Millersville history
 students of Dr. Clarence Maxwell with the Bermuda Maritime Museum.
     "Archeologists and historians don't normally work together," Dr.
 Trussell said, "but we found we had a mystery, "What were Elizabeth Furnace
 stove plates doing in a shipwreck off Bermuda?'"
     What the project has discovered so far, is that iron was a commodity
 needed by every sugar plantation for refining sugar - and the islands
 couldn't produce iron themselves. Finished ironwork from Pennsylvania went
 west and south from Bermuda for sugar production and bar iron would go east
 to be traded as currency in Africa and used to buy slaves.
     The slaves were then traded where demand was greatest: French or
 English sugar islands, South Carolina, Virginia, etc. Bermudians were able
 to act as middlemen, obtaining illegal French sugar which could then be
 sold in Philadelphia at great profit.
     "We have years more of research and a complex web of smuggling to
 untangle," Dr. Trussell said. "Philadelphia traders and the aristocrats of
 that time were very much involved. In fact, the daughter of a prominent
 Philly merchant lived in Bermuda and is buried there."
     To help with the research, Millersville University now has a standing
 cooperative agreement with the Bermuda Maritime Museum. The director of the
 museum, Dr. Edward C. Harris, will have Millersville's archaeology program
 function as the "terrestrial arm" of the museum's research program. The
 museum, in return, will provide housing for students, equipment and the use
 of their laboratory.
     The next step is to raise funds to ensure students will be able to go
 to Bermuda next summer for testing, excavation, research and writing
 projects.
     "Students will be involved in every aspect of documentary and
 archaeological research," said Trussell. "We cannot do this without them."
 
 

SOURCE Millersville University

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