Original Paper

Journal of Maritime Archaeology

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 17-35

First online:

South Carolina Shipyards: Labour, Logistics, Lumber and Ladies

  • Lynn HarrisAffiliated withProgram in Maritime Studies, East Carolina University Email author 

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Southern shipyards, like Hobcaw and Mars Bluff, were established at locations chosen primarily for convenient access to transportation networks, building materials, clientele and labour. The historical record reveals a home front role played by local plantation owners and slaves as shipyard labour. Women served as project fundraisers, shipyard dilettantes, shipwright’s wives and possibly slave mistresses with a paucity of material culture to confirm their presence in the archaeological record. Archaeological investigations on land and underwater yield evidence of artefacts associated with diet, shipbuilding, warfare and ethnicity.


Shipyards South Carolina Slaves Women Confederate