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In 2008, Colonial National Historical Park updated the Yorktown Long Range Interpretive Plan. At the stakeholders' workshop, the "untold" story of African Americans and slavery was identified as a priority for future interpretive programs. In order to accurately interpret this aspect of Yorktown's history, a study focusing on the African Americans who worked and lived in the area within the Yorktown unit of the park was needed. The study would focus on the primary periods of significance, from the colonial period to the establishment of the Yorktown National Cemetery, with emphasis on the primary sources associated with the park's resources. With funding from the park's Eastern National donation, historians Julie Richter and Jody Allen were selected to prepare this study. Ms. Richter is a lecturer with the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History and the National Institute of American History and Democracy at the College of William and Mary. She was the project historian for the Yorktown Archaeological Overview and Assessment and is the editor of the Enslaving Virginia Resource Book (Colonial Williamsburg, 1998). Ms. Allen is a Visiting Assistant Professor of History and the Managing Director and CoChair of the Lemon Project at the College of William and Mary. The findings of this study will be used in the development of exhibits, waysides, and formal programs conducted by park staff. Recommendations for additional research were provided by the authors. I would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following Colonial National Historical Park staff members in reviewing and preparing the report for publication, Diane Depew, Catharyn Ryan, and Dave Frederick.


National Park Service