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Contact: Heather Dewar
University of Maryland

Freedmen's Forced Labor Unearthed Ancient Plant Fossil Beds

Caption: Freedmen digging this canal at Dutch Gap, Va., in 1864 were captured by Union Army soldiers and forced to labor without pay, according to records at the University of Maryland Freedmen and Southern Society Project. The canal exposed ancient plant fossils including Potomacapnos eleutheron, named in honor of the freedmen.

Credit: Matthew Brady Collection of the National Archives

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Related news release: Evolution, Civil War history entwine in plant fossil with a tragic past

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