Fish and Wildlife ServicespDismal Swamp CanalspWelcome CenterspNC Great Dismal Swamp
ECSUspNIAspRecent Events
top banner

Underground Railroad Network to FreedomOn February 13, 2004, the Great Dismal Swamp was included in the National Park Service's Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program. Included in the designation was the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Dismal Swamp Canal, Dismal Swamp Canal Welcome Center, and the Dismal Swamp Natural Area in North Carolina. During the luncheon, the contributions of Mrs. Wanda McLean (ECSU General Studies Department) were acknowledged.

The event took place at the Chesapeake Conference Center in Chesapeake, Virginia. Dan Sayers, an archeologist currently researching African American occupation of the Great Dismal Swamp between 1790 - 1860, described his research and related his findings thus far. Dr. Carolyn Mahoney, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at Elizabeth City State University provided the invocation for the luncheon. Following the ceremony, The Sweetest Sound, an African-American historical music group, performed. The National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program is a network of sites, facilities and programs related to the Underground Railroad. Administered by the National Park Service, the Program provides technical assistance to organizations that are attempting to identify, document, preserve and interpret sites, approximate travel routes and landscapes related to the Underground Railroad.

In Pursuit of Freedom
In Pursuit of Freedom
In Pursuit of Freedom
In Pursuit of Freedom
In Pursuit of Freedom
In Pursuit of Freedom

The Slave in the Dismal Swamp
H.W. Longfellow

In dark fens of the Dismal Swamp
The hunted Negro lay;
He saw the fire of the midnight camp,
And heard at times a horse's tramp
And a bloodhound's distant bay

Where will-o'-the wisps and glow-worms shine,
In bullrush and in brake;
Where waving mosses shroud the pine,
And cedar grows, and the poisonous vine
Like a wild beast in his lair.

A poor old slave, infirm and lame;
Great scars deformed his face;
On his forehead he bore the brand of shame,
And the rags, that hid his mangled frame,
Were the livery of disgrace.

All things above were bright and fair,
All things were glad and free;
Lithe squirrels darted here and there,
And wild birds filled the echoing air
With songs of Liberty!

On him alone was the doom of pain,
From the morning of his birth;
On him alone the curse of Cain
Fell, like a flail on the garnered grain,
And struck him to the earth!


1704 Weeksville Road, Box 672, Elizabeth City, North Carolina 27909
Phone (252) 335-3696 Fax (252) 335-3790