170-year-old La Trappe Canoe finds new home PDF | Email Meghan Shapiro, The Examiner Jun 14, 2006 7:00 AM (9 days ago) BALTIMORE - Imagine being a slave during the 1800s, separated from your family and having to walk 12 miles, each way, to visit at night. That was not an unusual endeavor during that period. According to Dianne Swann-Wright, museum curator at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park, many slave narratives referred to their use of canoes as transportation, especially that of Douglass, who was born in Talbot County. She said that most black slaves were seamen, and in Maryland they were always very close to the water. The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum donated the La Trappe Canoe, a 170 -year-old slave canoe found in Martin Point, Talbot County, to the Douglass-Myers Maritime Park in order to work together with the Living Classrooms Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the enrichment of at-risk youth. In 1993, CBMM excavated the canoe and it took 10 years to restore the boat to what Wellman said is 90 percent of its original state. “So much of the boat deteriorated,” said Steven Pratt, a Maryland Archeological Conservatory lab volunteer, referring to La Trappe Canoe. Howard Wellman of the Maryland Archeological Conservatory says that signs show that this canoe was built, and used, by slaves. It is made of yellow pine and held together by Fiberglas pins and ribs. It is 17 feet long and can hold three to four people. Canoes made during this time period were generally made by Native Americans, blacks and Europeans, and Wellman said the tools found inside of the canoe when discovered leads them to believe this was a slave boat. “What we’re hoping is that we will be able to preserve artifacts and preserve stories that have been lost,” Swann-Wright said on Tuesday when the canoe arrived at the museum. For now, the canoe sits on a steel bar, weighing 1,100 pounds on the second floor of the new sugar warehouse and awaits its environment-controlled glass case. [email protected] Examiner ******************************************************* Photo: http://www.examiner.com/images/newsroom/14emsCANOE2.jpg The La Trappe Canoe is revealed to the press as it is being delivered to the Frederick Douglas- Isaac Myers Maritime Park. The 170-year-old yellow pine hand-carved canoe, discovered by a hiker in the marshes at Martin Point in Talbot County, will be displayed at the Maritime Park.