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2008

History

Adams County History

Thaddeus Stevens

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Black Labor At Pine Grove & Caledonia Furnaces, 1789-1860, Troy D. Harman Jan 2008

Black Labor At Pine Grove & Caledonia Furnaces, 1789-1860, Troy D. Harman

Adams County History

Black labor operating under various degrees of freedom found a suitable working environment, if not a safe haven, in several iron forges of South Central Pennsylvania, from the late 1790s through the 1850s. Primary accounts indicate that two in particular, Pine Grove Furnace of Cumberland County, and Caledonia Furnace of Franklin County, harbored runaway slaves to augment their work force. Pine Grove records, dating from 1789 – 1801, specify names of “negro” employees, verifying that black labor coexisted with white, but day books, journals, and ledgers do not denote status.1 Whether they were free men, or slaves rented out by ...