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Another Anne Arundel Site of Memory

London Town joins UNESCO’s Slave Route roll

       Another historic Chesapeake site joins UNESCO’s roll of Sites of Memory.

       On the United Nations’ list, ­Historic London Town and Gardens joins Historic Sotterley Plantation, Annapolis’ City Dock, Baltimore’s Fells Point and dozens of other sites nationally as part of the Slave Route Project. The project commemorates the nearly 12 million African people forced into the Middle Passage of the transatlantic human trade.

      The colonial port town of London on the South River received at least eight slave ships between 1708 and 1760. Cargo on these ships were people from Sierra Leone through Angola along the African west coast, captured to be sold into slavery.

     Historic London Town researchers have documented more than 600 Africans who died on the tortuous voyage. Of those who survived the two- to three-month passage from Africa to Maryland, hundreds — perhaps thousands — were sold at London.

       “Our history cannot be told without slavery,” says Kyle Dalton, who has led research into London Town’s connections with the slave route. “This designation is a way for us to remember all of those people who were forced to come to America and perform the brutal manual labor that began this country. It is also an opportunity to honor those who did not survive the Middle Passage.”

      The Middle Passage Ceremonies and Port Markers Project seeks to honor the two million captive Africans who perished during the Middle Passage and the 10 million who survived to build the Americas. Additional area sites are working on achieving similar designation.