Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Committee Chair

Charles Crawford

Committee Member

Guiomar Duenas-Vargas

Committee Member

Arwin D. Smallwood

Committee Member

Earnestine L. Jenkins


A Quest for Freedom: The History of Marronage and Maroon Communities in the United States, 1513-1865, is an examination of marronage or Maroon Societies in North America. The self-emancipated or fugitive slave community and its impact on African American men, women, and children during the slave era is one of the least understood aspects of African American History. The objective of this study is to showcase these self-liberated communities and the Maroon experience in North America. Current research on the subject has revealed that the historical record possesses a wealth of information on the topic which allows for an accurate demonstration of the intricacies of life in Maroon societies as well as their interactions with Red and White peoples. The Maroon’s experience in North America is inclusive of their lifeways and culture, their expertise in guerilla warfare and statecraft, and their commitment to the protection and rescue of the enslaved. This study will show that these self-liberated sanctuaries were preservation centers where African forms of government, traditions, architectural style, and customs were transferred to future generations. The focus and narrative of this research project also includes an investigation of miscegenation as a facet of the sociocultural life of Maroon societies. Research will show that by their very nature these protracted self-emancipation sites were in fact egalitarian racial democracies. Likewise, those Africans who pursued self-emancipation and separatism as a means of recovering their freedom were not fugitives or rebel slaves. It was quite the contrary, they were freedom fighters or freemen defending their liberty against those that would dare attempt to forcibly return them to the inhumanity of servitude for financial gain.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Embargoed until 8/3/2024

Available for download on Saturday, August 03, 2024