Angela Jaillet, graduate student in the M.A. in Applied Archaeology program, was one of two students nationwide recently awarded the Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel Award by the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA).
The award will help Angela travel to the annual SHA conference in Austin, Texas, to present her thesis research on the nineteenth-century freed African-American community of Pandenarium, in Mercer County, Pennsylvania.
In 1837, Dr. Charles Everett, a wealthy physician and plantation owner, decided that upon his death he wished to free the slaves on his Albemarle County, Virginia, plantation. Having decided upon this course of action, Everett began to plan for the future safety of freed men and women. Dr. Everett contacted his nephew, Dr. Cutlip Everett, a Philadelphia physician, to make arrangements for the venture, which included the purchase of land in Mercer County. The elder Dr. Everett died in 1848, before he could see his vision come to fruition.
On November 12, 1854, approximately sixty freed African-Americans arrived at Pandenarium to find twenty-four completed houses. Each family received a deed for two acres of agricultural land and a purse of $1,000. In 1855, an act of legislature by the Pennsylvania senate (1855: Act No. 324) listed many of the Pandenarium residents by name and provided for the legal rights of the manumitted slaves from Everett’s estate, their children, and their grandchildren, so as to eliminate any and all questions regarding their legitimacy as residents.
By the late nineteenth century, much of the former community and its descendants moved to the nearby residential, urban settings of Mercer and Sharon. Within the first few years of the twentieth century, Pandenarium ceased to exist as a settlement and reverted to agricultural fields. In her research, Jaillet has located evidence of the community through archaeological and geophysical investigations.
The Ed and Judy Jelks Student Travel Fund provides, on a competitive basis, one or more cash awards to defray travel costs of graduate students participating in annual meetings of the Society for Historical Archaeology. To be considered for an award, each applicant must be a current member of SHA and actively enrolled in a graduate degree program at a college or university. Awardees are expected to present results of their research during a general session, symposium, or poster session at the SHA annual meeting.