Durham boats were the principal boats used to move George
Washington’s troops across the Delaware River to attack Trenton. Anthropologist Ben Ford recently
excavated and recorded the only known archaeological example of a Durham boat.
His lecture, “The Discovery of an Original Durham Boat,” focused
on the role of Durham boats in Washington’s crossing of the Delaware as well as
the economic development of the region. Ford also used the ship construction
details and specific characteristics of a Durham boat shipwreck that he
recently recorded in Oneida Lake, NY to explain how these vessels worked both
in the crossing and as the 18-wheelers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
This research was partially supported by an IUP Senate
Research Committee Grant.
Department of Anthropology