Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Britt E. Hartenberger, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Gary Marquardt, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Michelle S. Johnson, Ph.D.


African American, archaeology, civil rights, forest service, history, resistance

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The United States Forest Service holds in public trust hundreds upon thousands of historically significant sites. For decades, the management of these special places has focused on basic site identification and protection to meet legal compliance measures for Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Standard practices within the agency led to cultural sites being identified on the ground in a cursory fashion, but with little research or follow up into the history of the site of the people that had created and occupied it. Sites reflecting the identity, history, or material culture of People of Color were especially lost in the standard site recording process. Deeper research into just a few of these sites revealed a common theme, that of settlements where people pursued civil rights and resisted racism. There exists an opportunity to develop and implement a heritage-based program that focuses more closely on civil rights, honors the histories of resistance, challenges the preconceived narratives of American history, and reflects the diversity of the American people. Three nineteenth century archaeological sites located on federally managed lands in Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana uniquely express the pursuit of civil rights and resistance and serve as pilot sites by which to implement a program within the Forest Service. By implementing such programming, the agency can identify additional sites, affect its own culture, and uplift and amplify narratives representative of the public it serves.