Amber Clawson, a candidate for the Master of Arts in History and a Graduate Assistant here in the Grad School Office, is quite obviously a woman of many talents. In addition to her academic and professional career at The Graduate School of the College of Charleston, she has distinguished herself as a volunteer and researcher at the Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site.
For those who may not know, Charles Towne Landing is a park and interpretive center depicting the lives of the earliest settlement in Carolina Colony, established in 1670. Special exhibits include living history interpreters in costume, a native forest featuring flora and fauna indigenous to the area during the time of European settlement, and a fantastic replica of a seventeenth-century ship. You can see the park for yourself this Saturday as they celebrate Colonial Trades and Harvest Day. Demonstrations such as musket and cannon firing and natural wool dying will be on display, and Amber will be giving a featured presentation on the first women of Carolina. This is a history topic that is not very often explored in depth, and Amber will be presenting some fascinating original research. Here’s a summary of what she’ll be discussing:
Women, at first glance, appear absent from the historical record but further research demonstrates that women played a vital role in the establishment of the Carolina colony. Despite hardship, servitude and enslavement, the women of Charles Towne forged a community in the Atlantic World. This presentation examines the initial settlement at Albemarle Point from 1670 until 1700, specifically the European, African, and Native American women. Grounded in court documents and personal correspondence, the work highlights themes of family, diversity, and power in the colonial community. In the historical memory the colonial South is a place characterized by plantation hierarchy. This presentation provides a glimpse at the multitude of experiences of the first women of Carolina, before the plantations, when the success of the colony was still uncertain.
This has been an in-depth project for Amber, and she wishes to express her thanks to Dr. Scott Poole, our Graduate History program director, for his support and guidance. She also wishes to thank Interpretive Park Rangers Michelle Crouse and John Hiatt, who introduced her to the world of state historic sites, shared their research, and were always willing to help.
Be sure to come and witness a day of engaging history and learn about lives of women who have so often been overlooked in history. Amber will be presenting her findings in the Visitors’ Center Classroom at 1 P.M. The park is open 9 A.M. - 5 P.M.; for admission prices and park details visit the Charles Towne Landing website.