Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History & Culture Enduring Connections: Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Enduring Connections

Exploring Delmarva's Black History

Explore the Data

The sources compiled in this database help reveal important elements of Black life on the Delmarva Peninsula including family relationships, community connections, the end of slavery, attempts to re-unite family members, work and wealth-building, and connection to the land and water.


Our records are tagged with location data to make it easier to find information about a specific place. Choose a location from the list or browse our interactive map.

Explore Locations


Occupations oftentimes shape the role of an individual in a community. You can browse the occupations that have been explicitly mentioned in records.

Explore Occupations


View the full list of sources that we've transcribed and extracted, and read more about the kind of information you can find in each one.

Explore Sources

Featured Stories

The Freedmen's Bureau and the Development of Black Education on the Delmarva Peninsula

September 5, 2023

Summer '23 Smithsonian Institute intern, A'Nya Harrison explored correspondence from the Freedmen’s Bureau records at the National Archives, which detailed the essential groundwork that individuals and communities laid for the development of Black schools on the Delmarva Peninsula.

Read More

The Quinn Family, Race, and Religion on Maryland's Eastern Shore

September 5, 2023

Summer '23 Smithsonian Institute intern, Nandi Smith analyzed the religious trends of Black Americans across the country--and especially on the Delmarva Peninsula--in this story highlighting the Quinn family of Pocomoke City, Maryland in the 19th century.

Read More

The Reverend's Roots: Rev. Charles Albert Tindley

May 25, 2023

Using sources made accessible by the Enduring Connections database, researchers can begin to unpack the complex story behind Reverend Tindley’s childhood and family roots that have been elusive until now.

Read More

The Freedmen's Bureau and Illegal Apprenticeships on Maryland's Eastern Shore

October 17, 2022

In the years after Emancipation, many Black families in the Delmarva region had their children taken away from them and bound into apprenticeships. The story of Martha Brown, a Caroline County woman, personifies what it took to recover your children with help from the Freedmen's Bureau.

Read More

American Colonization of Liberia

June 22, 2022

The Republic of Liberia in Africa was a colony formed by the United States to relocate freeborn and emancipated Black people as an end to slavery. Former Enduring Connections fellow, Rihana Stevenson, writes about this piece of Delmarva history and the records that support it in this story.

Read More

Featured Audio & Video


"Putting Delmarva First": Georgetown

August 9, 2023
Recorded February 19, 2021

In this video, Don Rush of WSDL Ocean City interviews several African American residents from Salisbury about their memories of the Georgetown neighborhood.

This recording is part of the Digitizing Delmarva Heritage and Tradition collection. For more information, see the Edward H. Nabb Center finding aid.


Interview with Jessie Smiley, 12 July 2005

August 9, 2023
Recorded July 12, 2005

In this interview, Jessie Smiley describes her memories of her town of San Domingo; a small area northwest of Salisbury, MD. She describes her experiences as an African American woman during segregation, her education in segregated schools including Maryland State College (UMES), and her life after desegregation. She also describes some of the local activities and persons she can remember from her town.

This interview is part of the Teaching American History Program. For more information, see the Edward H. Nabb Center Finding Aid.


Delmarva Folklife Project: Interview with Robert Mollock, 24 August 1998

August 9, 2023
Recorded August 24, 1998

This interview was conducted by Kelly Feltault with Robert Mollock near Elliot's Island, MD. In this interview, Robert discusses trapping, hunting, and farming traditions from this section of the eastern shore. He describes his history with trapping, beginning with hunting trips with his father, and the role of the tide in the placement of his many traps, hoping to trap muskrats, raccoons, and nutria; a dangerous large rodent. He describes the process of working in the fur and meat trade and the changes that have occurred in that business over the years with conservation and regulation in the area, and how the number of trappers has been decreasing from the lack of profit in the business. He also speaks about setting marsh fires to help with trapping, and the methods he employs to do that. In part 2, he continues his description of hunting, trapping, and farming. He speaks about working in cash crop orchards on Royer's Farms, describing how they would process the crops, who they would sell to, and how the farm has changed between then and now. He then speaks more about trapping, including dog training, and what he really enjoys from the process of trapping a wild animal.

This interview is part of the Delmarva Folklife Project. For more information, see the Edward H. Nabb Center Finding Aid.