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James River Batteau

Buchanan 5511

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The James River bateau was a flat-bottomed, low-sided cargo boat, first used on the James River. These long, narrow boats were introduced in the early 1770s and rapidly became popular on the rivers of the region. They were eventually used from Maryland to northern Georgia. In fact, bateaux were used on some area rivers up until the early 20th century. Most bateau operators were African-American, either enslaved or free.


Last update 10/29/2012


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