Origins of Carolina split-dugout canoes

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Abstract

Descriptions in the historical record contain references to the common use of dugout logboats in North and South Carolina in the 18th and 19th centuries. The exact form of these boats has been the subject of much speculation on the part of historians. Recent discoveries of dugout boats and fragments of boats have provided an opportunity to study construction details and to relate the field material to the historical record. Analysis reveals unique structural techniques that are very similar to practices found in some parts of Europe and especially France. The paper presents evidence for the theory that these boatbuilding methods emigrated from France with refugee French Huguenots who settled in the Carolinas at the beginning of the 1680s.

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