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Abstract

In 1995, the Insistute of Maritime History conducted the archaeological investigation of a 19th-century coasting schooner, Annabella, in Cape Neddick, Maine. This type of craft, though ubiquitous on the eastern seaboard in the 19th century, has not been documented in an archaeological setting to date in New England. Maine played a pivotal role in America's economy, supplying the southern states and Caribbean Islands with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of raw materials such as timber, stone, ice, lime, and agricultural goods. This vessel was primarily involved in the transportation of cordwood along the east coast of the United States. Its heavily-built, shallow-draft hull was ideal for transporting heavy cargoes through the shallow tidal inlets of New England. Built in New Jersey in 1834 and finally abandoned in Cape Neddick in 1885, Annabella endured over 50 years of service, surviving the antebellum coasting trade, the Civil War, and beyond; thus, its excavation affords us a detailed look at the coasting trade that heretofore has been absent.

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