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Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst awarded grant to further Maryland Loyalism Project

ISSUED: 28 January 2021
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Maryland Humanities has awarded a $1,200 grant to Dr. Benjamin Bankhurst, assistant professor of history at Shepherd University, for the Maryland Loyalism Project, which presents the stories of the women and men of Maryland who remained loyal to the Crown during the American Revolution. Bankhurst said he’s thrilled the grant will assist in helping students in this semester’s American Revolution course the ability work on the project.

“Students will use the records of the Committee for the Confiscation of British Property to follow the stories of enslaved women and men on seized Loyalist estates and will discuss their findings in blog entries on group websites they have created themselves,” Bankhurst said. “Their transcription work will also be published on the Maryland Loyalism project site and will help public users better understand the complexities of the American Revolution in Maryland.”

The grant helps cover costs for phase II of the project, creating a digital archive of 82 loyalist women and men from Maryland who petitioned Parliament for financial compensation after the war. It will enable the digitization of records from Maryland archives, including the Maryland State Archives, the Maryland Center for History and Culture, and the Harford County Historical Society, and the publication of these sources on the project site. The regional records include the names of enslaved people sold at public auction on confiscated loyalist estates.

“We are delighted to support your project and look forward to learning more details as you progress with implementation of the project,” said Lindsey Baker, Maryland Humanities executive director, in a letter confirming the grant award.

The Maryland Loyalism Project makes available to the public for the first time digitized and transcribed volumes of sources from a range of North American and United Kingdom archives and seeks to bring together records that illustrate the diversity of the Maryland Loyalist experience. Bankhurst said it also makes valuable primary historical resources from the American Revolution available for study and publication, while training undergraduate students in critical digital humanities skills for the 21st century marketplace.

For more information, visit the Shepherd American Revolution course page and the Maryland Loyalism Project.

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