From Bradenton Herald, September 2, 2020
Researchers are studying artifacts from Manatee Springs in an effort to shed light on the lives of the Angolan settlers who once lived on the shores of the Manatee River.
A month-long excavation of soon-to-be-developed land is giving researchers a better look at how escaped slaves lived their daily lives in the Angola settlement along the Manatee River.
Funded by a grant from Florida’s Department of Historical Resources, archaeologists at New College of Florida are sifting through findings from the Manatee Mineral Springs site where African descendants settled in the early 19th century.
An estimated 700 escaped slaves lived in the area now known as Manatee Mineral Springs Park, in the 1300 block of Fourth Avenue East. Historians say the site was occupied between 1800 and 1821 before a raid sent settlers to other parts of Florida and the Bahamas.
The archaeology team dug about 5 feet deep to find what settlers left behind — animal bones, metal, ceramics, glass and other artifacts that can explain how maroons, or escaped slaves, adapted to the land in present-day Bradenton.
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