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Still Waters

'Seditious’ bead found in 18th-Century tavern

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Still Waters

In 1776, British troops razed the town of Brunswick, an important pre-Revolutionary port on North Carolina's Cape Fear River. For decades, archaeologists have combed through that site, looking for clues about life in the colonial era. Last year, East Carolina University doctoral student Matt Harrup found an intriguing one: using ground-penetrating radar, he identified the remains of a small tavern there that appears to have burned down a decade before the redcoats came ashore. Now, digging at the 400-square-foot site has turned up a pressed jewel. The find, the size of a pea, confirms Brunswick's reputation as a hotbed of sedition.

The artifact was covered in dirt when it was first identified during a recent dig. When it was cleaned, however, it revealed itself to be a small pressed glass jewel, one that had fallen out of cufflinks, parts of which were also identified at the site, Mark Price at the Charlotte Observer reports. Etched on the glass was the phrase “Wilkes and Liberty 45,” a secret message used in the 1760s to express opposition to British rule.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/how-glass-pebble-links-north-carolina-tavern-seditious-colonists-180972585/

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article232283702.html

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