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North Carolina's coastal region is home to a rich African-American history with locations that reflect the highs and lows for this group during and after slavery. For example, the Great Dismal Swamp became a place of refuge for those seeking freedom before and during the American Civil War as part of the Maritime Underground Railroad. Other places on this route, such as Wilmington, are known for their role in slavery, while James City is known as a place populated by freed blacks.