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Root Diggers and Herb Gatherers: How Wild Plants Shaped Post-Civil-War Appalachian society

Luke Manget SeptHow did the wild herbs of the Southern Appalachian region affect the region's development in the decades following the American Civil War? That's the topic to be addressed September 15, 2015, in a talk by Luke Manget. The talk begins at 7:00 p.m. in Peterson Conference Center at Mars Hill University, and is presented by the university's Liston B. Ramsey Center for Regional Studies.

The role of botanicals is an important one that is often overshadowed by the strong history of mining and timber in Appalachia. Manget says the “rich botanical biodiversity, global markets, and ambitious entrepreneurs made the region the center for what was the most overlooked of the extractive industries. The botanical drug industry provided employment to countless individuals, altered the way they interacted with the forest, and shaped popular perceptions of the region into the twentieth century.”

Manget is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Georgia, who studies the environmental history of the Southern Appalachian Region. He received his M. A. at Western Carolina University in 2012 and is currently working on a dissertation on the forest economy in Appalachia.

The talk is part of the Ramsey Center's current thematic focus on exploring Southern Appalachian forests. For more information, contact Hannah Furgiuele at, or 828-689-1571.