Abstract

Abstract:

This article examines the lesser-known account book of Cesar Lyndon, an enslaved man in Newport, Rhode Island. Lyndon's extant account book—from 1761 to 1771—chronicles his financial transactions with Newport's famed slave traders as well as free and enslaved persons. Lyndon—by way of double-entry bookkeeping—itemizes the sale and acquisition of goods and services. He notes deaths, marriages, and a pig roast. Lyndon and his nearly thirty-five-page account book invites us to consider the ordinary and to examine the account book as a literary genre, despite the ways in which it may trouble a presentist African American literary tradition. Lyndon's lists document the kinds of everyday living that are complicit in slavery's business rather than decidedly resistant to it.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-147X
Print ISSN
0012-8163
Pages
pp. 839-849
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-11
Open Access
No
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