Cover

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Title Page

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Copyright Page

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Table of Contents

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pp. vii-vii

List of Illustrations

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pp. viii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

Many people helped me during the process of writing this book. First and foremost I wish to thank my adviser, Eric Foner, for his sharp analysis, guidance, and patience. Without his help, my Ph.D. would have remained a dream, and this book, a mere wish. I also would like to thank ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

The image of slaves tilling the soil of a large plantation under the watchful eye of an overseer has been indelibly printed on American minds as the North American slave experience. To a great extent this image is accurate given that 90 percent of African-American slaves lived in rural areas. But the remaining 10 percent—a small but significant ...

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Chapter 1: Inauspicious Beginnings

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pp. 9-15

In 1782 when Richmond received its formal recognition as a city, it had only a thousand inhabitants and hardly resembled a bustling metropolis; incorporated or not, it was little more than a small port town. But Richmond’s newly conferred status did portend the greatness the city would achieve within the next eight decades. During those years ...

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Chapter 2: The Road to Industrialization and the Rise of Urban Slavery, 1800–1840

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pp. 16-36

Richmond in the early to mid–nineteenth century began to lose much of its provincialism. The various shops, taverns, and hotels that filled the main thoroughfare greatly popularized the commercial area and drew crowds of residents and visitors alike. The opening of the Bank of Virginia added a sense of financial strength to Richmond, while the ...

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Chapter 3: Behind the Urban ‘‘Big House’’

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pp. 37-70

At the end of the workday, long after the sun had set, George, Richard, Manuel, and John left Hezekiel Wight’s tobacco factory and walked through the dock and warehouse area toward their respective homes. As hired slaves they did not have to live with their owner, John Prosser, and were not required to stay with their employer because there ...

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Chapter 4: Maturation of the Urban Industrial Slave System, 1840–1860

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pp. 71-95

Between 1840 and 1860 urban industrialization and the city slave system reached a peak. During these years industries achieved their greatest output and their highest profit levels. By 1860 Richmond was home to fifty-nine tobacco manufactories, eight flour and corn mills, eleven iron and brass foundries, four soap and candle factories, and a variety of other plants producing machines, nails, iron and steel, saddles ...

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Chapter 5: Formation of an Independent Slave Community

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pp. 96-123

With the expansion of the industrial sector and the urban slave labor force, changes in slave living conditions were inevitable. Most notably, features of city slave life that had been considered irregular in 1820 and common in 1840 became ubiquitous by 1860. One such feature was separate slave housing. Whereas boarding out—or living apart—had been considered somewhat unusual in the early nineteenth century, by ...

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Chapter 6: The War Years, 1861–1865

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pp. 124-144

During the spring of 1861, Richmond underwent a series of rapid, sweeping changes that dramatically and irreversibly affected the character of the city, its society, and its slave system. During the early months of the new year, Richmond dissolved its bonds with the Union, established an alliance with the Confederate States of America, and became the capital of the newly established Confederate government....

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Epilogue

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pp. 145-148

When the Union troops entered Richmond, they found a city burning on both sides of the main boulevards and the ‘‘air . . . filled with sparks, mingled in places with exploding shells from the rebel ordnance stores.’’ But the dangers presented by the fire and explosions did not keep hundreds of black Richmonders from shouting and dancing...

Notes

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pp. 149-167

Bibliography

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pp. 168-179

Index

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pp. 180-187

Further Reading

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pp. 188-188