Front cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction

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pp. 1-20

In 1859 a twenty-eight-year-old free black woman named Jane Moore requested of the Sixth District Court of New Orleans that she be enslaved. Explaining in her petition how she was emancipated in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1855, prior to her move to New Orleans in 1856, Jane Moore did not wish to remain free: ...

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1. Presumed Enslaved: Free People of Color and the Law in the Southern States

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pp. 21-52

Although Georgia was the last southern state legally to enable voluntary enslavement, the issue had been a controversial one, debated for some time within the state legislature. This Daily Intelligencer editorial exemplifies how responses to humanitarian complaints about the exploitation of free blacks’ enslavement ...

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2. Free People of Color and Residency Requests

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pp. 53-74

Julius Dabney obtained his freedom from William McKay at some point during the antebellum era. Thereafter, he purchased his wife, Lucinda, and the couple subsequently had a child, Juliet Ann. But all was not well in the Dabney household, with both husband and wife worried about expulsion from their home in Virginia. ...

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3. "Traditional" Motivations and White Perspectives on Voluntary Enslavement

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pp. 75-92

The aptly named Daniel Freeman from Orangeburg, South Carolina, requested that the House of Representatives permit him to become enslaved to John B. Murrow. Freeman was apparently “assured that the condition of slavery would be preferable to his present condition as a free person of color. ...

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4. Free People of Color and the Enslaved

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pp. 93-122

Born free, because although her father was enslaved, her mother was white, Lucy Andrews from Lancaster District, South Carolina, petitioned the South Carolina State Assembly for enslavement in the late 1850s. She described how, as a sixteen-year-old mother: “she is dissatisfied with her present condition, ...

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5. Expulsion, Enslavement, and Ties across the Color Line

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pp. 123-152

A rather complicated case, which encapsulated many of the racial concerns of the day, went before the general assembly of Virginia in the early 1830s. Lucy Boomer was a free woman of color emancipated through the will of the late John Winn, to whom she had been enslaved. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 153-156

An 1854 novel, The Planter’s Northern Bride, contains an oblique but starkly revealing reference to an enslaved woman, Judy. Although living as free in Kentucky, having escaped from her master, Judy was far from content. In a plaintive request to Crissy, an enslaved woman, Judy laid bare her determination to return to bondage: ...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 157-160

There are many, many people who have assisted me in writing this book. First, I should like to thank my postdoctoral research assistant, Laura Sandy, who was funded by the Leverhulme Trust to undertake primary research for this project. Laura instinctively understood some of the difficulties involved in exploring the past when sources are scant, ...

Notes

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pp. 161-202

Bibliography

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pp. 203-220

Index

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pp. 221-234