Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

Over the last decade, this book has come together in many places and a variety of circumstances. I began my research and writing in Madison, Wisconsin, and the book was completed in Wellesley, Massachusetts. In between, I’ve written in coffee shops, on mountain tops, tucked away in library carrels, and, distractedly, on the front porches of many a friend. ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-14

In an 1822 treatise on internal improvement in South Carolina’s Lowcounty—the counties and parishes that bordered the ocean and made up South Carolina’s coastal plain—renowned architect Robert Mills, then a superintendent for South Carolina’s Board of Public Works, argued that “the time has now arrived when it is our best policy and true interest to begin a work ...

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Chapter One. The “Within Enemy”: Slaves and the Production of South Carolina’s Early State

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pp. 15-47

At the beginning of September 1739, dozens of slaves gathered in the swampy terrain of St. Paul’s Parish along the Stono River to resume construction of a public road designed to transport goods from the expanding plantation complex to Charlestown. The road crew was composed of slaves from all the plantations within several miles of the building project. ...

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Chapter Two. The Strength of This Country: Securing and Rebuilding the State in the Revolutionary Era

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pp. 48-88

In the years immediately following the American Revolution, South Carolina’s elected officials engaged in a heated but often forgotten debate over the future of the Atlantic slave trade. The question of a slave embargo revolved around the state’s post-Revolutionary economic malaise, compounded, many felt, by South Carolinians’ enthusiasm for slave purchasing. ...

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Chapter Three. Their Intentions Were to Ambuscade and Surround Me: The Necessity of Slave Mobility

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pp. 89-115

At the beginning of his plantation diary for the year 1791, Charles Drayton meticulously documented his travels between his country seat along the Ashley River and his Wateree River plantation. As a member of the Road Commission in St. Paul’s Parish, Drayton was especially attentive to the details of his everyday travels throughout the Lowcountry, ...

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Chapter Four. This Negro Thoroughfare: The Meaning of Black Movement

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pp. 116-148

In February 1825, sixteen slaves left their new owner, George W. Morris. Morris reported that the men, women, and children were “living together in the woods near Col. Cattle’s place” from “whence they were purchased and removed last February.” Like countless other slaves in the early national era, the group returned to what they had previously known, the material world ...

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Chapter Five. With the Labor of These Slaves: Producing the Modern State

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pp. 149-182

In the early summer of 1821, George Ford, a wealthy South Carolina planter, was shot and killed while attempting to apprehend a small band of runaway slaves who were reportedly stealing his cattle. What authorities quickly deemed a murder marked the beginning of a desperate three-year search for “Forest Joe,” the presumed leader of the fugitives. ...

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Conclusion

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pp. 183-186

Slaves made the state. To understand this—slaves’ role in the production of the modern state—is not simply to add another historical actor to our narration of early American political development; it is also to reimagine how we contemplate the state itself. In the first place, this is about moving our analysis of statecraft from the courthouses, governors’ mansions, ...

Notes

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pp. 187-210

Bibliography

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pp. 211-231

Index

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pp. 233-238