Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom
Slavery in the Antebellum Upper South
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: The Johns Hopkins University Press
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Series Editor’s Foreword
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In this new title in Studies in early american economy and Society, a collaborative enterprise between the Johns hopkins university press and the library company of philadelphia’s program in early american economy and Society (peaeS), calvin Schermerhorn explores north america’s oldest reproducing slave society...
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American slavery was an intricate dance between forced labor and the forces of modernity. This book explores the redevelopment of the coastal region of the upper South from the turn of the nineteenth century to the beginning of the Civil War through the lives of the enslaved people who built it...
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So I went out trusting in the lord,” wrote Solomon bayley of his family’s trials, “but i should soon have fainted in mind, if it had not been for the encouragement I met with, both from God and man.” that was how the enslaved cooper framed networking. on Virginia’s eastern Shore in the 1790s, he had begun a family of his own after his father and siblings were sold away by a slaveholder who lived across the chesapeake bay. he planned to go to court in delaware, as had his father and siblings, ...
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On ships, boats, docks, canals, and waterways, enslaved people participated in the upper South’s commercial redevelopment. The market whose sinews they in part constituted made possible the resources they sought, yet the same process of market intensification exposed more and more enslaved people to traumatic family separations...
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Contemporary defenders of slavery characterized it as a domestic institution framed by bonds of reciprocal duty and even affection. In 1850, George Fitzhugh termed Virginia slavery “a joint concern, in which the slave consumes more than the master, of the coarse products, and is far happier, because although the concern may fail, he is always sure ...
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As modernity moved, slavery moved to match it. As upper South cities grew, slaveholders found new uses for enslaved people in the region’s processing industries. A Richmond tobacconist in 1804 advertised that he “wants to hire two negro fellows by the year, or month, to be employed in the manufacture of Tobacco, for which he will give good wages” to their owners...
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The transportation revolution simultaneously transformed an old institution and the new commercial landscape of the antebellum South, changing the lives of enslaved people in the process. Railroads and telegraphs integrated interregional markets and sped communications. As in commercial processing, slaves were the primary workforce for railroad construction projects south of the Potomac River, and they worked to support the roads once they were in operation...
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Between the last decade of the eighteenth century and the onset of civil war, the coastal upper reaches of the southern United States became a slave market society. The ordeals of slaves’ networking to protect family members from separation feature as chapters in that history, as the enslaved were put to work in diversified agriculture, processing, and transportation in places where their ancestors..
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This book benefited from an exceptional network. Edward L. Ayers supervised the dissertation from which it developed, emphasizing broad interconnections and the deep roots of historical causation. Though I grew up in a southern place with a slave past, it was not until his colloquium on the nineteenth-century South...
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Essay on Sources
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Page Count: 296
Illustrations: 2 line drawings
Publication Year: 2011