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summary
Combining Atlantic and imperial perspectives, Caribbean New Orleans offers a lively portrait of the city and a probing investigation of the French colonists who established racial slavery there as well as the African slaves who were forced to toil for them. Casting early New Orleans as a Caribbean outpost of the French Empire rather than as a North American frontier town, Cecile Vidal reveals the persistent influence of the Antilles, especially Saint-Domingue, which shaped the city's development through the eighteenth century. In so doing, she urges us to rethink our usual divisions of racial systems into mainland and Caribbean categories.

Drawing on New Orleans's rich court records as a way to capture the words and actions of its inhabitants, Vidal takes us into the city's streets, market, taverns, church, hospitals, barracks, and households. She explores the challenges that slow economic development, Native American proximity, imperial rivalry, and the urban environment posed to a social order that was predicated on slave labor and racial hierarchy. White domination, Vidal demonstrates, was woven into the fabric of New Orleans from its founding. This comprehensive history of urban slavery locates Louisiana's capital on a spectrum of slave societies that stretched across the Americas and provides a magisterial overview of racial discourses and practices during the formative years of North America's most intriguing city.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Introduction: When the Levees Rose
  2. pp. 1-42
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  1. Chapter 1. A Port City of the French Empire and the Greater Caribbean
  2. pp. 43-93
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  1. Chapter 2. The City with Imaginary Walls: The Natchez Wars, Slave Unrest, and the Construction of a White Urban Community
  2. pp. 94-142
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  1. Chapter 3. The Hustle and Bustle of City Life: The Politics of Public Space and Racial Formation
  2. pp. 143-182
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  1. Chapter 4. “The Mulatto of the House”: The Racial Line within Domestic Households and Residential Institutions
  2. pp. 183-243
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  1. Chapter 5. “A Scandalous Commerce”: The Disorder of Families
  2. pp. 244-284
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  1. Chapter 6. “American Politics”: Slavery, Labor, and Race
  2. pp. 285-328
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  1. Chapter 7. “Everybody Wants to Be a Merchant”: Trade, Credit, and Honor
  2. pp. 329-368
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  1. Chapter 8. Lash of the Tongue, Lash of the Whip: The Formation and Transformation of Racial Categories and Practices
  2. pp. 369-443
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  1. Chapter 9. From “Louisians” to “Louisianais”: The Emergence of a Sense of Place and the Racial Divide
  2. pp. 444-497
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  1. Conclusion. From Louisiana to Saint-Domingue and from Saint-Domingue to Louisiana
  2. pp. 498-514
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 515-533
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781469645209
Related ISBN
9781469645186
MARC Record
OCLC
1098213372
Pages
552
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-19
Language
English
Open Access
No
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