In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Notes The AmericanSlave George P. Rawick, ed., TheAmericanSlave: A Composite Autobiography , South Carolina Narratives, 19vols. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972) SCC Southern Claims Commission SCL South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia SHC Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina , Chapel Hill Preface i. W. E. B. Du Bois, The Negro American Family (1908; rpt. New York: Negro Universities Press, 1969), 9. z.Justin Labinjoh, "The Sexual Life of the Oppressed: An Examination of the Family Life of Antebellum Slaves," Phylon 35 (1974): 383. 3. Although wide-scale property ownership did exist, slaves were often placed in the awkward position of having to prove ownership of the goods in their possession : the onus of proof, resting with the slaves, always put their hard-earned property at risk. Helen Catterall reported a South Carolina case in 1848 in which a white man came onto the plaintiff's plantation and took five hogs from pens near the "negro house" and hauled them away in a wagon, saying, "It is negro property and I intend to take it away." The lawmakers were not inclined to leave the slave entirely at the mercy of such unscrupulous persons. The South Carolina Court of Appeals in reviewing the Case of Richardson v. Broughton in May 1848 held that the act of 1740 did not confer the right to enter the enclosure of the owner of the slave for the purpose of seizing Negro property. The absence of legal title to their own property sometimes made it difficult for i85 Notes toIntroduction slaves to safeguard the privacy of their home and family life. Indeed, despite the informal rights of slaves to hold property and to organize in stable family groups, these rights were never legally protected. Nonetheless, property ownership, marriage , and stable family life were commonplace and highly valued among South Carolina's slaves. See Helen Tunnicliff Catterall, ed., Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro, 4 vols. (Washington D.C.: Carnegie Institute of Washington, 1929), 2:408. 4. On the significance of naming practices and family structure see Cheryl Ann Cody, "Naming, Kinship and Estate Dispersal: Notes on Slave Family Life on a South Carolina Plantation, 1786-1833," William and Mary Quarterly 39 (1982): 192-211; Herbert G. Gutman, The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 17501925 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1976), chap. 5. Introduction 1. Among the most recent publications see the two works edited by Ira Berlin and Philip D. Morgan, The Slaves' Economy: Independent Production by Slaves in the Americas (London: Frank Cass, 1991), and Cultivation and Culture: Labor and the Shaping of Slave Life in the Americas (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993);Joseph P. Reidy, From Slavery toAgrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South: Central Georgia, 1800-1880 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992); Charles B. Dew, Bond of Iron: Master and Slave at Buffalo Forge (New York: Norton, 1994); Julie Saville, The Work of Reconstruction: From Slave to Wage Laborer in South Carolina, 1860-1870 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994); Larry E. Hudson Jr., ed., Working Toward Freedom: Slave Society and Domestic Economy in theAmerican South (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 1994); Betty Wood, Womeris Work, Men's Work: The Informal Slave Economies ofLowcountry Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995). Although this approach to slave life is comparatively new to the United States, students of West Indian slavery have used it for over three decades. See the Berlin and Morgan collections and, for a comparative study, Roderick A. McDonald, The Economy and Material Culture of Slaves: Goods and Chattels on the Sugar Plantations of Jamaica and Louisiana (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1993). 2. For a recent discussion of slave masters' use of certain work systems as a sophisticated means of controlling their labor force, see Norrece T.Jones,Jr., Born a Child of Freedom Yet a Slave: Mechanisms of Control and Strategies of Resistance in Antebellum South Carolina (Hanover: Wesleyan University Press, 1990), chap. 3. 3. James King sees the family as a "basic unit in most societies," and Ann Patton 186 Notes to Chapter i Malone speaks of the "natural tendency among enslaved folk to form stable families , households, and communities." Although the "natural tendency" of humans toward family formation was a significant element in the successful drive toward stable slave families that approached its apogee in the late antebellum period, it remains an unsatisfactory foundation on which to construct a picture of the resilient and highly functional black family life that...


Additional Information

Related ISBN
MARC Record
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.