"There Are No Slaves in France": The Political Culture of Race and Slavery in the Ancien Régime

By Sue Peabody | Go to book overview

Notes

Abbreviations
A.N., Archives Nationales, Paris
B.N., Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris
See the Bibliography for a descrption of the various A.N. series.

Introduction
1.
From the outset, the problem of what to call the people who are the subject of this study has been troublesome. The word nègre, which was common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, connoted both color and slave status; noir, which became more common at the end of the eighteenth century, seems to have referred to people with dark skin, regardless of slave status. I have rejected African American because many were not, in fact, American, and some were not even African. Ultimately, the terms black and negro have seemed the most appropriate, the former primarily in my own analysis and the latter when translating the term nègre, as a reminder that eighteenth-century social categories were not precisely the same as our own.
2.
[ Frangois Gayot de Pitaval], "Liberté reclamée par un nègre, contre son maitre qui I'a amend en France," in Causes célèbres et intéressantes, avec les jugemens qui les ont décidées ( Paris: Jean de Nully, 1747), vol. 13, p. 537.
3.
Shelby T. McCloy, The Negro in France ( Lexington: Univ. of Kentucky Press, 1961), p. 5.
4.
Pierre Boulle, "Les Gens de couleur à Paris à la veille de la Révolution," in L'Image de la Révolution française: Communications pésentées lors du Congrès Mondial pour le Bicentenaire de la Révolution, ed. Michel Vovelle, ( Paris: Pergamon, 1989), p. 159. Boulle Being Black in Eighteenth-Century France: Non-White Residents According to the Census of 1777 is forthcoming.
5.
Léo Elisabeth, "The French Antilles," in Neither Slave Nor Free: The Freedmenof African Descent in the Slave Societies of the New World

-141-

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