Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History

Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History

Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History

Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History

Synopsis

Slavery in the United States is once again a topic of contention as politicians and interest groups argue about and explore the possibility of reparations. The subject is clearly not exhausted, and a state-by-state approach fills a critical reference niche. This book is the first comparative summary of the southern slave states from Colonial times to Reconstruction. The history of slavery in each state is a story based on the unique events in that jurisdiction, and is a chronicle of the relationships and interactions between its blacks and whites.

Excerpt

Recently, while teaching in Texas and Washington, D.C., we asked our students to tell us everything they knew about the Southern system of bonded labor. The students offered similar responses. Generally outspoken, our classes sat largely silent and offered answers such as “It was wrong, ” “Slaves were treated poorly, ” and “It couldn't have been that bad, they were fed.” Perhaps clouded by oral recollections of their parents' experiences with the civil rights campaigns and the culture clashes of the 1960s, by a sometimes questionable secondary education system, and by the images provided in Hollywood productions and other media, many of their answers were apparently based upon myths and misinformation. Today, slavery, the “peculiar institution, ” is once again a topic of contention as politicians and interest groups argue about and explore the possibility of reparations for slavery. While it is not our intention to become involved in such matters, one wonders to what extent our children and our politicians understand the system of labor that defined so much of this country for so many years and still stands at the center of so much political and social debate. While a great deal of work by prominent historians appears on the subject of slavery, a comparative summary of the slave states does not exist, and it is this gap that our work seeks to fill. Slavery in the South: A State-by-State History offers high school and community college students, undergraduates, and other interested nonspecialists an informative summary of the slave experience in each individual slave state and a synthetic sketch of enslaved African Americans for each jurisdiction that still embraced the slave system at the onset of the American Civil War.

We have employed a topical approach within a chronological framework. Each illustrated chapter tackles a specific slave state. For each

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