American Negro Slave Revolts

American Negro Slave Revolts

American Negro Slave Revolts

American Negro Slave Revolts


A pioneering work that demolished the widespread claims that African Americans accepted slavery and were passive. Exposed the true nature of slavery. 50th Anniversary edition (1943-1993).


This note deals with material not appearing in earlier editions.

The book continues to provoke discussion. An illustration is the recent exchange between George L. Fishman and Carl N. Degler. At the same time, it remains true that the book occasionally is ignored in work where reference to it would appear logical. Professor Bracey, in his introduction to the 40th anniversary edition, observed this ten years ago, and the phenomenon persists. The practice is waning, however; indeed reference to it has increased. Occasionally, the reference is all that even an author can desire, as when the work was called a "seminal masterpiece."

On examining the book again, I was chagrined to find no reference to James Hugo Johnston's Race Relations in Virginia and Miscegenation in the South, 1776-1860, first appearing as an unpublished dissertation in 1937 at the University of Chicago. As a graduate student at the time, was influenced by this pioneering work. I did mention Johnston's essay on the participation of white people in slave insurrections which appeared in The Journal of Negro History in 1931, but the 1937 work, inexplicably, was omitted. (It has since been published by the University of Massachusetts press in 1970.) Johnston in that work repeatedly called attention to the fear of slave outbreaks and to the "many attempt and plots to bring about the freedom of the slaves by concerted action" (p. 30; see also pp. 115, 126). I apologize for this failure.

Important elucidation of the cases of Hugh Bryan and other white men in South Carolina accused of sedition involving slaves in 1741 has been offered by Harvey H. Jackson. This illuminates a footnote within this book (p. 190).

Confirmation of, and additional data concerning, the 1741 New York City slave conspiracy and the Gabriel plot in Virginia . . .

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