Book Reviews -- Race and Class in Colonial Virginia: Indians, Englishmen, and Africans on the Eastern Shore during the Seventeenth Century (Studies in African American History and Culture) by J. Douglas Deal

By Hughes, Sarah S. | The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, January 1994 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews -- Race and Class in Colonial Virginia: Indians, Englishmen, and Africans on the Eastern Shore during the Seventeenth Century (Studies in African American History and Culture) by J. Douglas Deal


Hughes, Sarah S., The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography


Race and Class in Colonial Virginia: Indians, Englishmen, and Africans on the Eastern Shore During the Seventeenth Century. By J. DOUGLAS DEAL. Studies in African American History and Culture. New York and London: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993. xxii, 452 pp. $96.00

IN 1980, when T.H. Breen and Stephen Innes published "Myne Owne Ground": Race and Freedom on Virginia's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676, they seemed to tell the whole story of "a brief moment" when free black Virginians almost became a peasantry in Northampton County (p. 5). J. Douglas Deal was the finishing a dissertation at the University of Rochester that, when published thirteen years later, reveals many other fascinating and problematic stories teased from the tangled bits of personal data recorded by the county courts. Deal argues a less optimistic view of the niches available to blacks lucky enough to escape slavery; they faced a "hardscrabble life," and few rose from "the lowest ranks of free society" (p. 209). If persistent racism left little likelihood that freed people would gain foothold among prosperous peasants, neither, he finds, did they disappear after 1676, as some historians have supposed.

Deal's complex, multigenerational portraits of individual African Americans and their families add a dimension rare in colonial Virginia history. What he calls "skeletal life histories" (p. 208), mainly of free blacks (for slaves seldom left enough traces in county records to reconstruct their lives), constitute the most significant part of the book. Two examples indicate how Virginia's social structure emerges from personal narratives. Discussion of how race left even Anthony Johnson, successful enough to possess land and a slave, vulnerable to white harassment ends with the 1670 decision] of an Accomack County jury that fifty acres given to his son should escheat to the crown because the father "was a Negroe and by consequence and alien" (p. 228). But the Johnson family continued. Some of his children and grandchildren can be traced into the early eighteenth century, as they married black, white, and Indian spouses, acquired land, quarreled with neighbors, occasionally committed crimes, and migrated to Maryland and Delaware. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Book Reviews -- Race and Class in Colonial Virginia: Indians, Englishmen, and Africans on the Eastern Shore during the Seventeenth Century (Studies in African American History and Culture) by J. Douglas Deal
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.