Slavery: History and Historians

By Peter J. Parish | Go to book overview

growth of the population by natural increase, the intensely racial character of the system, the emergence of a distinct African-American culture, the wide diffusion of ownership, the close but uneasy coexistence of the resident master and his slaves, and the extraordinary cohabitation of racial slavery and white democracy under the same Southern roof. Out of that unusual amalgam of forces at work (and sometimes at war) within the system there emerged a Southern society and way of life which was increasingly out of step with the rest of the United States, and which was an anachronism in the North Atlantic world of the mid-nineteenth century.


NOTES
1.
There is no single book dealing with all the "exceptions" to the Southern slave rule, but see my "The Edges of Slavery in the Old South: Or, Do Exceptions Prove Rules?," Slavery and Abolition: A Journal of Comparative Studies 4 ( 1983): 106-25, on which I have drawn heavily in this chapter.
2.
For detailed statistics on population, see Richard C. Wade, Slavery in the Cities: The South, 1820-1860 ( New York, 1964), 325-7. I have also relied on Wade for much of the basic information in this and the following paragraphs.
4.
Goldin, Urban Slavery in the American South, 51-128.
5.
Wade, Slavery in the Cities, 262.
6.
Carl N. Degler, "The Irony of American Negro Slavery," in Owens, ed., Perspectives and Irony in American Slavery, 20.
7.
Fields, Slavery and Freedom on the Middle Ground, 33-5, 40-57, 62. The quotations appear on pages 54, 55. If Fields regards Wade's emphasis on law and order as too narrow an explanation, she reserves her severest criticism for the Goldin thesis and its use in Fogel and Engerman Time on the Cross.
8.
DeBow Review8 ( 1850): 518, quoted in Genovese, Political Economy of Slavery, 225.
9.
Much of the information in this and the following paragraphs is drawn from two valuable studies: Robert S. Starobin , Industrial Slavery in the Old South ( New York, 1970), and Ronald L. Lewis, Coal, Iron and Slaves: Industrial Slavery in Maryland and Virginia, 1715-1865 ( Westport, Ct., 1979).
10.
Charles B. Dew, "Sam Williams, Forgeman: The Life of an Industrial Slave in the Old South," in J. Morgan Kousser and James M. McPherson, eds., Race, Region and Reconstruction: Essays in Honor of C. Vann Woodward ( New York, 1982), 214-9, 222-3. See also Dew article, "Disciplining Slave Ironworkers in the Ante-Bellum South: Coercion, Conciliation and Accommodation," American Historical Review79 ( 1974): 393-418.
11.
James Silk Buckingham, The Slave States of America, two volumes ( London, 1842), volume II, 112.
12.
This debate is discussed in Starobin , Industrial Slavery, 186-9, 204-14, 230-2, and Genovese, Political Economy of Slavery, 221-35, and, more generally, chapters 7 through 9.
13.
Fred Bateman and Thomas Weiss, "A Deplorable Scarcity: The Failure of Industrialization in the Slave Economy" ( Chapel Hill, N.C., 1981), especially 158, 160, 162.

-121-

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Slavery: History and Historians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - The Paradoxical Institution: 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2 - The Making of an Institution 11
  • Notes 24
  • 3 - The Labor of the Slaves 26
  • Notes 41
  • 4 - The Business of Slavery 43
  • Notes 61
  • 5 - The Lives of the Slaves 64
  • Notes 93
  • 6 - Variations, Exceptions, and Comparisons 97
  • Notes 121
  • 7 - Slavery and Southern White Society 124
  • Notes 146
  • 8 - The Death Throes of Slavery 149
  • Notes 165
  • Bibliographic Essay 167
  • Index 189
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