George Washington, His Slaves, and the Creation of America
Author: Henry Wiencek
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Category: Biography & Autobiography
An Imperfect God is a major new biography of Washington, and the first to explore his engagement with American slavery When George Washington wrote his will, he made the startling decision to set his slaves free; earlier he had said that holding slaves was his "only unavoidable subject of regret." In this groundbreaking work, Henry Wiencek explores the founding father's engagement with slavery at every stage of his life--as a Virginia planter, soldier, politician, president and statesman. Washington was born and raised among blacks and mixed-race people; he and his wife had blood ties to the slave community. Yet as a young man he bought and sold slaves without scruple, even raffled off children to collect debts (an incident ignored by earlier biographers). Then, on the Revolutionary battlefields where he commanded both black and white troops, Washington's attitudes began to change. He and the other framers enshrined slavery in the Constitution, but, Wiencek shows, even before he became president Washington had begun to see the system's evil. Wiencek's revelatory narrative, based on a meticulous examination of private papers, court records, and the voluminous Washington archives, documents for the first time the moral transformation culminating in Washington's determination to emancipate his slaves. He acted too late to keep the new republic from perpetuating slavery, but his repentance was genuine. And it was perhaps related to the possibility--as the oral history of Mount Vernon's slave descendants has long asserted--that a slave named West Ford was the son of George and a woman named Venus; Wiencek has new evidence that this could indeed have been true. George Washington's heroic stature as Father of Our Country is not diminished in this superb, nuanced portrait: now we see Washington in full as a man of his time and ahead of his time.
Paul Jennings was born into slavery on the plantation of James and Dolley Madison in Virginia, later becoming part of the Madison household staff at the White House. Once finally emancipated by Senator Daniel Webster later in life, he would give an aged and impoverished Dolley Madison, his former owner, money from his own pocket, write the first White House memoir, and see his sons fight with the Union Army in the Civil War. He died a free man in northwest Washington at 75. Based on correspondence, legal documents, and journal entries rarely seen before, this amazing portrait of the times reveals the mores and attitudes toward slavery of the nineteenth century, and sheds new light on famous characters such as James Madison, who believed the white and black populations could not coexist as equals; French General Lafayette who was appalled by this idea; Dolley Madison, who ruthlessly sold Paul after her husband's death; and many other since forgotten slaves, abolitionists, and civil right activists.
Thomas Thistlewood and His Slaves in the Anglo-Jamaican World
Author: Trevor Burnard
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
Eighteenth-century Jamaica, Britain's largest and most valuable slave-owning colony, relied on a brutal system of slave management to maintain its tenuous social order. Trevor Burnard provides unparalleled insight into Jamaica's vibrant but harsh African and European cultures with a comprehensive examination of the extraordinary diary of plantation owner Thomas Thistlewood. Thistlewood's diary, kept over the course of forty years, describes in graphic detail how white rule over slaves was predicated on the infliction of terror on the bodies and minds of slaves. Thistlewood treated his slaves cruelly even while he relied on them for his livelihood. Along with careful notes on sugar production, Thistlewood maintained detailed records of a sexual life that fully expressed the society's rampant sexual exploitation of slaves. In Burnard's hands, Thistlewood's diary reveals a great deal not only about the man and his slaves but also about the structure and enforcement of power, changing understandings of human rights and freedom, and connections among social class, race, and gender, as well as sex and sexuality, in the plantation system.
This volume of papers from the Porter M. Fortune Chancellor's Symposium in Southern History held at the University of Mississippi in 1986 questions what was distinctively "southern" about the colonial South. Though this region was a land of diversity and had the kind of provincialism that typified other English colonies during this period, the editors find it nearly impossible to characterize the colonial South as unique. The roots of southern distinctiveness, however, were taking hold in the years before the American Revolution, as the papers here attest. In the opening essay Tate surveys recent historical scholarship on the period and targets trends for further study. Next, Galloway examines Indian-French relations in eastern Louisiana during the eighteenth century. Smith describes the family unit and examines the various forces that worked against its formation. In an examination of three slave-owning families, Morgan casts a new light on slavery in the colonies which he argues to have operated within a harsh patriarchal system that stressed domination, "order, authority, and unswerving obedience." Menard's essay also is on the subject of slavery, showing the unique system in the Low Country of South Carolina. In the final paper Middlekauff assesses each of the preceding papers and suggests subjects for future studies of the colonial South.
WITH A NEW POSTSCRIPT Situated between Greece on the south, the former Yugoslavia on the north and east, and the Adriatic Sea on the west, Albania is the country the world forgot. Throughout this century, Albania has been perceived as primitive and isolationist by its neighbors to the west. When the country ended fifty years of communist rule in 1992, few outsiders took interest. Deemed unworthy of membership in the European Union and overlooked by multinational corporations, Albania stands today as one of the poorest and most ignored countries in Europe. Miranda Vickers and James Pettifer take us behind the veil of former President Enver Hoxha's isolationist policies to examine the historic events leading up to Albania's transition to a parliamentary government. Beginning with Hoxha's death in 1985, Albania traces the last decade of Albania's shaky existence, from the anarchy and chaos of the early nineties to the victory of the Democratic Alliance in 1992 and the programs of the current government. The authors provide us with an analysis of how the moral, religious, economic, political and cultural identity of the Albanian people is being redefined, and leave no question that the future of Albania is inextricably linked to the future of the Balkans as a whole. In short, they tell us why Albania matters.
The Story of Their Life – Interviews with People from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia...
Author: Work Projects Administration
After the end of Civil War in 1865, more than four million slaves were set free. There were several efforts to record the remembrances of the living former slaves. The Federal Writers' Project was one such project by the United States federal government to support writers during the Great Depression by asking them to interview and record the myriad stories and experiences of slavery of former slaves. The resulting collection preserved hundreds of life stories from 17 US states that would otherwise have been lost in din of modernity and America's eagerness to deliberately forget the blot on its recent past. This edition brings to you the complete collection of first hand experiences and voices from the past that makes one question whether is it safe to forget or keep the memories alive for bigger battles ahead. A must read for everyone who is interested in US History, race relations and authentic historical research. Contents: Alabama Arkansas Florida Georgia Indiana Kansas Kentucky Maryland Mississippi Missouri North Carolina Ohio Oklahoma South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia
In August 1831, in Southampton County, Virginia, Nat Turner led a bloody uprising that took the lives of some fifty-five white peopleâ€”men, women, and childrenâ€”shocking the South. Nearly as many black people, all told, perished in the rebellion and its aftermath. Nat Turner and the Rising in Southampton County presents important new evidence about the violence and the community in which it took place, shedding light on the insurgents and victims and reinterpreting the most important account of that event, The Confessions of Nat Turner. Drawing upon largely untapped sources, David F. Allmendinger Jr. reconstructs the lives of key individuals who were drawn into the uprising and shows how the history of certain white families and their slavesâ€”reaching back into the eighteenth centuryâ€”shaped the course of the rebellion. Never before has anyone so patiently examined the extensive private and public sources relating to Southampton as does Allmendinger in this remarkable work. He argues that the plan of rebellion originated in the mind of a single individual, Nat Turner, who concluded between 1822 and 1826 that his own masters intended to continue holding slaves into the next generation. Turner specifically chose to attack households to which he and his followers had connections. The book also offers a close analysis of his Confessions and the influence of Thomas R. Gray, who wrote down the original text in November 1831. The author draws new conclusions about Turner and Gray, their different motives, the authenticity of the confession, and the introduction of terror as a tactic, both in the rebellion and in its most revealing document. Students of slavery, the Old South, and African American history will find in Nat Turner and the Rising in Southampton County an outstanding example of painstaking research and imaginative family and community history.
The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South
Author: Albert J. Raboteau
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Category: Social Science
Twenty-five years after its original publication, Slave Religion remains a classic in the study of African American history and religion. In a new chapter in this anniversary edition, author Albert J. Raboteau reflects upon the origins of the book, the reactions to it over the past twenty-five years, and how he would write it differently today. Using a variety of first and second-hand sources-- some objective, some personal, all riveting-- Raboteau analyzes the transformation of the African religions into evangelical Christianity. He presents the narratives of the slaves themselves, as well as missionary reports, travel accounts, folklore, black autobiographies, and the journals of white observers to describe the day-to-day religious life in the slave communities. Slave Religion is a must-read for anyone wanting a full picture of this "invisible institution."
Part I. An expository index referring to subjects of science in the order of the sacred books : Part II. Enquiries and discussions intended to illustrate various incidents etc. mentioned in scripture ; (With many Plates)
James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw / Olaudah Equiano / Nat Turner / Frederick Douglass / William Wells Brown / Henry Bibb / Sojourner Truth / William and Ell
Author: William L. Andrews
Publisher: Library of America
Category: Literary Collections
The ten works collected in this volume demonstrate how a diverse group of writers challenged the conscience of a nation and laid the foundations of the African American literary tradition by expressing their in anger, pain, sorrow, and courage. Included in the volume: Narrative of the Most Remarkable Particulars in the Life of James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw; Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano; The Confessions of Nat Turner; Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass; Narrative of William W. Brown; Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb; Narrative of Sojouner Truth; Ellen and William Craft's Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom; Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl and Narrative of the Life of J. D.Green.