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Slavery in America

A Reader and Guide

Kenneth Morgan

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The first Reader and Guide to the subject of slavery in America. It combines both an introduction to the field and a selection of core primary and secondary readings, covering the period from the early seventeenth century to the American Civil War.

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Contents

Analytical Table of Contents
1. The Origins of North American Slavery
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Transitions to African Slavery in British America, 1630-1730: Barbados, Virginia and South Carolina
(Russell R. Menard, from Indian Historical Review)
Document 1 The Arrival of the First Blacks in Virginia
(from Susan Myra Kingsbury (ed.), The Records of the Virginia Company of London)
Document 2 Maryland establishes Slavery for life
(from William Hand Browne (ed.), Archives of Maryland: Proceedings and Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland, January 1637/8-September 1664)
Document 3 Management of Slaves, 1672
(from Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 1900)
2. Slavery in Colonial North America
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Engendering Racial Difference, 1640-1670
(from Kathleen M. Brown, Good Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia)
Document 1 Anonymous testimony before Virginia magistrates about a sexual assault complaint made by a white woman against a mulatto man, 1681
(from Warren M. Billings (ed.), The Old Dominion in the Seventeenth Century: A Documentary History of Virginia, 1606-1689)
Document 2 Repeal of the Act excluding Slaves from Georgia, 1750
(from Elizabeth Donnan (ed.), Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America)
Document 3 Johann Martin Bolzius answers a Questionnaire on Carolina and Georgia
(from Klaus G. Loewald, Beverly Starika and Paul S. Taylor, 'Johann Martin Bolzius answers a Questionnaire on Carolina and Georgia,' William and Mary Quarterly)
3. Slavery and the American Revolution
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Liberty, Equality, and Slavery: The Paradox of the American Revolution
(Sylvia R. Frey, from The American Revolution: Its Character and Limits)
Document 1 The Northwest Ordinance, 1787
(from Henry S. Commager (eds.), Documents of American History)
Document 2 Slavery and the United States Constitution
(from www.nationalcenter.org/HistoricalDocuments.html)
Document 3 Petition from the Pennsylvania Abolition Society to Congress, 1790
(from Gary B. Nash, Race and Revolution)
4. Slavery and the Founding Fathers
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay George Washington and the Problem of Slavery
(Kenneth Morgan, from Journal of American Studies)
Document 1 Extract from Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia
(from William Peden (ed.), Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia)
Document 2 George Washington, Last Will and Testament, 9 July 1799
(from John P. Kaminski (ed.), A Necessary Evil? Slavery and the Debate over the Constitution)
Document 3 DNA evidence on Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings
(from Lander, Eric S. and Joseph J. Ellis, 'DNA Analysis: Founding Father' and Eugene A. Foster et al., 'Jefferson fathered slave's last child,' Nature)
5. Slave Life and Work
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay The Gospel in the Slave Quarters
(from Eugene D. Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made)
Document 1 Slave Work and Life in Georgia
(from Emily P. Burke, Reminiscences of Georgia)
Document 2 Cruel treatment of a slave girl
(from Jean F. Yellin (ed.), Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl)
Document 3 Slave testimonies
(from Robert Edgar Conrad (ed.), In the Hands of Strangers: Readings on Foreign and Domestic Slave Trading and the Crisis of the Union)
6. The Business of Slavery
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Turning People into Products
(from Walter Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life inside the Antebellum Slave Market)
Document 1 The New Orleans Slave Market
(from Fredrika Bremer, The Homes of the New World: Impressions of America)
Document 2 A slave coffle
(from George W. Featherstonhaugh, Excursion through the Slave States, from Washington on the Potomac to the Frontier of Mexico: with Sketches of Popular Manners and Geological Notices)
Document 3 Inventory of slaves on a Louisiana sugar plantation
(from Willie Lee Rose (ed.), A Documentary History of Slavery in North America)
7. Slavery and the Law
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Slave Property Crimes and the Law in the South
(from Thomas D. Morris, Southern Slavery and the Law 1619-1860)
Document 1 The Louisiana Slave Code, 1824
(from James O. Fuqua (ed.), Civil Code of the State of Louisiana: with the Statutory Amendments from 1825 to 1866 inclusive)
Document 2 Assault and battery on a slave woman
(from Thomas P. Devereaux (ed.), Cases Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of North Carolina from December Term, 1828, to December Term, 1830)
Document 3 Extract from the Dred Scott decision, 1857
(from Henry S. Commager (ed.), Documents of American History)
8. Slave Resistance
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Profile of a Runaway Slave
(from John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation)
Document 1 Runaway slave advertisements
(from Lathan A. Windley, Runaway Slave Advertisements: a Documentary History from the 1730s to 1790)
Document 2 Petition about a slave runaway
(from John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantations)
Document 3 Affidavit of a Tennessee Fugitive Slave
(from Ira Berlin, Barbara J. Fields, Thavolia Glymph, Joseph P. Reidy, Leslie S. Rowland (eds), Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation 1861-1867, Series 1. Volume 1. The Destruction of Slavery)
9. Planters and Proslavery
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Proslavery Thought
(from Drew Gilpin Faust (ed.), The Ideology of Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South)
Document 1 Letter to an English abolitionist
(from Drew Gilpin Faust (ed.), The Ideology of Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South)
Document 2 George Fitzhugh and Proslavery Thought
(from Drew Gilpin Faust (ed.), The Ideology of Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South)
Document 3 Justification for slavery
(from Drew Gilpin Faust (ed.), The Ideology of Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South)
10. The Antislavery Struggle
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Ordinary Women in the Antislavery movement
(from Julie Roy Jeffrey, The Great Silent Army of Abolitionism: Ordinary Women in the Antislavery Movement)
Document 1 The Germantown Protest, 1688
(from Henry S. Commager (ed.), Documents of American History)
Document 2 A Slave petition for freedom during the Revolutionary era
(from Herbert Aptheker (ed.), 'Slaves Petition for Freedom during the Revolution, 1773-1779' in A Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States)
Document 3 Extract from 'The Liberator,' 1831
(from William Lloyd Garrison, 'The Liberator, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1, 1831' in Henry S. Commager (ed.), Documents of American History)
11. Slavery and Politics
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Politics, Ideology, and the Origins of the American Civil War
(from Eric Foner, Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War)
Document 1 The Fugitive Slave Act, 1850
(from www.Nationalcenter.org/HistoricalDocuments.html)
Document 2 Appeal of the Independent Democrats, 1854
(from Henry S. Commager (ed.), Documents of American History)
Document 3 Abraham Lincoln's 'House Divided' speech
(from www.nationalcenter.org/HistoricalDocuments.html)
12. Emancipation and the Civil War
Introduction
Bibliography
Essay Lincoln and Slave Emancipation
(from Don E. Fehrenbacher, completed and edited by Ward M. McAfee, The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of the United States Government's Relations to Slavery)
Document 1 The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
(from Henry Steele Commager (ed.), Documents of American History)
Document 2 Kentucky, Unionism and Slavery
(from Extract from Ira Berlin, Barbara J. Fields, Thavolia Glymph, Joseph P. Reidy, Leslie S. Rowland (eds), Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation 1861-1867. Series 1. Volume 1: The Destruction of Slavery)
Document 3 The Civil War Amendments to the United States Constitution
(from Henry Steele Commager (ed.), Documents of American History).

About the Author

Kenneth Morgan is Professor of History at Brunel University. He is author of British Overseas Expansion (Manchester University Press, forthcoming), Slavery, the Atlantic Trade and the British Economy, 1660-1834 (Cambridge University Press, 2001), Slavery and the British Empire (Oxford University Press, forthcoming), The Birth of Industrial Britain: Economic Change, 1750-1850 (Longman, 1999) and Slavery and Servitude in North America, 1607-1800 (Edinburgh University Press, 2000).

Reviews

I am impressed by the organization, content and coverage of this reader. The author has blended most, if not all, of the latest developments in the field of slavery studies with appropriate documents. He has done so in a very organized and logical fashion, and I would not hesitate to assign this work in my undergraduate classes.
- Professor Christine Daniels, Michigan State University
The combination of secondary and primary extracts with substantial editorial pieces is particularly impressive. The overview, followed by essays for each section looks good. Often editorial pieces in other works are too brief. The coverage of the colonial period as well as later years is a significant strength, and the balance between thematic emphasis and chronological is good.
- Dr Michael Tadman, Department of History, University of Liverpool

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