Recent Slavery Studies Increase our Understanding of real American Life

I took the summer off–I had not really planned to do it.  It just felt right.  And I could build some new cells and fill them with learning to share with you and with the professional research projects I do.

Burke, Diane Mutti.  On Slavery’s Border:  Missouri’s Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865.  Athens GA:  University of Georgia Press, 2010.  Also available in paperback.  Includes family and kinship networks and the migration patterns these families followed.

Manegold, C.S.  The Hills Farm:  The forgotten History of Slavery in the North.  Princeton University Press, 2011.  http://www.pressd.princeton.edu.  New in paperback.  Important footnotes.

Richardson, David, etal.  Liverpool  and Transatlantic Slavery.  University Press of Chicago, 2010.  http://www.press.uchicago.edu. Also available in paperback.

Schermerhorn, Calvin.  Money over Mastery, Family over Freedom:  Slavery in the Antebellum South.  John Hopkins University Press, 2010.  Study of Chesapeake Bay to North Carolina–a region that modernized its economy before the Civil War.  How slaves seized opportunities to protect their family members from the auction block. Based on real families.

Sharfstein, Daniel J.  The Invisible Line:  Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White.  Penguin Group, 375 Hudson St., New York NY 10014.  Careful study of the “color line” and how it was manipulated by people, families, governments, and institutions–based on real lives.

Snyder, Christina.  Slavery in Indian Country:  The Changing Face of Captivity in Early America.  Cambridge MA:  Harvard University Press, 2010.  Taking, holding, disposing of captives–a study of slave catchers, slave owners, and slaves themselves.  Southeast Indians as slaveholders in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Temporary bondage to hereditary slavery, ca. 950-1840’s.  The continued relevance of kinship and the clan system.

University presses publish scholarly works with bibliographies of original records, published sources, and meaty footnotes.  You and I can benefit by their examination of historical materials we would probably not realize were available.  And the conclusions of the authors, based on real families–as more and more such studies are–can point the way for us to break through those “brickwall” pedigrees that others tend to avoid.  Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle   http://arleneeakle.com

PS  Check these titles at your local libraries and on World Cat for the nearest location to you if your local libraries do not happen to have them.  Both Black and white ancestors can be traced effectively using these studies as guides.

 

 

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