From Bondage to Contract

Author: Amy Dru Stanley
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521635268
Release Date: 1998-11-13
Genre: History

In the era of slave emancipation no ideal of freedom had greater power than that of contract. The antislavery claim was that the negation of chattel status lay in the contracts of wage labor and marriage. Signifying self-ownership, volition, and reciprocal exchange among formally equal individuals, contract became the dominant metaphor for social relations and the very symbol of freedom. This 1999 book explores how a generation of American thinkers and reformers - abolitionists, former slaves, feminists, labor advocates, jurists, moralists, and social scientists - drew on contract to condemn the evils of chattel slavery as well as to measure the virtues of free society. Their arguments over the meaning of slavery and freedom were grounded in changing circumstances of labor and home life on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. At the heart of these arguments lay the problem of defining which realms of self and social existence could be rendered market commodities and which could not.

Slavery s Metropolis

Author: Rashauna Johnson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107133716
Release Date: 2016-10-31
Genre: History

A vivid examination of slave life in New Orleans in the early nineteenth century.

City of Courts

Author: Michael Willrich
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 052179403X
Release Date: 2003-03-17
Genre: History

This 2003 book looks at contesting concepts of crime, and social justice in nineteenth-century industrial America.

Litigating Across the Color Line

Author: Melissa Milewski
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190249199
Release Date: 2017-11-01
Genre: Law

As a result of the violence, segregation, and disfranchisement that occurred throughout the South in the decades after Reconstruction, it has generally been assumed that African Americans in the post-Reconstruction South litigated few civil cases and faced widespread inequality in the suits they did pursue. In this groundbreaking work, Melissa Milewski shows that black men and women were far more able to negotiate the southern legal system during the era of Jim Crow than previously realized. She explores how, when the financial futures of their families were on the line, black litigants throughout the South took on white southerners in civil suits and, at times, succeeded in finding justice in the Southern courts. Between 1865 and 1950, in almost a thousand civil cases across eight southern states, former slaves took their former masters to court, black sharecroppers litigated disputes against white landowners, and African Americans with little formal education brought disputes against wealthy white members of their communities. As black southerners negotiated a legal system with almost all white gate-keepers, they found that certain kinds of cases were much easier to gain whites' support for than others. But in the suits they were able to litigate, they displayed pragmatism and a savvy understanding of how to get whites on their side. Their negotiation of this system proved surprisingly successful: in the civil cases African Americans litigated in the highest courts of eight states, they won more than half of their suits against whites throughout this period. Litigating Across the Color Line shows that in a tremendously constrained environment where they were often shut out of other government institutions, seen as racially inferior, and often segregated, African Americans found a way to fight for their rights in one of the only ways they could. Through these suits, they adapted and at times made a biased system work for them under enormous constraints. At the same time, Milewski considers the limitations of working within a white-dominated system at a time of great racial discrimination--and the choices black litigants had to make to get their cases heard.

Reconstructions

Author: Thomas J. Brown
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199723974
Release Date: 2008-09-23
Genre: History

The pivotal era of Reconstruction has inspired an outstanding historical literature. In the half-century after W.E.B. DuBois published Black Reconstruction in America (1935), a host of thoughtful and energetic authors helped to dismantle racist stereotypes about the aftermath of emancipation and Union victory in the Civil War. The resolution of long-running interpretive debates shifted the issues at stake in Reconstruction scholarship, but the topic has remained a vital venue for original exploration of the American past. In Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States, eight rising historians survey the latest generation of work and point to promising directions for future research. They show that the field is opening out to address a wider range of adjustments to the experiences and effects of Civil War. Increased interest in cultural history now enriches understandings traditionally centered on social and political history. Attention to gender has joined a focus on labor as a powerful strategy for analyzing negotiations over private and public authority. The contributors suggest that Reconstruction historiography might further thrive by strengthening connections to such subjects as western history, legal history, and diplomatic history, and by redefining the chronological boundaries of the postwar period. The essays provide more than a variety of attractive vantage points for fresh examination of a major phase of American history. By identifying the most exciting recent approaches to a theme previously studied so ably, the collection illuminates the creative process in scholarly historical literature.

Hirelings

Author: Jennifer Hull Dorsey
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801461154
Release Date: 2011-03-25
Genre: History

In Hirelings, Jennifer Dorsey recreates the social and economic milieu of Maryland's Eastern Shore at a time when black slavery and black freedom existed side by side. She follows a generation of manumitted African Americans and their freeborn children and grandchildren through the process of inventing new identities, associations, and communities in the early nineteenth century. Free Africans and their descendants had lived in Maryland since the seventeenth century, but before the American Revolution they were always few in number and lacking in economic resources or political leverage. By contrast, manumitted and freeborn African Americans in the early republic refashioned the Eastern Shore's economy and society, earning their livings as wage laborers while establishing thriving African American communities. As free workers in a slave society, these African Americans contested the legitimacy of the slave system even while they remained dependent laborers. They limited white planters' authority over their time and labor by reuniting their families in autonomous households, settling into free black neighborhoods, negotiating labor contracts that suited the needs of their households, and worshipping in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Some moved to the cities, but many others migrated between employers as a strategy for meeting their needs and thwarting employers' control. They demonstrated that independent and free African American communities could thrive on their own terms. In all of these actions the free black workers of the Eastern Shore played a pivotal role in ongoing debates about the merits of a free labor system.

Lincoln s Proclamation

Author: William A. Blair
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807895415
Release Date: 2009-11-01
Genre: History

The Emancipation Proclamation, widely remembered as the heroic act that ended slavery, in fact freed slaves only in states in the rebellious South. True emancipation was accomplished over a longer period and by several means. Essays by eight distinguished contributors consider aspects of the president's decision making, as well as events beyond Washington, offering new insights on the consequences and legacies of freedom, the engagement of black Americans in their liberation, and the issues of citizenship and rights that were not decided by Lincoln's document. The essays portray emancipation as a product of many hands, best understood by considering all the actors, the place, and the time. The contributors are William A. Blair, Richard Carwardine, Paul Finkelman, Louis Gerteis, Steven Hahn, Stephanie McCurry, Mark E. Neely Jr., Michael Vorenberg, and Karen Fisher Younger.

Black Slaves Indian Masters

Author: Barbara Krauthamer
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469607115
Release Date: 2013-08-01
Genre: Social Science

From the late eighteenth century through the end of the Civil War, Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians bought, sold, and owned Africans and African Americans as slaves, a fact that persisted after the tribes' removal from the Deep South to Indian Territory. The tribes formulated racial and gender ideologies that justified this practice and marginalized free black people in the Indian nations well after the Civil War and slavery had ended. Through the end of the nineteenth century, ongoing conflicts among Choctaw, Chickasaw, and U.S. lawmakers left untold numbers of former slaves and their descendants in the two Indian nations without citizenship in either the Indian nations or the United States. In this groundbreaking study, Barbara Krauthamer rewrites the history of southern slavery, emancipation, race, and citizenship to reveal the centrality of Native American slaveholders and the black people they enslaved. Krauthamer's examination of slavery and emancipation highlights the ways Indian women's gender roles changed with the arrival of slavery and changed again after emancipation and reveals complex dynamics of race that shaped the lives of black people and Indians both before and after removal.

Freedom s Frontier

Author: Stacey L. Smith
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469607696
Release Date: 2013-08-12
Genre: History

Most histories of the Civil War era portray the struggle over slavery as a conflict that exclusively pitted North against South, free labor against slave labor, and black against white. In Freedom's Frontier, Stacey L. Smith examines the battle over slavery as it unfolded on the multiracial Pacific Coast. Despite its antislavery constitution, California was home to a dizzying array of bound and semibound labor systems: African American slavery, American Indian indenture, Latino and Chinese contract labor, and a brutal sex traffic in bound Indian and Chinese women. Using untapped legislative and court records, Smith reconstructs the lives of California's unfree workers and documents the political and legal struggles over their destiny as the nation moved through the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction. Smith reveals that the state's anti-Chinese movement, forged in its struggle over unfree labor, reached eastward to transform federal Reconstruction policy and national race relations for decades to come. Throughout, she illuminates the startling ways in which the contest over slavery's fate included a western struggle that encompassed diverse labor systems and workers not easily classified as free or slave, black or white.

Journal of the Civil War Era

Author: William A. Blair
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9780807852644
Release Date: 2012-06-01
Genre: History

The Journal of the Civil War Era Volume 2, Number 2 June 2012 TABLE OF CONTENTS New Approaches to Internationalizing the History of the Civil War Era: A Special Issue Editor's Note William Blair Articles W. Caleb Mcdaniel & Bethany L. Johnson New Approaches to Internationalizing the History of the Civil War: An Introduction Gale L. Kenny Manliness and Manifest Racial Destiny: Jamaica and African American Emigration in the 1850s Edward B. Rugemer Slave Rebels and Abolitionists: The Black Atlantic and the Coming of the Civil War Peter Kolchin Comparative Perspectives on Emancipation in the U.S. South: Reconstruction, Radicalism, and Russia Susan-Mary Grant The Lost Boys: Citizen-Soldiers, Disabled Veterans, and Confederate Nationalism in the Age of People's War Book Reviews Books Received Professional Notes Mark W. Geiger "Follow the Money" Notes on Contributors The Journal of the Civil War Era takes advantage of the flowering of research on the many issues raised by the sectional crisis, war, Reconstruction, and memory of the conflict, while bringing fresh understanding to the struggles that defined the period, and by extension, the course of American history in the nineteenth century.

The Struggle for Equal Adulthood

Author: Corinne T. Field
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9781469618159
Release Date: 2014-09-02
Genre: Social Science

In the fight for equality, early feminists often cited the infantilization of women and men of color as a method used to keep them out of power. Corinne T. Field argues that attaining adulthood--and the associated political rights, economic opportunities, and sexual power that come with it--became a common goal for both white and African American feminists between the American Revolution and the Civil War. The idea that black men and all women were more like children than adult white men proved difficult to overcome, however, and continued to serve as a foundation for racial and sexual inequality for generations. In detailing the connections between the struggle for equality and concepts of adulthood, Field provides an essential historical context for understanding the dilemmas black and white women still face in America today, from "glass ceilings" and debates over welfare dependency to a culture obsessed with youth and beauty. Drawn from a fascinating past, this book tells the history of how maturity, gender, and race collided, and how those affected came together to fight against injustice.

Almighty God Created the Races

Author: Fay Botham
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807899224
Release Date: 2009-12-01
Genre: Religion

In this fascinating cultural history of interracial marriage and its legal regulation in the United States, Fay Botham argues that religion--specifically, Protestant and Catholic beliefs about marriage and race--had a significant effect on legal decisions concerning miscegenation and marriage in the century following the Civil War. She contends that the white southern Protestant notion that God "dispersed" the races and the American Catholic emphasis on human unity and common origins point to ways that religion influenced the course of litigation and illuminate the religious bases for Christian racist and antiracist movements.

Unprotected Labor

Author: Vanessa H. May
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 9780807877906
Release Date: 2011-06-01
Genre: Social Science

Through an analysis of women's reform, domestic worker activism, and cultural values attached to public and private space, Vanessa May explains how and why domestic workers, the largest category of working women before 1940, were excluded from labor protections that formed the foundation of the welfare state. Looking at the debate over domestic service from both sides of the class divide, Unprotected Labor assesses middle-class women's reform programs as well as household workers' efforts to determine their own working conditions. May argues that working-class women sought to define the middle-class home as a workplace even as employers and reformers regarded the home as private space. The result was that labor reformers left domestic workers out of labor protections that covered other women workers in New York between the late nineteenth century and the New Deal. By recovering the history of domestic workers as activists in the debate over labor legislation, May challenges depictions of domestics as passive workers and reformers as selfless advocates of working women. Unprotected Labor illuminates how the domestic-service debate turned the middle-class home inside out, making private problems public and bringing concerns like labor conflict and government regulation into the middle-class home.

My Southern Home

Author: William Wells Brown
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 9780807869352
Release Date: 2011-11-07
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

The culmination of William Wells Brown's long writing career, My Southern Home is the story of Brown's search for a home in a land of slavery and racism. Brown (1814-84), a prolific and celebrated abolitionist and writer often recognized as the first African American novelist for his Clotel (1853), was born enslaved in Kentucky and escaped to Ohio in 1834. In this comprehensive edition, John Ernest acts as a surefooted guide to this seminal work, beginning with a substantial introduction placing Brown's life and work in cultural and historical context. Brown addresses from a post-emancipation vantage point his early experiences and understanding of the world of slavery and describes his travels through many southern states. The text itself is presented in its original form, while Ernest's annotations highlight its layered complexity and document the many instances in which Brown borrows from his own earlier writings and the writings of others to form an underlying dialogue. This edition sheds new light on Brown's literary craft and provides readers with the maps they need to follow Brown on his quest for home in the chaotic social landscape of American southern culture in the final decades of the nineteenth century.