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Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation by Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M. Hébrard (review)

Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation by Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M.... Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation. By Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M. Hébrard. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012. Pp. 259. Cloth, $35.00.) Toward the end of this book’s tantalizing prologue, the authors describe their work as “micro-history set in motion” (4). Tracing several genera- tions of a single family across multiple locations, the authors acknowledge that the Atlantic world is hardly a microcosmic setting, yet they insist that “the deepest analysis may emerge from close attention to the par- ticular” (5). This type of detail-oriented analysis is exactly what Rebecca Scott and Jean Hébrard undertake and accomplish in Freedom Papers. In order to tell a story that encompasses West Africa, Haiti, Cuba, the United States, France, Belgium, Mexico, and England, they have unearthed a stunning array of sources resulting from exhaustive research in govern- mental, ecclesiastical, fi nancial, legal, military, and educational records (among other sources), crafting a narrative from documents as small and particular as a signature on a bill of sale or the letterhead of a piece of stationery. The story begins with an Atlantic crossing in the late eighteenth cen- tury, introducing us to Rosalie, a Senegambian woman enslaved in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation by Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M. Hébrard (review)

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation. By Rebecca J. Scott and Jean M. Hébrard. (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012. Pp. 259. Cloth, $35.00.) Toward the end of this book’s tantalizing prologue, the authors describe their work as “micro-history set in motion” (4). Tracing several genera- tions of a single family across multiple locations, the authors acknowledge that the Atlantic world is hardly a microcosmic setting, yet they insist that “the deepest analysis may emerge from close attention to the par- ticular” (5). This type of detail-oriented analysis is exactly what Rebecca Scott and Jean Hébrard undertake and accomplish in Freedom Papers. In order to tell a story that encompasses West Africa, Haiti, Cuba, the United States, France, Belgium, Mexico, and England, they have unearthed a stunning array of sources resulting from exhaustive research in govern- mental, ecclesiastical, fi nancial, legal, military, and educational records (among other sources), crafting a narrative from documents as small and particular as a signature on a bill of sale or the letterhead of a piece of stationery. The story begins with an Atlantic crossing in the late eighteenth cen- tury, introducing us to Rosalie, a Senegambian woman enslaved in

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 13, 2013

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