b o o k rev i ews Slavery before Race: Europeans, Africans, and Indians at Long Island's Sylvester Manor Plantation, 16511884. By Katherine Howlett Hayes. (New York: New York University Press, 2013. Pp. 220. Cloth, $30.00.) A midden of butchered porcine bones. A deposit of copper tinkling beads. A cobblestone walkway set in a checkerboard pattern. These are the sorts of material records that historical archaeologist Katherine Howlett Hayes draws from the landscape of Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island, New York. She interprets these features in concert with rich local and family archives to show how the family of Dutch planter Nathaniel Sylvester, the African persons he enslaved, and the indigenous Manhanset Natives lived and worked on a seventeenth-century plantation off the eastern shores of Long Island. Whereas later memory segregated the residence and labor of these groups into separate times and spaces of the island's history, Hayes shows how European, Native, and African Americans formed a "precarious community" by defining physical and social difference in subtle ways before race-based slavery was codified (3). Hayes uses evidence from the landscape not simply to uncover what happened during the colonial era but also to show how later generations remembered
The Journal of the Civil War Era – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Aug 9, 2014
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