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The Jerry Rescue: The Fugitive Slave Law, Northern Rights, and the American Sectional Crisis by Angela F. Murphy (review)

The Jerry Rescue: The Fugitive Slave Law, Northern Rights, and the American Sectional Crisis by... At times, however, readers may long for additional discussion of the broader implications of these cases. For example, the cases seem to challenge the familiar narrative of an increasingly ineluctable binary binding whiteness to freedom and blackness to slavery during the antebellum era. Family Bonds suggests that free blacks' ability to claim rights waxed and waned, sometimes in response to prominent developments like Nat Turner's revolt but also according to the vicissitudes of neighborhood feuds and deaths. The book provides a strong foundation for future investigations into the complex relationship between race and slavery. While many of the Virginians who populate Family Bonds succeeded in using law to insulate themselves against the state's most racist policies, for most enslaved Virginians racism and the laws of slavery worked seamlessly in ensuring their bondage. Scholars exploring the relationship between these two realities and the people who inhabited them might provide additional insight into the abolitionist politics of black Virginians. While the book makes the case that political ideology decisively shaped white Virginians' attitudes toward the rights of free people of color, future scholars might consider whether these cases provide new insight into the political thought of black Virginians as well. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Jerry Rescue: The Fugitive Slave Law, Northern Rights, and the American Sectional Crisis by Angela F. Murphy (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 6 (3) – Aug 18, 2016

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

At times, however, readers may long for additional discussion of the broader implications of these cases. For example, the cases seem to challenge the familiar narrative of an increasingly ineluctable binary binding whiteness to freedom and blackness to slavery during the antebellum era. Family Bonds suggests that free blacks' ability to claim rights waxed and waned, sometimes in response to prominent developments like Nat Turner's revolt but also according to the vicissitudes of neighborhood feuds and deaths. The book provides a strong foundation for future investigations into the complex relationship between race and slavery. While many of the Virginians who populate Family Bonds succeeded in using law to insulate themselves against the state's most racist policies, for most enslaved Virginians racism and the laws of slavery worked seamlessly in ensuring their bondage. Scholars exploring the relationship between these two realities and the people who inhabited them might provide additional insight into the abolitionist politics of black Virginians. While the book makes the case that political ideology decisively shaped white Virginians' attitudes toward the rights of free people of color, future scholars might consider whether these cases provide new insight into the political thought of black Virginians as well.

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Aug 18, 2016

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