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They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers (review)

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E.... book revi ews They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. By Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. Pp. 320. Cloth, $30.00.) Almost fifty years ago, Anne Firor Scott’s The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830–1930 (1970) changed the image of the white woman in slaveholding southern families from that of the frivolous belle to the plantation mistress with a host of responsibilities. In the flood of schol - arly writings that followed, notions about these privileged white women have taken many forms. Inflected by the second wave of feminism, these analyses sometimes made women appear victims of the southern patri- archy. In contrast, scholars such as Elizabeth Fox-Genovese believed that although the plantation mistresses lacked power, even in the household, they nonetheless were deeply complicit in supporting the institution of slavery. More important, others who studied the ways that privileged white women exercised power tended to believe the antebellum women more critical of the institution of slavery and its injustices than were their male relatives and friends. In her well-researched and tightly argued new book, Stephanie Jones- Rogers has brought forward a bold new argument. In Jones-Rogers’s view, southern http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers (review)

The Journal of the Civil War Era , Volume 9 (4) – Dec 5, 2019

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

Abstract

book revi ews They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South. By Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2019. Pp. 320. Cloth, $30.00.) Almost fifty years ago, Anne Firor Scott’s The Southern Lady: From Pedestal to Politics, 1830–1930 (1970) changed the image of the white woman in slaveholding southern families from that of the frivolous belle to the plantation mistress with a host of responsibilities. In the flood of schol - arly writings that followed, notions about these privileged white women have taken many forms. Inflected by the second wave of feminism, these analyses sometimes made women appear victims of the southern patri- archy. In contrast, scholars such as Elizabeth Fox-Genovese believed that although the plantation mistresses lacked power, even in the household, they nonetheless were deeply complicit in supporting the institution of slavery. More important, others who studied the ways that privileged white women exercised power tended to believe the antebellum women more critical of the institution of slavery and its injustices than were their male relatives and friends. In her well-researched and tightly argued new book, Stephanie Jones- Rogers has brought forward a bold new argument. In Jones-Rogers’s view, southern

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 5, 2019

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