JOURNAL OF THE EARLY REPUBLIC (Fall 2012) works mostly with slave narratives that overrepresented the literate, the urban, and the skilled. How many of those enslaved in the Upper South had access to the mobility and moneymaking opportunities of the few who ultimately succeeded in getting their stories published? Perhaps more controversial is Schermerhorn's argument that family and freedom were incompatible objectives and that networks necessarily undermined slave solidarity. The argument works well when focused on particular families and immediate threats to their survival. Putting the Chesapeake's still sizeable agricultural slaves into the story and looking at the larger collective outcomes of networking might reveal a slave politics more similar to the drive for separation and nationality that Steven Hahn found in the rural Deep South. The potential for a lively debate over these questions reflects the strength of Money over Mastery and the value that it adds to the rich historiography of American slavery. Anyone interested in slavery and the antebellum South will profit from reading it. Fr ank Towe rs is an associate professor of history at the University of Calgary who studies the South, cities, and politics in the nineteenth century. He is the author
Journal of the Early Republic – University of Pennsylvania Press
Published: Aug 13, 2012
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