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Institutional Slavery
Slaveholding Churches, Schools, Colleges, and Businesses in Virginia, 1680–1860

$110.00 (C)

  • Date Published: January 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107105270

$ 110.00 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The traditional image of slavery begins with a master and a slave. However, not all slaves had traditional masters; some were owned instead by institutions, such as church congregations, schools, colleges, and businesses. This practice was pervasive in early Virginia; its educational, religious, and philanthropic institutions were literally built on the backs of slaves. Virginia's first industrial economy was also developed with the skilled labor of African American slaves. This book focuses on institutional slavery in Virginia as it was practiced by the Anglican and Presbyterian churches, free schools, and four universities: the College of William and Mary, Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Hollins College. It also examines the use of slave labor by businesses and the Commonwealth of Virginia in industrial endeavors. This is not only an account of how institutions used slavery to further their missions, but also of the slaves who belonged to institutions.

    • The first book to look at slave holding by many different institutions at once, thereby putting the phenomenon in context
    • Will be of interest to historians of slavery, as it brings attention to a less-known aspect of the slave system
    • Will also be of interest to historians of American religious, educational, and business history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'An important study that breaks new ground - with rich detail and sophisticated analysis - on the institutional ownership of slaves in the American South. Oast's depiction of how churches and colleges utilized slaves is especially revealing, as is her discussion of how slaves fared under non-personal ownership. A significant contribution to scholarship on slavery.' John B. Boles, Rice University, Houston

    'This is the most comprehensive study yet of institutional as opposed to plantation slavery in the Old Dominion. It implicates churches and educational establishments as well as businesses in the most impersonal and often least caring form of slavery and shows how even the poorest of non-slave-holding whites benefited from it.' Daniel C. Littlefield, University of South Carolina

    'Institutional Slavery represents a thought-provoking intervention in the literature on the evolution of slavery and paternalism in Virginia …' Kirt von Daacke, History of Education Quarterly

    'Institutional Slavery will surely aid these worthwhile efforts by providing essential historical context and a model for further research.' Adam Rothman, Journal of Social History

    'Institutional Slavery is recommended for use in both undergraduate and graduate classes. While it sheds light on the treatment of enslaved African Americans and on their everyday lives, it also illuminates the nature of ownership. … [the book] provides insights into previously understudied aspects of slavery in the making of American society.' Marne L. Campbell, The Journal of African American History

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107105270
    • dimensions: 237 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'Unlawful for any Christian': slave-owning Anglican churches in Virginia
    2. 'The legacies of well inclin'd gentlemen': slave-owning free schools in Virginia
    3. 'The worst kind of slavery': slave-owning Presbyterian churches in Virginia
    4. 'So large a family as the college': slavery at the College of William and Mary
    5. 'Faithful and valuable': slavery at Hampden-Sydney College, the University of Virginia, and Hollins College
    6. 'To make a trifle for themselves': industries as institutional slaveholders

  • Author

    Jennifer Oast, Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania
    Jennifer Oast is an Associate Professor of History at Bloomsburg University, Pennsylvania.

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