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American slavery in the antebellum period was characterized by a massive wave of forced migration as millions of slaves were moved across state lines to the expanding southwest, scattered locally, and sold or hired out in towns and cities across the South. This book sheds new light on domestic forced migration by examining the experiences of American-born slave migrants from a comparative perspective. Juxtaposing and contrasting the experiences of long-distance, local, and urban slave migrants, it analyzes how different migrant groups anticipated, reacted to, and experienced forced removal, as well as how they adapted to their new homes.Read more
- Examines domestic slave migration in the antebellum South from the perspective of the forced migrants themselves
- Analyzes slave migration from a comparative perspective, considering the similarities and differences experienced by slaves who were removed across state lines, scattered locally, or sold/hired out in towns and cities
- Investigates the assimilation process of slave newcomers - how they adapted to new slave communities, work situations, and masters/overseers
Reviews & endorsements
"While much has been written about African slaves' experiences upon arriving in Colonial America, Pargas's work investigates the largely understudied subject of American-born slaves and how their experiences as migrants affected their life experiences and identity formation. By addressing this previously ignored area of history, the book better informs one's understanding of slavery, of the wide variety of slaves' experiences, and of slaves' struggles for agency over their own lives in the pre-Civil War South. Summing up: highly recommended."
T. K. Byron, ChoiceSee more reviews
"Deeply researched, elegantly conceived, and adroitly argued, Damian Alan Pargas's book is a fine-grained study of enslaved people's responses to the changing political economy of slavery in the United States between 1800 and 1860 … This is a widely accessible book that skillfully blends history and historiography. Woven through the analysis is a rebuttal to claims that slaveholders were guided by a paternalistic duty to their bondspersons … the nimbleness with which Pargas analyzes his subjects and the force and clarity of the narrative contributes a nuanced revision to a central process of nineteenth-century African American history."
Calvin Schermerhorn, The Journal of American History
"In this much needed new study, Damian Alan Pargas recognizes the importance of all forms of forced migration and the effect it had on millions of enslaved people. For decades now, many historians have thought of the domestic slave trade as only the long-distance, interstate sale and transfer of slaves from the upper South to the lower South. One of the strongest points of this book is his inclusion of the even larger local slave trade as part of the domestic slave trade."
Steven Deyle, The American Historical Review
"Slavery and Forced Migration in the Antebellum South synthesizes an impressive array of primary and secondary scholarship in ways helpful to new and lay audiences. Pargas's bibliography is a marvel. In addition, some of the questions begged by his analysis ought to prompt a new generation of scholars to probe the cultural, social, and political entrapment of millions of Americans in cycles of forced migration and then, in a rush hastened by war, the varied situations of freed people building their lives anew."
Susan Eva O’Donovan, Southern Spaces
'Damian Alan Pargas has produced a valuable volume on the many aspects of the forced migration of enslaved people in the antebellum South … well documented, this volume should high on a list of mandatory reading for classes on slavery in the antebellum South, sociology, and southern history in general.' Charles Vincent, The Journal of Southern History
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- Date Published: December 2014
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781107658967
- length: 296 pages
- dimensions: 230 x 153 x 16 mm
- weight: 0.4kg
- contains: 7 b/w illus. 1 map
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
Part I. Migration:
1. Valuable bodies
2. The gathering storm
3. Changing places
Part II. Assimilation:
4. Cogs in the wheel
5. Managing newcomers
6. Slave crucibles
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