Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s through the Civil War

Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s through the Civil War

by Melvin Patrick Ely
     
 

ISBN-10: 0679768726

ISBN-13: 9780679768722

Pub. Date: 08/16/2005

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZEA New York Times Book Review and Atlantic Monthly Editors' ChoiceThomas Jefferson denied that whites and freed blacks could live together in harmony. His cousin, Richard Randolph, not only disagreed, but made it possible for ninety African Americans to prove Jefferson wrong. Israel on the Appomattox tells the

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Overview

WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZEA New York Times Book Review and Atlantic Monthly Editors' ChoiceThomas Jefferson denied that whites and freed blacks could live together in harmony. His cousin, Richard Randolph, not only disagreed, but made it possible for ninety African Americans to prove Jefferson wrong. Israel on the Appomattox tells the story of these liberated blacks and the community they formed, called Israel Hill, in Prince Edward County, Virginia. There, ex-slaves established farms, navigated the Appomattox River, and became entrepreneurs. Free blacks and whites did business with one another, sued each other, worked side by side for equal wages, joined forces to found a Baptist congregation, moved west together, and occasionally settled down as man and wife. Slavery cast its grim shadow, even over the lives of the free, yet on Israel Hill we discover a moving story of hardship and hope that defies our expectations of the Old South.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679768722
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/16/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
656
Sales rank:
292,895
Product dimensions:
5.24(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.65(d)

Table of Contents

An Opening Word: Black Slavery, Black Freedom

Chapter One: The View from Israel Hill, 1863

Chapter Two: Liberty and Happiness
Citizen Richard Randolph and His Slaves
Subordination Was Entirely Out of the Question

Chapter Three: The Promised Land
As Comfortable as the Best in Israel Hill
Neighbors
To Inclose His Little Plantation: The Free Black Drive for Independence

Chapter Four: Work
Sweating Like a Harvest Field Hand
Craft, Mystery, and Occupation
To Run the Road with a Waggon or the River with a Boat

Chapter Five: Challenges
Nat Turner
Edmund Young and Free Black Resistance
Idleness, Poverty, and Dissipation: The Birth of a Proslavery Myth

Chapter Six: Law and Order
Boisterous Passions and Paneless Windows
To Maim, Disfigure, Disable, and Kill

Chapter Seven: Worldviews
Kindred Cultures
Callousness and Closeness
Clashing Values
The Wisdom of Solomon

Chapter Eight: Progress and Struggle
For Richer, for Poorer
Black Freedom and the Crisis of the Union

Chapter Nine: Appomattox and the New Birth of Freedom

Postscript: The Search for Meaning in the Southern
Free Black Experience

Documents
Will of Richard Randolph
Will of Betty Dwin
Will of Thomas Ford
Colonel James Madison on Emancipated Slaves
Will of Philip Bowman
Will of Anthony (Tony) White

Sources and Interpretations
Abbreviations in Notes and Remarks on Primary Sources
Notes
Acknowledgments
Index

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