Joining Places: Slave Neighborhoods in the Old South / Edition 1

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Overview

In this new interpretation of antebellum slavery, Anthony Kaye offers a vivid portrait of slaves transforming adjoining plantations into slave neighborhoods. He describes men and women opening paths from their owners' plantations to adjacent farms to go courting and take spouses, to work, to run away, and to otherwise contend with owners and their agents. In the course of cultivating family ties, forging alliances, working, socializing, and storytelling, slaves fashioned their neighborhoods into the locus of slave society.

Joining Places is the first book about slavery to use the pension files of former soldiers in the Union army, a vast source of rich testimony by ex-slaves. From these detailed accounts, Kaye tells the stories of men and women in love, "sweethearting," "taking up," "living together," and marrying across plantation lines; striving to get right with God; carving out neighborhoods as a terrain of struggle; and working to overthrow the slaveholders' regime. Kaye's depiction of slaves' sense of place in the Natchez District of Mississippi reveals a slave society that comprised not a single, monolithic community but an archipelago of many neighborhoods. Demonstrating that such neighborhoods prevailed across the South, he reformulates ideas about slave marriage, resistance, independent production, paternalism, autonomy, and the slave community that have defined decades of scholarship.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A detailed portrait of slave men and women venturing beyond the limits of their master's domain to adjoining plantations. . . . An important contribution to the scholarship on slavery. Given the merits of Kaye's antebellum study, one hopes that historian

"[Kaye[ consults a heretofore-neglected source of testimony from the newly freed slaves: the US Pensions Bureau files of African American soldiers who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. . . . Recommended."—Choice

"Important. . . [a] new and significant interpretive framework for understanding antebellum southern slavery. . . . A welcome addition. . . . The best historical works invite questions, and Kaye's work is no exception."—Civil War Book Review

"Recapture[s] both the fluidity and yearning for stability that marked the lives of the enslaved in this dynamic locale."—The North Carolina Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anthony E. Kaye is associate professor of American history at Pennsylvania State University.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Neighborhoods
2 Intimate Relations
3 Divisions of Labor
4 Terrains of Struggle
5 Beyond Neighborhood
6 War and Emancipation
Epilogue
Appendix: Population, Land, and Labor
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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