Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775 / Edition 2

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Michael Kay and Lorin Cary illuminate new aspects of slavery in colonial America by focusing on North Carolina, which has largely been ignored by scholars in favor of the more mature slave systems in the Chesapeake and South Carolina. Kay and Cary demonstrate that North Carolina's fast-growing slave population, increasingly bound on large plantations, included many slaves born in Africa who continued to stress their African pasts to make sense of their new world. The authors illustrate this process by analyzing slave languages, naming practices, family structures, religion, and patterns of resistance.
Kay and Cary clearly demonstrate that slaveowners erected a Draconian code of criminal justice for slaves. This system played a central role in the masters' attempt to achieve legal, political, and physical hegemony over their slaves, but it impeded a coherent attempt at acculturation. In fact, say Kay and Cary, slaveowners often withheld white culture from slaves rather than work to convert them to it. As a result, slaves retained significant elements of their African heritage and therefore enjoyed a degree of cultural autonomy that freed them from reliance on a worldview and value system determined by whites.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[Makes] a very important contribution to the study of early American slavery.

Journal of Southern History

A marvelously thorough work.

Mississippi Quarterly

Kay and Cary have made an important contribution to our understanding of American slavery.

Southern Cultures

Its main value is in forcing us to rethink what we believe about acculturation and the nature of slave society.

Journal of American History

Interesting, insightful, and necessary for a full understanding of slavery in colonial North Carolina.

North Carolina Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807848197
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 2/22/1999
  • Edition description: 2
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 420
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Marvin L. Michael Kay is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Toledo.

Lorin Lee Cary is a professor emeritus of history at the University of Toledo.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775: Demography, Production, Commerce, and Labor 10
2 Power and the Law of Slavery 52
3 The "Criminal Justice" System for Slaves 70
4 "Criminal" Resistance Patterns, I 96
5 "Criminal" Resistance Patterns, II: Slave Runaways 121
6 Slave Names and Languages 137
7 Marriage and the Family 153
8 Slave Religiosity 173
Conclusion 218
Appendix. Tables 221
Notes 301
Index 375
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