Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775

Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775

by Marvin L. Michael Kay, Lorin Lee Cary
     
 

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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

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Overview

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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780807821978
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date:
07/28/1995
Edition description:
2
Pages:
420
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.36(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Interesting, insightful, and necessary for a full understanding of slavery in colonial North Carolina as well as more broadly in the British-American empire.—North Carolina Historical Review

A marvelously thorough work. . . . It will stand for many years as a monument to its field.—Mississippi Quarterly

Meticulously researched, imaginative in its use of sources, and balanced in its conclusions, this book is certain to become a classic study of the early black experience in the Americas.—Colin A. Palmer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Michael Kay and Lorin Cary make it possible for us to understand how much of pre-Revolutionary North Carolina functioned, and how an enduring segment of its population (African in origin) made its way in a new world. The scope of research, the reach of learning, and the wisdom of interpretation in this book are enormous.—William S. Price Jr., North Carolina Division of Archives and History

Readers interested in colonial slavery need to become familiar with this book. Its main value is in forcing us to rethink what we believe about acculturation and the nature of slave society in early America.—Journal of American History

[Makes] a very important contribution to the study of early American slavery by showing . . . what it is possible to learn from relatively little in the way of conventional sources.—Journal of Southern History

Kay and Cary have made an important contribution to our understanding of American slavery. They remind us that both the South's peculiar institution and its system of race relations were more dynamic than is often assumed.—Southern Cultures

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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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