Slaves without Masters: The Free Negro in the Antebellum South

Overview

Widely recognized as “one of the nation’s foremost scholars on the slave era” (Boston Globe), Bancroft Prize–winning historian Ira Berlin has changed the way we think about African American life in slavery and freedom. These two classic volumes, now available in handsome new editions, are indispensable resources for educators and general readers alike.

First published to great acclaim in 1974, Slaves Without Masters established Berlin in his field and went on to win the National...

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Overview

Widely recognized as “one of the nation’s foremost scholars on the slave era” (Boston Globe), Bancroft Prize–winning historian Ira Berlin has changed the way we think about African American life in slavery and freedom. These two classic volumes, now available in handsome new editions, are indispensable resources for educators and general readers alike.

First published to great acclaim in 1974, Slaves Without Masters established Berlin in his field and went on to win the National History Society’s Best First Book Prize. It tells the moving story of the quarter of a million free black men and women who lived in the South before the Civil War, portraying “with careful scholarship, acute analysis, and admirable historical imagination” (The New Republic) their struggle for community, economic independence, and education within an oppressive society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595581730
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Pages: 428
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Ira Berlin is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland in College Park, where he lives. He is the author of Many Thousands Gone, Generations of Captivity, and Slaves Without Masters (The New Press). He co-edited Remembering Slavery (with Marc Favreau and Steven F. Miller), Families and Freedom (with Leslie S. Rowland), and Slavery in New York (with Leslie M. Harris), all published by The New Press. His books have won the Frederick Douglass Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Abraham Lincoln Prize, among many other awards.
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Table of Contents


Tables     ix
Abbreviations Used in Footnotes     xi
Preface to the 2007 Edition     xiii
Preface     xxv
Prologue: Freemen and Slaves     3
The Emergence of the Free Negro Caste, 1775-1812
The Origins of the Free Negro Caste     15
From Slavery to Freedom     51
The Failure of Freedom     79
The Free People of Color of Louisiana and the Gulf Ports     108
The Pattern of Free Negro Life
New Patterns of Growth     135
A White Man's Country: White Racial Attitudes and Policies     182
The Economics of Marginality     217
The Sources of Free Negro Identity     250
The Free Negro Community     284
The Mechanics of White Dominance     316
The Crisis of the 1850s
The Best of Times, the Worst of Times     343
Epilogue: Freemen and Freedmen     381
Slave and White Populations     396
Manuscript Sources Consulted     404
Index     411
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