Dispossessed Lives

Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive
Author: Marisa J. Fuentes
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812293002
Category: History
Page: 232
View: 2042

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In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothel run by a freed woman of color; in the midst of a white urban household in sexual chaos; to the gallows where enslaved people were executed; and within violent scenes of enslaved women's punishments. In the process, Fuentes interrogates the archive and its historical production to expose the ongoing effects of white colonial power that constrain what can be known about these women. Combining fragmentary sources with interdisciplinary methodologies that include black feminist theory and critical studies of history and slavery, Dispossessed Lives demonstrates how the construction of the archive marked enslaved women's bodies, in life and in death. By vividly recounting enslaved life through the experiences of individual women and illuminating their conditions of confinement through the legal, sexual, and representational power wielded by slave owners, colonial authorities, and the archive, Fuentes challenges the way we write histories of vulnerable and often invisible subjects.

Dispossessed Lives

Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive
Author: Marisa J. Fuentes
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812248228
Category: History
Page: 232
View: 8042

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Vividly recounting the lives of enslaved women in eighteenth-century Bridgetown, Barbados, and their conditions of confinement through urban, legal, sexual, and representational power wielded by slave owners, authorities, and the archive, Marisa J. Fuentes challenges how histories of vulnerable and invisible subjects are written.

Dispossessed Lives

Enslaved Women, Violence, and the Archive
Author: Marisa J. Fuentes
Publisher: Early American Studies
ISBN: 9780812224184
Category: History
Page: 232
View: 4794

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In the eighteenth century, Bridgetown, Barbados, was heavily populated by both enslaved and free women. Marisa J. Fuentes creates a portrait of urban Caribbean slavery in this colonial town from the perspective of these women whose stories appear only briefly in historical records. Fuentes takes us through the streets of Bridgetown with an enslaved runaway; inside a brothel run by a freed woman of color; in the midst of a white urban household in sexual chaos; to the gallows where enslaved people were executed; and within violent scenes of enslaved women's punishments. In the process, Fuentes interrogates the archive and its historical production to expose the ongoing effects of white colonial power that constrain what can be known about these women. Combining fragmentary sources with interdisciplinary methodologies that include black feminist theory and critical studies of history and slavery, Dispossessed Lives demonstrates how the construction of the archive marked enslaved women's bodies, in life and in death. By vividly recounting enslaved life through the experiences of individual women and illuminating their conditions of confinement through the legal, sexual, and representational power wielded by slave owners, colonial authorities, and the archive, Fuentes challenges the way we write histories of vulnerable and often invisible subjects.

Laboring Women

Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery
Author: Jennifer L. Morgan
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206371
Category: History
Page: 296
View: 6126

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When black women were brought from Africa to the New World as slave laborers, their value was determined by their ability to work as well as their potential to bear children, who by law would become the enslaved property of the mother's master. In Laboring Women: Reproduction and Gender in New World Slavery, Jennifer L. Morgan examines for the first time how African women's labor in both senses became intertwined in the English colonies. Beginning with the ideological foundations of racial slavery in early modern Europe, Laboring Women traverses the Atlantic, exploring the social and cultural lives of women in West Africa, slaveowners' expectations for reproductive labor, and women's lives as workers and mothers under colonial slavery. Challenging conventional wisdom, Morgan reveals how expectations regarding gender and reproduction were central to racial ideologies, the organization of slave labor, and the nature of slave community and resistance. Taking into consideration the heritage of Africans prior to enslavement and the cultural logic of values and practices recreated under the duress of slavery, she examines how women's gender identity was defined by their shared experiences as agricultural laborers and mothers, and shows how, given these distinctions, their situation differed considerably from that of enslaved men. Telling her story through the arc of African women's actual lives—from West Africa, to the experience of the Middle Passage, to life on the plantations—she offers a thoughtful look at the ways women's reproductive experience shaped their roles in communities and helped them resist some of the more egregious effects of slave life. Presenting a highly original, theoretically grounded view of reproduction and labor as the twin pillars of female exploitation in slavery, Laboring Women is a distinctive contribution to the literature of slavery and the history of women.

Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean


Author: Randy M. Browne
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812294270
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 1356

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Atlantic slave societies were notorious deathtraps. In Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean, Randy M. Browne looks past the familiar numbers of life and death and into a human drama in which enslaved Africans and their descendants struggled to survive against their enslavers, their environment, and sometimes one another. Grounded in the nineteenth-century British colony of Berbice, one of the Atlantic world's best-documented slave societies and the last frontier of slavery in the British Caribbean, Browne argues that the central problem for most enslaved people was not how to resist or escape slavery but simply how to stay alive. Guided by the voices of hundreds of enslaved people preserved in an extraordinary set of legal records, Browne reveals a world of Caribbean slavery that is both brutal and breathtakingly intimate. Field laborers invoked abolitionist-inspired legal reforms to protest brutal floggings, spiritual healers conducted secretive nighttime rituals, anxious drivers weighed the competing pressures of managers and the condition of their fellow slaves in the fields, and women fought back against abusive masters and husbands. Browne shows that at the core of enslaved people's complicated relationships with their enslavers and one another was the struggle to live in a world of death. Provocative and unflinching, Surviving Slavery in the British Caribbean reorients the study of Atlantic slavery by revealing how differently enslaved people's social relationships, cultural practices, and political strategies appear when seen in the light of their unrelenting struggle to survive.

Colonial Complexions

Race and Bodies in Eighteenth-Century America
Author: Sharon Block
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812250060
Category: History
Page: 232
View: 4401

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How did descriptions of individuals' appearance reinforce emergent categories of race? In Colonial Complexions, more than 4000 advertisements for runaway slaves and servants reveal how colonists transformed seemingly observable characteristics into racist reality.

Death in the New World

Cross-Cultural Encounters, 1492-1800
Author: Erik R. Seeman
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812206002
Category: History
Page: 384
View: 1553

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Reminders of death were everywhere in the New World, from the epidemics that devastated Indian populations and the mortality of slaves working the Caribbean sugar cane fields to the unfamiliar diseases that afflicted Europeans in the Chesapeake and West Indies. According to historian Erik R. Seeman, when Indians, Africans, and Europeans encountered one another, they could not ignore the similarities in their approaches to death. All of these groups believed in an afterlife to which the soul or spirit traveled after death. As a result all felt that corpses—the earthly vessels for the soul or spirit—should be treated with respect, and all mourned the dead with commemorative rituals. Seeman argues that deathways facilitated communication among peoples otherwise divided by language and custom. They observed, asked questions about, and sometimes even participated in their counterparts' rituals. At the same time, insofar as New World interactions were largely exploitative, the communication facilitated by parallel deathways was often used to influence or gain advantage over one's rivals. In Virginia, for example, John Smith used his knowledge of Powhatan deathways to impress the local Indians with his abilities as a healer as part of his campaign to demonstrate the superiority of English culture. Likewise, in the 1610-1614 war between Indians and English, the Powhatans mutilated English corpses because they knew this act would horrify their enemies. Told in a series of engrossing narratives, Death in the New World is a landmark study that offers a fresh perspective on the dynamics of cross-cultural encounters and their larger ramifications in the Atlantic world.

Women and Slavery in America

A Documentary History
Author: Catherine M. Lewis,J. Richard Lewis
Publisher: University of Arkansas Press
ISBN: 1557289581
Category: History
Page: 318
View: 9351

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Women and Slavery offers readers an opportunity to examine the establishment, growth, and evolution of slavery in the United States as it impacted women-enslaved and free, African American and white, wealthy and poor, northern and southern. The primary documents-including newspaper articles, broadsides, cartoons, pamphlets, speeches, photographs, memoirs, and editorials-are organized thematically and represent cultural, political, religious, economic, and social perspectives on this dark and complex period in American history.

A Centre of Wonders

The Body in Early America
Author: Janet Moore Lindman,Michele Lise Tarter
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801487392
Category: History
Page: 283
View: 9783

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Images of bodies and bodily practices abound in early America: from spirit possession, Fasting Days, and infanticide to running the gauntlet, going "naked as a sign," flogging, bundling, and scalping. All have implications for the study of gender, sexuality, masculinity, illness, the "body politic," spirituality, race, and slavery. The first book devoted solely to the history and theory of the body in early American cultural studies brings together authors representing diverse academic disciplines. Drawing on a wide range of archival sources—including itinerant ministers' journals, Revolutionary tracts and broadsides, advice manuals, and household inventories—they approach the theoretical analysis of the body in exciting new ways. A Centre of Wonders covers such varied topics as dance and movement among Native Americans; invading witch bodies in architecture and household spaces; rituals of baptism, conversion, and church discipline; eighteenth-century women's journaling; and the body as a rhetorical device in the language of diplomacy.

Foul Bodies

Cleanliness in Early America
Author: Kathleen M. Brown
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300160275
Category: Health & Fitness
Page: 465
View: 613

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A nation's standards of private cleanliness reveal much about its ideals of civilization, fears of disease, and expectations for public life, says Kathleen Brown in this unusual cultural history. Starting with the shake-up of European practices that coincided with Atlantic expansion, she traces attitudes toward dirt through the mid-nineteenth century, demonstrating that cleanliness--and the lack of it--had moral, religious, and often sexual implications. Brown contends that care of the body is not simply a private matter but an expression of cultural ideals that reflect the fundamental values of a society. The book explores early America's evolving perceptions of cleanliness, along the way analyzing the connections between changing public expectations for appearance and manners, and the backstage work of grooming, laundering, and housecleaning performed by women. Brown provides an intimate view of cleanliness practices and how such forces as urbanization, immigration, market conditions, and concerns about social mobility influenced them. Broad in historical scope and imaginative in its insights, this book expands the topic of cleanliness to encompass much larger issues, including religion, health, gender, class, and race relations.

Dwelling in the Archive

Women Writing House, Home, and History in Late Colonial India
Author: Antoinette M. Burton
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 9780195144253
Category: History
Page: 202
View: 4737

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Through an analysis of the writings of three 20th century Indian women, this book explores how the memoirs, fictions, and histories written by women can be read as counter-narratives of colonial modernity.

Contested Bodies

Pregnancy, Childrearing, and Slavery in Jamaica
Author: Sasha Turner
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
ISBN: 0812249186
Category: History
Page: 328
View: 1153

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Contested Bodies explores how the end of the transatlantic trade impacted Jamaican slaves and their children. Examining the struggles for control over biological reproduction, Turner shows how central childbearing was to the organization of plantation work, the care of slaves, and the development of their culture.

Braided Relations, Entwined Lives

The Women of Charleston's Urban Slave Society
Author: Cynthia M. Kennedy
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253111463
Category: Social Science
Page: 328
View: 2790

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"[A] stunning, deeply researched, and gracefully written social history." -- Leslie Schwalm, University of Iowa This study of women in antebellum Charleston, South Carolina, looks at the roles of women in an urban slave society. Cynthia M. Kennedy takes up issues of gender, race, condition (slave or free), and class and examines the ways each contributed to conveying and replicating power. She analyses what it meant to be a woman in a world where historically specific social classifications determined personal destiny and where at the same time people of color and white people mingled daily. Kennedy's study examines the lives of the women of Charleston and the variety of their attempts to negotiate the web of social relations that ensnared them.

A True and Exact History of the Island of Barbadoes


Author: Richard Ligon
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134729545
Category: History
Page: 144
View: 4714

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In this eye-witness history of Barbados, Ligon gives perhaps the earliest account of attempts at sugar manufacture. His description of a plantation indicates the size and complexity of the estates acquired in Barbados by subtle and greedy' planters, even in the early days of the industry.

American Baroque

Pearls and the Nature of Empire, 1492-1700
Author: Molly A. Warsh
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469638983
Category: History
Page: 304
View: 4713

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Pearls have enthralled global consumers since antiquity, and the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella explicitly charged Columbus with finding pearls, as well as gold and silver, when he sailed westward in 1492. American Baroque charts Spain's exploitation of Caribbean pearl fisheries to trace the genesis of its maritime empire. In the 1500s, licit and illicit trade in the jewel gave rise to global networks, connecting the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean to the pearl-producing regions of the Chesapeake and northern Europe. Pearls—a unique source of wealth because of their renewable, fungible, and portable nature—defied easy categorization. Their value was highly subjective and determined more by the individuals, free and enslaved, who produced, carried, traded, wore, and painted them than by imperial decrees and tax-related assessments. The irregular baroque pearl, often transformed by the imagination of a skilled artisan into a fantastical jewel, embodied this subjective appeal. Warsh blends environmental, social, and cultural history to construct microhistories of peoples' wide-ranging engagement with this deceptively simple jewel. Pearls facilitated imperial fantasy and personal ambition, adorned the wardrobes of monarchs and financed their wars, and played a crucial part in the survival strategies of diverse people of humble means. These stories, taken together, uncover early modern conceptions of wealth, from the hardscrabble shores of Caribbean islands to the lavish rooms of Mediterranean palaces.

Enslaved Women in America

An Encyclopedia
Author: Daina Ramey Berry
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313349088
Category: History
Page: 381
View: 6510

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This singular reference provides an authoritative account of the daily lives of enslaved women in the United States, from colonial times to emancipation following the Civil War. Through essays, photos, and primary source documents, the female experience is explored, and women are depicted as central, rather than marginal, figures in history. * Dozens of photos of former enslaved women * Detailed historical timeline * Numerous rare primary documents, including runaway slave advertisements and even a plantation recipe for turtle soup * Profiles of noted female slaves and their works

The Mulatta Concubine

Terror, Intimacy, Freedom, and Desire in the Black Transatlantic
Author: Lisa Ze Winters
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820348961
Category: Social Science
Page: 248
View: 4848

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Popular and academic representations of the free mulatta concubine repeatedly depict women of mixed black African and white racial descent as defined by their sexual attachment to white men, and thus they offer evidence of the means to and dimensions of their freedom within Atlantic slave societies. In The Mulatta Concubine, Lisa Ze Winters contends that the uniformity of these representations conceals the figure’s centrality to the practices and production of diaspora. Beginning with a meditation on what captive black subjects may have seen and remembered when encountering free women of color living in slave ports, the book traces the echo of the free mulatta concubine across the physical and imaginative landscapes of three Atlantic sites: Gorée Island, New Orleans, and Saint Domingue (Haiti). Ze Winters mines an archive that includes a 1789 political petition by free men of color, a 1737 letter by a free black mother on behalf of her daughter, antebellum newspaper reports, travelers’ narratives, ethnographies, and Haitian Vodou iconography. Attentive to the tenuousness of freedom, Ze Winters argues that the concubine figure’s manifestation as both historical subject and African diasporic goddess indicates her centrality to understanding how free and enslaved black subjects performed gender, theorized race and freedom, and produced their own diasporic identities.

Troubling Freedom

Antigua and the Aftermath of British Emancipation
Author: Natasha Lightfoot
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 0822375052
Category: History
Page: 336
View: 8422

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In 1834 Antigua became the only British colony in the Caribbean to move directly from slavery to full emancipation. Immediate freedom, however, did not live up to its promise, as it did not guarantee any level of stability or autonomy, and the implementation of new forms of coercion and control made it, in many ways, indistinguishable from slavery. In Troubling Freedom Natasha Lightfoot tells the story of how Antigua's newly freed black working people struggled to realize freedom in their everyday lives, prior to and in the decades following emancipation. She presents freedpeople's efforts to form an efficient workforce, acquire property, secure housing, worship, and build independent communities in response to elite prescriptions for acceptable behavior and oppression. Despite its continued efforts, Antigua's black population failed to convince whites that its members were worthy of full economic and political inclusion. By highlighting the diverse ways freedpeople defined and created freedom through quotidian acts of survival and occasional uprisings, Lightfoot complicates conceptions of freedom and the general narrative that landlessness was the primary constraint for newly emancipated slaves in the Caribbean.

The Reaper's Garden

Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery
Author: Vincent Brown
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674024229
Category: History
Page: 340
View: 4111

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What did people make of death in the world of Atlantic slavery? In The Reaper's Garden, Vincent Brown asks this question about Jamaica, the staggeringly profitable hub of the British Empire in America--and a human catastrophe. Popularly known as the grave of the Europeans, it was just as deadly for Africans and their descendants. Yet among the survivors, the dead remained both a vital presence and a social force. In this compelling and evocative story of a world in flux, Brown shows that death was as generative as it was destructive. From the eighteenth-century zenith of British colonial slavery to its demise in the 1830s, the Grim Reaper cultivated essential aspects of social life in Jamaica--belonging and status, dreams for the future, and commemorations of the past. Surveying a haunted landscape, Brown unfolds the letters of anxious colonists; listens in on wakes, eulogies, and solemn incantations; peers into crypts and coffins, and finds the very spirit of human struggle in slavery. Masters and enslaved, fortune seekers and spiritual healers, rebels and rulers, all summoned the dead to further their desires and ambitions. In this turbulent transatlantic world, Brown argues, "mortuary politics" played a consequential role in determining the course of history. Insightful and powerfully affecting, The Reaper's Garden promises to enrich our understanding of the ways that death shaped political life in the world of Atlantic slavery and beyond.

Freedom Papers


Author: Rebecca J. Scott,Jean M Hébrard
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674065166
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 288
View: 4364

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This saga opens with the enslavement of a woman from Senegambia, and then traces her family’s quest, across five generations, for lives of dignity and equality. The story of Rosalie and her descendants unfolds against the background of three great antiracist struggles: the Haitian Revolution, the French Revolution of 1848, and the U.S. Civil War.