The Southern Debate Over Slavery Petitions to Southern Legislatures, 1778-1864 (volume1)
- List Price: $62.00
- Binding: Hardcover
- Publisher: Univ of Illinois Pr
- Publish date: 06/01/2001
- ISBN: 9780252026324
- ISBN10: 0252026322
These petitions, filed by slaveholders and nonslaveholders, slaves and free blacks, women and men, abolitionists and staunch defenders of slavery, constitute a uniquely important primary source. Petitioners were compelled to present the most accurate and fully documented case they could, since their claims would be subject to public scrutiny and legal verification. Unlike the many reminiscences and autobiographies of the period, these petitions record with great immediacy and minute detail the dynamics, common understandings, and legal restrictions and parameters that shaped southern society during this period.
Arranged chronologically, with their original spelling and idiosyncratic phraseology intact, these documents reveal the grim and brutal nature of human bondage, the fears of whites who lived among large concentrations of blacks, and the workings of the complicated legal system designed to control blacks. Astonishingly intimate and frank, The Southern Debate over Slavery illuminates how slavery penetrated nearly every aspect of southern life and how various groups of southerners responded to the difficulties they confronted as a result of living in a slave society.