Manhood Enslaved

November 2011
2 black and white illustrations
222 pages
9x6 in
Gender and Race in American History
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC HIS036030, HIS036040, SOC001000

Manhood Enslaved

Bondmen in Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century New Jersey

Kenneth E. Marshall

eBook for Handhelds
Manhood Enslaved reconstructs the lives of three male captives to bring greater intellectual and historical clarity to the muted lives of enslaved peoples in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century central New Jersey, where blacks were held in bondage for nearly two centuries. The book contributes to an evolving body of historical scholarship arguing that the lives of bondpeople in America were shaped not only by the powerful forces of racial oppression, but also by their own notions of gender. The book uses previously understudied, white-authored, nineteenth-century literature about central New Jersey slaves as a point of departure. Reading beyond the racist assumptions of the authors, it contends that the precarious day-to-day existence of the three protagonists -- Yombo Melick, Dick Melick, and Quamino Buccau (Smock) -- provides revealing evidence about the various elements of "slave manhood" that gave real meaning to their oppressed lives.

Kenneth E. Marshall is Assistant Professor of History at the State University of New York at Oswego.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: "Ain't No Account"
Black Images in White Minds
Powerful and Righteous
"His Disposition Was Not in Any Sense Agreeable"
Threat of a (Christian) Bondman
Work, Family, and Day-to-Day Survival on an Old Farm
Epilogue: "Losing It"


Mr. Marshall's book ranges beyond these three men and their lives to look at general aspects of American slavery and its legacy for African-Americans in America today. BLACK & ASIAN STUDIES NEWSLETTER

Compelling. . . Marshall successfully reads against the grain of long-ignored published historical sources, makes a strong case for the consideration of slavery in the rural North, and smartly balances analytic precision with interpretive framework. PENNSYLVANIA HISTORY: A JOURNAL OF MID-ATLANTIC STUDIES

Manhood Enslaved is most successful in its richly detailed portrayal of the many-faceted daily lives of enslaved people in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century New Jersey. JOURNAL OF AMERICAN HISTORY

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