"Will become a useful addition to our understanding of antebellum Southern families, especially in demonstrating their multiple forms, definitions, and functions."--Sally McMillen, Davidson College
This collection of essays on family life in the nineteenth-century American South reevaluates the concept of family by looking at mourning practices, farming practices, tavern life, houses divided by politics, and interracial marriages. Individual essays examine cross-plantation marriages among slaves, white orphanages, childhood mortality, miscegenation and inheritance, domestic activities such as sewing, and same-sex relationships.
Editors Craig Thompson Friend and Anya Jabour have collected work from a range of diverse and innovative historians. The volume uncovers more about Southern family life and values than we have previously known and raises new questions about how Southerners conceptualized family--from demographic structures, power relations, and gender roles to the relationship of family to society. In three sections, these ten essays explore the definition of family in the nineteenth-century South, examine the economics of family life, both rural and urban, and ultimately answer the question "what did family mean in the Old South?"
Publisher: University Press of Florida