From Calabar to Carter's Grove: The History of a Virginia Slave Community - Colonial Williamsburg Studies in Chesapeake History & Culture (Hardback)Lorena S. Walsh (author)
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"This is an unusual and particularly valuable approach to early black history. Walsh effectively uses diverse records and artifacts, along with the ever-growing secondary literature on plantation slavery, to construct a dynamic view of change over time and across generations. She argues convincingly that one can analyze the experience of discrete groups of slaves using interconnected local records and resources". -- Peter H. Wood, Duke University
In From Calabar to Carter's Grove, Lorena S. Walsh has done what conventional wisdom has deemed nearly impossible: she has assembled a substantial history of a seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Virginia slave community. Detailed, multigenerational histories of small slave groups can seldom be reconstructed for the antebellum era, except for a few unusual plantations where extraordinarily good records survive.
The laborers originally belonging to tidewater's aristocratic Burwell family were, as Walsh discovered, a diverse group of Virginia-born slaves, newly enslaved Africans, and, for a time, white indentured servants. Over the years this slave community shifted and grew, frequently altered by the marriages, deaths, and estate settlements of their owners and augmented by their owngrowing families. Yet during these two centuries the majority of the Burwell slaves remained in or near tidewater Virginia.
Walsh's analysis of existing plantation records, artifacts, and ruins has generated a clear and frequently detailed picture of these slaves, including lists of popular forenames and accounts of illnesses, childbirths, and escape attempts. However, as the author is first to admit, this book does not -- and based on the available evidence, cannot -- offer portraits of individual slaves; it is instead a collective portrait of the group, offering details of their African origins, slave histories, and daily hardships.
Enhanced with maps, drawings, and photographs, From Calabar to Carter's Grove is an innovative study that paves the way for similar research on other slave communities. This volume will be invaluable not only to historians but to anyone with an interest in antebellum or African-American history.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 816 g
Dimensions: 235 x 155 x 33 mm