Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World

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Univ of North Carolina Press, 8. 3. 2006 - Počet stran: 272
All along the Mississippi--on country plantation landings, urban levees and quays, and the decks of steamboats--nineteenth-century African Americans worked and fought for their liberty amid the slave trade and the growth of the cotton South. Offering a counternarrative to Twain's well-known tale from the perspective of the pilothouse, Thomas C. Buchanan paints a more complete picture of the Mississippi, documenting the rich variety of experiences among slaves and free blacks who lived and worked on the lower decks and along the river during slavery, through the Civil War, and into emancipation.

Buchanan explores the creative efforts of steamboat workers to link riverside African American communities in the North and South. The networks African Americans created allowed them to keep in touch with family members, help slaves escape, transfer stolen goods, and provide forms of income that were important to the survival of their communities. The author also details the struggles that took place within the steamboat work culture. Although the realities of white supremacy were still potent on the river, Buchanan shows how slaves, free blacks, and postemancipation freedpeople fought for better wages and treatment.

By exploring the complex relationship between slavery and freedom, Buchanan sheds new light on the ways African Americans resisted slavery and developed a vibrant culture and economy up and down America's greatest river.

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Vybrané stránky


Race and the Antebellum Western Steamboat Economy
From Plantation to Freedom African American Steamboat Workers and the PanMississippi World
Below the Pilothouse The Work Culture of Steamboats
Living Blood for Gold African American Families and the Mississippi River
Boats against the Current Slave Escapes on the Western Rivers
Rascals on the Antebellum Mississippi The Madison Henderson Gang
Emancipation and Steamboat Culture
The Decline of Mississippi River Steamboating
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Strana 86 - Three days on the river, — nights and mornings three, Ere we stopped at Memphis, the port of Tennessee. And wondered why they gave it such name of old renown — A dreary, dingy, muddy, melancholy town, But rich in bales of cotton, o'er all the landing spread, And bound for merry England, to earn the people's bread; — And here — oh! shame to Freedom, that boasts with tongue and pen ! — We took on board a
Strana 71 - He asked me whether I should like to hear the negroes of the ship sing, and led me for this purpose to the lowest deck, where I beheld a strange scene. The immense engine-fires are all on this deck, eight or nine apertures all in a row ; they are like yawning fiery throats, and beside each throat stood a negro naked to his middle, who flung in fire-wood. Pieces of wood were passed onward to these feeders by other negroes, who stood up aloft on a large open place between them and a negro, who, standing...
Strana 220 - Neither the original collectors of the data nor the Consortium bear any responsibility for the analyses or interpretations presented here. In order to provide funding agencies with essential information about the use of archival resources, and to facilitate the exchange of information about ICPSR participants...
Strana 42 - The Sabbath to them was a relief from toil. There was an open space, of a square or more, between Main and Second streets, and not far probably from Green street. Here the negroes were accustomed to assemble in the pleasant afternoons of the Sabbath, dance, drink, and fight, quite to the annoyance of all seriously-disposed persons.
Strana 13 - The doctor's and the postmaster's sons became " mud clerks"; the wholesale liquor dealer's son became a barkeeper on a boat ; four sons of the chief merchant, and two sons of the county judge, became pilots. Pilot was the grandest position of all. The pilot, even in those days of trivial wages, had a princely salary from a hundred and fifty to two hundred and fifty dollars a month, and no board to pay. Two months of his wages would pay a preacher's salary for a year Now some of us were left disconsolate.
Strana 44 - ... Lovejoy was a very good man, and decidedly the best master that I had ever had. I am chiefly indebted to him, and to my employment in the printing office, for what little learning I obtained while in slavery. Though slavery is thought, by some, to be mild in Missouri, when compared with the cotton, sugar and rice growing States, yet no part of our slaveholding country, is more noted for the barbarity of its inhabitants, than St. Louis.
Strana 77 - ... by soothing their sorrows with songs and sentiments of \' apparently cheerful but in reality wailing lamentations. The most attracting lament of the evening was sung to words, a stanza of which is presented in pathos of delicate tenderness, which is but a spray from the stream which gushed out in insuppressible jets from the agitated fountains of their souls, as if in unison with the restless current of the great river upon which they were compelled to toil, their troubled waters could not be...
Strana 87 - ... we lost one woman who had been taken from her husband and children, and having no desire to live without them, in the agony of her soul jumped overboard, and drowned herself.
Strana 27 - There are often 5 or 6,000 boatmen from the upper country here; and it is not uncommon to see 40 vessels advertised for Liverpool and Havre. No place in the United States has so much activity and bustle of commerce, crowded into •so small- a space in the months of February and March. During the season of bringing in the cotton crop, whole streets are barricaded with cotton bales. The amount of domestic exports from this city exceeds...

O autorovi (2006)

Thomas C. Buchanan is assistant professor of history at the University of Adelaide.

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