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Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy

af Annette Gordon-Reed

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349275,621 (4.03)13
Richmond was not only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy, it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco-processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population. "Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction" examines this unusual urban labor system from 1782 until the end of the Civil War. Richmond's urban slave system offered blacks a level of economic and emotional support not usually available to plantation slaves. "Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction" offers a valuable portrait of urban slavery in an individual city that raises questions about the adaptability of slavery as an institution to an urban setting and, more importantly, the ways in which slaves were able to turn urban working conditions to their own advantage.… (mere)
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  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
A new look at the historical record and how it has been interpreted in the past ( )
  AnneliM | Sep 7, 2009 |
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I write then in a field devastated by passion and belief. Naturally, as a Negro, I cannot do this writing without believing in the essential humanity of Negroes, in their ability to be educated, to do the work of the modern world, to take their place as equal citizens with others. I cannot for a moment subscribe to that bizarre doctrine of race that makes most men inferior to the few. But, too, as a student of science, I want to be fair, objective and judicial; to let no searing of the memory by intolerable insult and cruelty make me fail to sympathize with human frailties and contradiction, in the eternal paradox of good and evil. But armed and warned by all this, and fortified by long study of the facts, I stand at the end of this writing, literally aghast at what American historians have done to this field. ----W. E. B. Du Bois, "The Propaganda of History"
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To the memory of my mother, Bettye Jean Gordon, and to my father, Alfred Gordon, Sr.
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It has become a cliche to refer to the "invisibility" of black people in the United States as a way of suggesting that blacks are neither really seen nor heard by their white countrymen.
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Richmond was not only the capital of Virginia and of the Confederacy, it was also one of the most industrialized cities south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Boasting ironworks, tobacco-processing plants, and flour mills, the city by 1860 drew half of its male workforce from the local slave population. "Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction" examines this unusual urban labor system from 1782 until the end of the Civil War. Richmond's urban slave system offered blacks a level of economic and emotional support not usually available to plantation slaves. "Rearing Wolves to Our Own Destruction" offers a valuable portrait of urban slavery in an individual city that raises questions about the adaptability of slavery as an institution to an urban setting and, more importantly, the ways in which slaves were able to turn urban working conditions to their own advantage.

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