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Black Masters : A Free Family of Color in the Old South - Michael Johnson

Black Masters

A Free Family of Color in the Old South

Paperback

Published: 1st April 1986
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In 1860, when four million African Americans were enslaved, a quarter-million others, including William Ellison, were "free people of color." But Ellison was remarkable. Born a slave, his experience spans the history of the South from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. In a day when most Americans, black and white, worked the soil, barely scraping together a living, Ellison was a cotton-gin maker-a master craftsman. When nearly all free blacks were destitute, Ellison was wealthy and well-established. He owned a large plantation and more slaves than all but the richest white planters.While Ellison was exceptional in many respects, the story of his life sheds light on the collective experience of African Americans in the antebellum South to whom he remained bound by race. His family history emphasizes the fine line separating freedom from slavery.

Never before have I found the experience of the free slaveholding caste of antebellum Negroes brought to live in such vibrant detail. To be able to detect what Henry James called the 'density of felt experience' behind the enigmatic details of the letters is indeed a scholarly achievement of a high order and, I think, a contribution to all who would grasp the complexity of our American past.--Ralph Ellison

Prefacep. xi
April's Storyp. 3
Freedom Boundp. 30
Mastering Freedomp. 65
Wisdom Hall"p. 107
Freedom Besiegedp. 153
The Middle Groundp. 195
Masters or Slavesp. 233
Harvest the Windp. 288
Appendixp. 339
Abbreviations in Notesp. 345
Notesp. 347
Acknowledgmentsp. 397
Indexp. 401
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780393303148
ISBN-10: 0393303144
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 1st April 1986
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.34 x 13.72  x 3.05
Weight (kg): 0.52
Edition Number: 1