Monday, April 4, 2011
Black Slaveowners:Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, 1790-1860 by Larry Koger, University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, 1985. This was an interesting book, filled with documentation about the thriving slaveowning class among the black and mulatto community in South Carolina. What I didn't like was the author's constant insertion of his opinion of what those statistics he so profusely provided to back up his thesis meant. An historian must offer some understanding of the meaning of statistics especially if his thesis goes against conventional wisdom but when its excessive it appears the author simply has an axe to grind. Still, worth reading if the subject interests you. Blacks in the pre-Civil War south did not just buy slaves to free relatives, they were often engaged in professions and owned small businesses and plantations and used slaves as labor, and as slaveowners were accepted into the white social framework.
Posted by Frederick Widdowson