New PDF release: A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation
By Prof. Erica Armstrong Dunbar
This publication is the 1st to chronicle the lives of African American girls within the city north throughout the early years of the republic. a delicate Freedom investigates how African American ladies in Philadelphia journeyed from enslavement to the precarious prestige of “free people” within the many years best as much as the Civil warfare and examines related advancements within the towns of recent York and Boston. Erica Armstrong Dunbar argues that early nineteenth-century Philadelphia, the place such a lot African americans have been unfastened, enacted one of those practice session for the nationwide emancipation that within the post–Civil warfare years. She explores the lives of the “regular” ladies of antebellum Philadelphia, the loose black associations that took root there, and the formerly unrecognized significance of African American ladies to the heritage of yank cities. (20090301)
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Additional resources for A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City (Society and the Sexes in the Modern Worl)
African slaves were expected to be versatile and complete any and all work demanded of them. The nature of their work depended on their location. Slaves who were suited for labor in both the city and the countryside were seen as especially valuable. One of the earliest colonial newspapers, the Pennsylvania Gazette, concentrated on news in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas, 16 Slavery and the “Holy Experiment” advertising the sale of property such as homes, horses, and slaves. ”29 As a young female slave familiar with the varied skills necessary for domestic work, she most likely would have fetched a reasonable price.
As early abolitionist sentiment grew in Philadelphia, it eventually made its way to the hinterland, led by the Society of Friends in Chester, Pennsylvania. 31 This suggestion did not take root, however, and many whites outside the city turned their demand from European indentured servants to African slaves. In the city, slave owners held on average two to three slaves per household. 32 Whereas several slave families might reside together on the larger farms of the colonial South, slave families in Philadelphia had to visit one another, which, depending on one’s master, could be a difficult undertaking.
Superior culinary skills as well as the ability to iron, wash, and sew were seen as necessary in both the city and the country, and a deficiency in any of these skills could lead to the sale of a slave, as seen in a 1758 advertisement: “A Likely handy Negroe Wench, about 30 years old, very healthy, has been bred up both to Town and Country Work, she is Country born and is sold by her master because she does not answer for a Cook, for which she was bought. ”30 Strong performance was essential, for the lives of female slaves could be uprooted at a moment’s notice.
A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City (Society and the Sexes in the Modern Worl) by Prof. Erica Armstrong Dunbar