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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

David Paterson A Standard Writing Family History

Dear Afrigeneas Writers Forum:

I recently wrote the following message of praise to David Paterson, Manager of the AfriGeneas Slavery Forum:

“I hope that I can achieve the same literary "voice" when you wrote "Slavery, Slaves and Cash in a Georgia Village.”

I found David’s definitive article in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Southern History. I know how we all struggle with writing an historical narrative about our ancestors.

I’m posting it here, because it’s an exemplary standard for writing a family history. Why?

I mentioned the “Voice” in David’s narrative. His is a compelling and literary voice that pulls the reader into the history of a Georgia village. There’s no boring genealogical story of who begat who in what year.

David describes his subjects in "Slavery, Slaves and Cash in a Georgia Village” as three-dimensional people. It’s obvious that their persona is shaped by his in depth knowledge of the history of the village, the state, and slavery. He interweaves his study on slavery with the findings of noted historians like Berlin, and challenges the suppositions of Tolbert on slave life.

It will remind us that slavery was a diverse and complex system.

David’s fluid narrative, his impeccable footnotes, and his powerful literary voice make "Slavery, Slaves and Cash in a Georgia Village” an inspiring standard for writing a family history.

You can find "Slavery, Slaves and Cash in a Georgia Village” at the Journal of Southern History’s URL below:

Enjoy and bookmark!

Write Away


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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