AfriGeneas Slave Research Forum
In Response To: Re: Cancer Plantation Slaves ()
In the earlier posting of surnames of individuals listed on Robert Carter emancipation documents, I mentioned John Bardens dissertation on the subject.
Here's the reference.
Using the correspondence and plantation records of the Carter family, as well as Virginia court and tax records, this study follows the development of the Nomony Hall slave community from its beginnings in the 1720s and 1730s to the period of the emancipation in the 1790s and 1800s. Intensive case studies of this kind can augment more general studies of the experience of enslaved families in eighteenth-century Virginia and can deepen our understanding of the early African-American experience and the dynamics of race slavery.
Despite the traumas of the Middle Passage, African-Americans in the Nomony Hall community soon formed new kinship ties and friendships, adapting African patterns to their new circumstances. They also provided skills needed for the successful operation of the estate and developed considerable adroitness in negotiating with members of the slaveholding class for amelioration of the conditions of slavery.
The 1770s saw new opportunities open for the African-Americans at Nomony Hall. Some used the turmoil produced by the American Revolution to escape from the estate. Others took advantage of the egalitarian nature of the evangelical religion then spreading through the region to interact with their master on more nearly even terms. However, this promising decade was followed by economic and agricultural disruptions in the 1780s, leading to sales and forced moves of many African-Americans in the estate and breaking many of the ties that bound them together.
The last chapters describe the difficulties that the members of the Nomony Hall community had to confront in establishing themselves as free people in the face of a hostile slaveholding elite. The success of the Nomony Hall emancipation plan demonstrated the weakness of slaveholders' arguments that free black people could not be a productive part of Southern society.
Accession No: AAG9416895
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