Race Relations

Download Braided Relations, Entwined Lives: The Women of Charleston's by Cynthia M. Kennedy PDF

By Cynthia M. Kennedy

"[A] lovely, deeply researched, and gracefully written social history." ―Leslie Schwalm, college of Iowa

This research of ladies in antebellum Charleston, South Carolina, seems on the roles of girls in an city slave society. Cynthia M. Kennedy takes up problems with gender, race, (slave or free), and sophistication and examines the methods every one contributed to conveying and replicating energy. She analyses what it intended to be a girl in an international the place traditionally particular social classifications decided own future and the place even as humans of colour and white humans mingled day-by-day. Kennedy’s examine examines the lives of the ladies of Charleston and the diversity in their makes an attempt to barter the internet of social relatives that ensnared them.

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Extra resources for Braided Relations, Entwined Lives: The Women of Charleston's Urban Slave Society

Sample text

At the least, their actions inconvenienced owners, destabilized Charleston households, and unsettled the larger social order. In its worst forms, rebellion by slave women brought violence and death to the doors of their mistresses. They not only rebelled more at home but also informed on and identi¤ed their patriot owners, as well as providing intelligence on American troop movements. As early as spring 1775, slave-owning women and slave women were left to fend for themselves when both European and African American men volunteered for or were dragooned into military service, and when American forces con¤scated additional male slaves to dig trenches and construct abati outside the city.

In these ways, white women played both active and symbolic roles in establishing and patrolling social boundaries, borders that ensconced them near the top of Charleston’s social pyramid. Theirs was an inherently contradictory role—they were both handmaidens of the master class and members of that ruling coterie. Moreover, slave women were made unwilling foils in this enterprise, for women and men of the master class purposefully contrasted slave wenches and white ladies. Thus, to tell the story of early Charleston and women’s role in its evolution is to relate how a motley group of ambitious, acquisitive white men and women survived a devastating disease environment, acquired enormous wealth—through trade, staple-crop agriculture, and the exploitation of African slave labor—and consolidated themselves into a powerful ruling class.

All told, more than sixty people died in the Stono Rebellion. The following year, rumors spread that slaves in Goose Creek Parish, just a few miles north of Charleston, planned to seize the city. Municipal of¤cials tried sixty-seven alleged conspirators, hanged some, and branded, whipped, and mutilated others. ” This black code drew upon the colony’s earlier “negro laws” and remained in effect with but few modi¤cations until the Civil War. Stono and Goose Creek heightened virtually all white people’s anxiety about the low country’s “black majority,” including large slaveholders whose prosperity was predicated on that racial imbalance and, speci¤cally, on slavery.

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