Inventing New England's slave paradise : master/slave relations in eighteenth-century Narragansett, Rhode Island /
Robert K. Fitts.
New York : Garland Pub., 1998.
xvi, 274 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.
0815332807 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Garland Pub., 1998.
0815332807 (alk. paper)
general note
Revision of author's dissertation (doctoral)--Brown University.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. 231-272) and index.
A Look Inside
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, February 2000
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Main Description
Many 19th and 20th century historians have argued that Northern slavery was mild and that master/slave relations were relatively harmonious. Yet, Northern slavery, like Southern, was characterized by the conflict between the masters' desire to control their slaves and the slaves' resistance to this domination. For a variety of political, social, and intellectual reasons, 19th and 20th century historians ignored this inherent conflict in discussions of Northern slavery. Fitts' research focuses on how and why historians sanitized the history of slavery in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and then shows the inadequacy of these interpretations by examining several of the planters' and slaves' conflicting strategies of control and resistance. Topics include how planters used physical punishment, legislation, and the threat of sale in an attempt to control their slaves, and how slaves resisted through violence, running away, and non-violent crime. Fitts also examines the plantation landscape as a site of symboliccontestation and includes a chapter on slave names. (Ph.D. dissertation, Brown University, 1995; revised with new preface)
Unpaid Annotation
Fitts engages the dual purposes of correcting the conventional view of slavery in New England as warm and fuzzy, and of demonstrating that history is a creation that reflects contemporary social issues rather than the discovery of facts. He examines how historians of the 19th century sanitized the history of slavery in the region, then exhibits primary sources documenting methods planters used to control their slaves and the response of slaves.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 3
Constructing Narragansett's Pastp. 17
The Narragansett Plantationsp. 69
Conflicting Uses of Forcep. 105
The Landscapes of Northern Bondagep. 131
Contested Namesp. 171
Conclusionp. 205
Runaway Advertisements of Narragansett Slavesp. 219
Bibliographyp. 231
Indexp. 273
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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