Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America by Billy SmithBuried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America by Billy Smith

Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early America

Contribution byBilly Smith, Caleb Smith

Paperback | March 1, 2012

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Buried Lives offers the first critical examination of the experience of imprisonment in early America. These interdisciplinary essays investigate several carceral institutions to show how confinement shaped identity, politics, and the social imaginary both in the colonies and in the new nation. The historians and literary scholars included in this volume offer a complement and corrective to conventional understandings of incarceration that privilege the intentions of those in power over the experiences of prisoners.

Considering such varied settings as jails, penitentiaries, almshouses, workhouses, floating prison ships, and plantations, the contributors reconstruct the struggles of people imprisoned in locations from Antigua to Boston. The essays draw upon a rich array of archival sources from the seventeenth century to the eve of the Civil War, including warden logs, petitions, execution sermons, physicians' clinical notes, private letters, newspaper articles, runaway slave advertisements, and legal documents. Through the voices, bodies, and texts of the incarcerated, Buried Lives reveals the largely ignored experiences of inmates who contested their subjection to regimes of power.

Michele Lise Tarter is an associate professor of English at the College of New Jersey. She is coeditor of A Centre of Wonders: The Body in Early America. Richard Bell is an assistant professor of history at the University of Maryland, College Park. He is the author of We Shall Be No More: Suicide and Self-Government in the Newly United...
Title:Buried Lives: Incarcerated in Early AmericaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:March 1, 2012Publisher:University of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820341207

ISBN - 13:9780820341200


Table of Contents

Michael Meranze

Michele Lise Tarter and Richard Bell

Part One: Brokering Power behind Bars

Hearing Whispers, Casting Shadows
Jailhouse Conversation and the Production of Knowledge during the Antigua Slave Conspiracy Investigation of 1736
Jason T. Sharples

Incarcerated Innocents
Inmates, Conditions, and Survival Strategies in Philadelphia's Almshouse and Jail
Simon P. Newman and Billy G. Smith

"Those Insolent Hardened Husseys Go on Dispensing All Rule & Order Here": Women with Venereal Disease in the Philadelphia Almshouse
Jacqueline Cahif

"Hopelessly Hardened": The Complexities of Penitentiary Discipline at Philadelphia's Eastern State Penitentiary
Jennifer Lawrence Janofksy

Universities of Social and Political Change: Slaves in Jail in Antebellum America
Susan Eva O'Donovan

Part Two: Writing the Carceral Experience

Reading Prisoners on the Scaffold: Literacy in an Era of Disciplinary Spectacle
Jodi Schorb

Floating Prisons: Dispossession, Ordering, and Colonial Atlantic "States," 1776 -1783
Judith I. Madera

"The Horrors of This Far-Famed Penitentiary": Discipline, Defiance, and Death during Ann Carson's Incarcerations in Philadelphia's Walnut Street Prison
Daniel E. Williams

Harry Hawser's Fate: Eastern State Penitentiary and the Birth of Prison Literature
Caleb Smith

"The Floor Was Stained with the Blood of a Slave": Crime and Punishment in the Old South
Matthew J. Clavin

Leslie Patrick



Editorial Reviews

This interdisciplinary approach to the study of punishment in early America provides a much-needed bridge to histories of twentieth-century penal regimes and current prisoners' rights advocacy movements.

- Jen Manion - Journal of the Early Republic