Family Money: Property, Race, and Literature in the Nineteenth Century

Paperback | December 15, 2014

byJeffory A. Clymer

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Family Money explores the histories of formerly enslaved women who tried to claim inheritances left to them by deceased owners; the household traumas of mixed-race slaves; post-Emancipation calls for reparations; and the economic fallout from anti-miscegenation marriage laws. Authors rangingfrom Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frank Webb, and Harriet Beecher Stowe to Charles Chesnutt and Lydia Maria Child recognized that intimate interracial relationships took myriad forms, often simultaneously sexual, marital, coercive, familial, pleasurable, and painful. Their fiction confirms that theconsequences of these relationships for nineteenth-century Americans meant thinking about more than the legal structure of racial identity. Who could count as family (and when); who could own property (and when); and how racial difference was imagined (and why) were emphatically bound together. Demonstrating that notions of race were entwined with economics well beyond the direct issue of slavery, Family Money reveals interracial sexuality to be a volatile mixture of emotion, economics, and law that had dramatic, long-term financial consequences.

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Family Money explores the histories of formerly enslaved women who tried to claim inheritances left to them by deceased owners; the household traumas of mixed-race slaves; post-Emancipation calls for reparations; and the economic fallout from anti-miscegenation marriage laws. Authors rangingfrom Nathaniel Hawthorne, Frank Webb, and Har...

Jeffory A. Clymer is Professor of English and American Studies at the University of Kentucky.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:216 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.51 inPublished:December 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190223871

ISBN - 13:9780190223878

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Family Money1. 2. Blood, Truth, and Consequences: Partus Sequitur Ventrem and the Problem of Legal Title3. Plantation Heiress Fiction, Slavery, and the Properties of White Marriage4. Reparations for Slavery and Lydia Maria Child's Reconstruction of the Family5. The Properties of Marriage in Chesnutt and HopkinsCoda