Slavery and Freedom in Savannah by Daina BerrySlavery and Freedom in Savannah by Daina Berry

Slavery and Freedom in Savannah

EditorDaina Berry, Leslie Harris

Paperback | February 1, 2014

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Slavery and Freedom in Savannah is a richly illustrated, accessibly written book modeled on the very successful Slavery in New York, a volume Leslie M. Harris coedited with Ira Berlin. Here Harris and Daina Ramey Berry have collected a variety of perspectives on slavery, emancipation, and black life in Savannah from the city’s founding to the early twentieth century. Written by leading historians of Savannah, Georgia, and the South, the volume includes a mix of longer thematic essays and shorter sidebars focusing on individual people, events, and places.

The story of slavery in Savannah may seem to be an outlier, given how strongly most people associate slavery with rural plantations. But as Harris, Berry, and the other contributors point out, urban slavery was instrumental to the slave-based economy of North America. Ports like Savannah served as both an entry point for slaves and as a point of departure for goods produced by slave labor in the hinterlands. Moreover, Savannah’s connection to slavery was not simply abstract. The system of slavery as experienced by African Americans and enforced by whites influenced the very shape of the city, including the building of its infrastructure, the legal system created to support it, and the economic life of the city and its rural surroundings. Slavery and Freedom in Savannah restores the urban African American population and the urban context of slavery, Civil War, and emancipation to its rightful place, and it deepens our understanding of the economic, social, and political fabric of the U.S. South.

This project is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. This volume is published in cooperation with Savannah’s Telfair Museum and draws upon its expertise and collections, including Telfair’s Owens-Thomas House. As part of their ongoing efforts to document the lives and labors of the African Americans—enslaved and free—who built and worked at the house, this volume also explores the Owens, Thomas, and Telfair families and the ways in which their ownership of slaves was foundational to their wealth and worldview.

LESLIE M. HARRIS is associate professor of history at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the author of In the Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City, 1626–1863 and coeditor of Slavery in New York. DAINA RAMEY BERRY is associate professor of history and African and African Diaspora studies at the University of Texas at A...
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Title:Slavery and Freedom in SavannahFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 8 × 0.7 inPublished:February 1, 2014Publisher:University Of Georgia PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0820344109

ISBN - 13:9780820344102

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Editorial Reviews

With a focus on black life in the context of elite and powerful families in Savannah . . . critical lessons are learned about the harsh reality of the transatlantic slave trade and those who profited from, defended, and advanced it, as well as those whose very bodies made it possible, are unmasked. This volume draws from key and relevant sources on the Revolutionary era, the transatlantic slave trade, slavery, the Civil War, emancipation, and Reconstruction. It is a good introductory text on the history of Savannah and the role of rural and urban slavery in the making of the city. - Antoinette T. Jackson - Journal of Southern History