Read Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World by Thomas C. Buchanan Online

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All along the Mississippi--on country plantation landings, urban levees and quays, and the decks of steamboats--nineteenth-century African Americans worked and fought for their liberty amid the slave trade and the growth of the cotton South. Offering a counternarrative to Twain's well-known tale from the perspective of the pilothouse, Thomas C. Buchanan paints a more complAll along the Mississippi--on country plantation landings, urban levees and quays, and the decks of steamboats--nineteenth-century African Americans worked and fought for their liberty amid the slave trade and the growth of the cotton South. Offering a counternarrative to Twain's well-known tale from the perspective of the pilothouse, Thomas C. Buchanan paints a more complete picture of the Mississippi, documenting the rich variety of experiences among slaves and free blacks who lived and worked on the lower decks and along the river during slavery, through the Civil War, and into emancipation.Buchanan explores the creative efforts of steamboat workers to link riverside African American communities in the North and South. The networks African Americans created allowed them to keep in touch with family members, help slaves escape, transfer stolen goods, and provide forms of income that were important to the survival of their communities. The author also details the struggles that took place within the steamboat work culture. Although the realities of white supremacy were still potent on the river, Buchanan shows how slaves, free blacks, and postemancipation freedpeople fought for better wages and treatment. By exploring the complex relationship between slavery and freedom, Buchanan sheds new light on the ways African Americans resisted slavery and developed a vibrant culture and economy up and down America's greatest river.All along the Mississippi--on country plantation landings, urban levees and quays, and the decks of steamboats--nineteenth-century African Americans worked and fought for their liberty amid the slave trade and the growth of the cotton South. Offering a counternarrative to Twain's well-known tale from the perspective of the pilothouse, Thomas Buchanan paints a more complete picture of the Mississippi, documenting the rich variety of experiences among slaves and free blacks who lived and worked on the lower decks and along the river during slavery, through the Civil War, and into emancipation. By exploring the complex relationship between slavery and freedom, Buchanan sheds new light on the ways African Americans resisted slavery and developed a vibrant culture and economy up and down America's greatest river....

Title : Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World
Author :
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ISBN : 9780807829097
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World Reviews

  • KathyPetersen
    2019-02-01 05:07

    St. Louis, my home, being an essential part of the "western steamboat world," I was fairly sure I would enjoy this book. The title says it all, and I would add that although the research is at times a little too obvious, the writing is excellent and the story in all its aspects moves nicely.Furthermore, I met some old acquaintances in the Madison Henderson gang. A friend had researched and written a paper on Henderson and his three fellow criminals; we called them the four bad dudes. It was a kick to find them again.

  • Ben
    2019-02-10 06:04

    The importance of mobility, connections between slave autonomy and slave geography. Came out before Walter Johnson's "On Agency," and BUchanan's book can definitely be read as part of the "everything is agency" paradigm. Most interesting (though also potential not of a piece with the rest of the book) is his chapter on the archetypes of rebellion: the "rascal" and "the badman." The Mississippi has been romanticized as the above-deck world of Mark Twain, Buchanan discusses the world below the deck (though he also frequently verges into a romantic depiction of life on the river). The river is both a source of freedom and the biggest road for the internal slave trade. Perhaps one of the ironies of the expansion of capitalism is that its expansion West and South required slaves and free blacks working on the river, where they could not be isolated from the experience of a freer life. Can be read as a Gramscian book in that the slaves and free blacks on the river are sort of an organic-intellectual vanguard disruptive of the hegemonic culture of Southern paternalism

  • Haley Whitehall
    2019-01-25 04:13

    I've read this book two times and loved it so much I had to buy my own copy! I am intrigued by the history of the Antebellum era, and Thomas Buchanan presents a well-researched look at life on and around the Mississippi river for African Americans, both enslaved and free. It is a well organized and easy read. African Americans served as laborers, waiters, porters etc. The success of the commerce on the Mississippi depended on them. The mobility of African Americans working the major waterway and tributaries provided them some measure of freedom.