Paperback / softback
July 15, 2014
9780813155548
English
256
illus
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.6 Pounds (US)
$45.00 USD, £21.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
May 11, 2021
9780813183589
English
256
illus
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$45.00 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Price of Freedom

Slavery and Manumission in Baltimore and Early National Maryland

A stereotypical image of manumission is that of a benign plantation owner freeing his slaves on his deathbed. But as Stephen Whitman demonstrates, the truth was far more complex, especially in border states where manumission was much more common.

Whitman analyzes the economic and social history of Baltimore to show how the vigorous growth of the city required the exploitation of rural slaves. To prevent them from escaping and to spur higher production, owners entered into arrangements with their slaves, promising eventual freedom in return for many years' hard work. The Price of Freedom reveals how blacks played a critical role in freeing themselves from slavery. Yet it was an imperfect victory. Once Baltimore's economic growth began to slow, freed blacks were virtually excluded from craft apprenticeships, and European immigrants supplanted them as a trained labor force.

Reviews

"Co-winner of the 1997 Maryland Historical Society Book Award."

"A vivid picture of the economic and social realities facing blacks in Baltimore during a time of 'self-led liberation'."—AB Bookman's Weekly

"A fine study. . . . a penetrating and subtle analysis that substantially expands our understanding of the subject."—American Historical Review

"A must read for students who want to understand the ramifications of manumission."—Choice

"How nice to read Stephen Whitman's study of class and race—bereft of jargon and political cant—which captures the true subtlety of the relationships between blacks and whites during a time of rapid social, economic, and political change."—H-Net Reviews

"Whitman provides an extraordinarily sophisticated look at the manumission process, producing a history that performs the difficult task of reflecting and separating the roles of paternalism, antislavery idealism, economic interest, and most important of all, the skill and intelligent choices made by slaves themselves in bringing about large numbers of manumissions in Baltimore. . . . Touches issues that have long been of concern to Afro-Americanists, and consequently this book has a significance that extends way beyond Whitman's discussion of Maryland or even the antebellum South more broadly."—Journal of American History

"An interesting, intelligent, and important study of slavery and manumission."—Journal of Economic History

"Illuminates the complex amalgam of social forces and human motives that figured in a group of slaveowners' individual decisions to terminate their slave labor voluntarily."—Journal of Interdisciplinary History

"A careful examination of the ways in which local, national, and international circumstances allowed the line between slavery and freedom to become quite blurred in Baltimore."—Labor History

"No one interested in slavery or the nation's economic development should miss this important book. Offers a nuanced view of how slavery could exist in a developing economy and of the link between slavery and freedom in an urban setting."—North Carolina Historical Review

"An original, path-breaking study."—Southern Historian

"Baltimore has long been recognized as an anomaly, a southern city where, by the Civil War, slavery remained legal but the vast majority of people of color were free. The Price of Freedom offers a coherent, thorough, and well-researched explanation of how and why white Baltimoreans, who were not known for their abolitionist sympathies, allowed this situation to develop"—William and Mary Quarterly

9780813155548 : the-price-of-freedom-whitman
Paperback / softback
256 Pages
$45.00 USD
9780813183589 : the-price-of-freedom-whitman
Electronic book text
May 11, 2021
$45.00 USD

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