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Family Bonds – Free Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Family Bonds: Free Blacks and Re-enslavement Law in Antebellum Virginia

Ted Maris-Wolf


Between 1854 and 1864, more than a hundred free African Americans in Virginia proposed to enslave themselves and, in some cases, their children. This book explains this phenomenon as a response to state legislation that forced free African Americans to make a terrible choice: leave enslaved loved ones behind for freedom elsewhere or seek a way to remain in their communities, even by renouncing legal freedom. This text paints an intimate portrait of these people whose lives, liberty, and use of Virginia law offer new understandings of race and place in the upper South. The book shows how free A ... More

Keywords: African Americans, freedom, Virginia law, race, upper South, racial restriction, Watkins Love, Jane Payne, family, community

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9781469620077
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469620077.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ted Maris-Wolf, author